The key drivers of customer satisfaction in quick-service restaurants

Drive-thru service has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, especially during the pandemic when more people turned to drive thrus for their next meal. U.S. drive-thru orders grew by 20 percent from February 2020 to February 2022, according to a study by The NPD Group. Challenging circumstances and a spike in customers raised quick-service restaurant standards across America. Whether it’s for convenience, speed, or safety concerns, people expect a certain level of service when they pull up to the window.

The industry is only getting more competitive. Ensuring that products and speed of service are consistent from restaurant to restaurant continues to be a challenge, says Jena Bellin, director of quick-service restaurant business development at Mood Media. “Technological advancements in drive-thru communications, speed-of-service timers, and service for the drive-thru equipment is more important than ever to keep the restaurant functioning efficiently to ensure the drive thru is operating at peak capability.”

According to QSR magazine’s 2022 Drive-Thru Report, 58 percent of customers indicated that order accuracy was the most important factor when asked what would inspire a repeat trip. Ensuring orders are accurate goes hand-in-hand with easy-to-read menus and clear communication. According to The National Retail Federation, 74 percent of restaurant customers say an effective menu display is their top priority. A digital signage menu board provides an easy-to-read, engaging platform to display menu items and specials. It allows restaurants to easily change their menu and simplify the ordering process for the customer. 

HubSpot Research found that 93 percent of customers will likely make repeat purchases with excellent customer service companies. Quick-service workers should not only have a welcoming, upbeat tone but be patient and understanding when the customer is ordering. An outdated speaker system can compromise communication and frustrate the operator and the customer, resulting in a negative experience on both sides. “The days are gone when inaudible and muffled communications were considered acceptable. Customers expect that the latest technology will be utilized to place their orders clearly and efficiently, and the food will be delivered quickly,” says Bellin. 

Speed of service and convenience are also significant contributors to customer satisfaction. Mobile ordering continues to gain popularity, 92 percent of all top-performing restaurants offered mobile order-ahead, loyalty rewards programs, or a combination of both, according to Finances Online. Customers expect their orders to be ready almost immediately after arriving. “The past few years have changed people’s buying habits. With the popularity of mobile ordering and the increase in drive-thru ordering, the expectations have never been higher for a restaurant to provide fast and accurate service,” says Bellin. 

Mood Media offers drive thru communication systems, digital signage boards, and other quick-service restaurant technological solutions to give customers an experience worth repeating. “Mood Media offers a one-stop-shop approach for operators that enables them to streamline various services they need for their business,” says Bellin. “Customers not only have been able to take advantage of implementing the latest drive-thru technology, but they can keep their drive thru running efficiently, which translates to a faster speed of service, increasing revenues, and more repeat visits.”

To find out more, go to Mood Media.

By Olivia Schuster

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