The drive-thru, a long-standing fixture of the QSR landscape, has seen a remarkable resurgence in recent years. While it was always a popular choice for a fast meal, the events of the pandemic further elevated its role and importance. As people grappled with lockdowns and sought solace from the confines of home, the drive-thru offered a contactless dining experience and emerged as a beacon of convenience. It became a lifeline for QSRs, contributing significantly to their revenue.
In fact, according to consumer behavior watcher Revenue Management Solutions, drive-thru sales made up a staggering 75% of quick-service revenue in 2022. While the numbers have adjusted slightly since then, it appears the pandemic habit of drive-thru ordering has stuck around and become a mainstream way for consumers to order their favorite meals. The result: an ongoing surge in drive-thru sales.
As QSR brands adapt to this shift in guest behavior, they are having to navigate the challenges of longer lines, speed of service, and order accuracy, all while maintaining their commitment to a positive guest experience.
PAR Brink POS is helping restaurant brands streamline and enhance their drive-thru operations with rock-solid reliability and a continuous commitment to innovation. Whether you have a single lane, dual lane, or multi-lane setup, Brink’s purpose-built features keep you at the forefront of the ever-evolving drive-thru landscape.
Brink enables faster service, reduced wait times, and fewer remakes in the drive-thru – leading to happier customers and more repeat business. Let’s d(r)ive into Brink’s fantastic drive-thru capabilities:
Large Preview Panels for Quick Order Retrieval
Imagine a scenario familiar to many of us: You’re at the drive-thru, ready to order your favorite meal. You pull up to the window to pay or pick-up and the employee announces, “You are order #582, regular fries and a large coke?” But you know it’s not your order – you ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and fried zucchini! This leads to a frustrating back-and-forth as the employee struggles to find the right order amidst the digital chaos. This situation, an increasingly common occurrence in modern drive-thru operations, can significantly detract from the overall guest experience.
Brink POS solves this problem with its innovative large order preview panels, added seamlessly to existing menu screens. These enable restaurant staff to conveniently view up to eight detailed orders at once, eliminating the need for manual searching. The power of this solution lies in its simplicity. It is not about inundating the staff with order details; it’s about providing a bird’s-eye view of the orders. Restaurant employees no longer need to open and close orders or navigate through various screens in search of the correct one. In just a single click, they can pull up, validate, and process the order, ensuring speedier service and fewer errors.
No more “Is this your order?” moments; guests can confidently pick up their correct orders without a hitch.
Seamlessly Integrate Own & Third-Party Orders
Now picture this: a customer arrives to pick up an online order, somehow ends up in the drive-thru lane instead and is now at the window looking for their order. With Brink POS, this situation is easily managed. Your staff can seamlessly filter the order by its destination in Brink’s ‘lane manager’ feature and transfer it to the drive-thru lane. Just like that, the customer’s order smoothly pops up in the queue. Your team can then fulfill and close out the order, preserving its place in the line to ensure that the sequence for other cars and orders remains undisturbed.
In turn, your employees are empowered to handle orders from digital, 3rd-party, or any other channels just as easily in the drive-thru, eliminating the need for a dedicated register for pickups and deliveries. This flexibility ensures a seamless, convenient experience for your staff as well as your customers, no matter where they show up to collect their orders.
Re-sequencing To Ensure Order Accuracy
Restaurants can also effortlessly re-sequence guest orders for the payment window using Brink’s intuitive drag-and-drop feature. Inspired by the increased adoption of multi-lane ordering, this functionality is optimized specifically for tablet use.
In busy drive-thrus, whether single or multi-lane, the risk of order mix-ups is significant. With multiple tablets deployed, one employee might start an order for a car, while another moves on to the next in line. If, by chance, the latter finishes entering the order first, the sequence is disrupted, leading to confusion, delays, and unhappy customers. Brink tackles this challenge by allowing a simple press and hold to reposition orders on the screen, preventing this chaos.
This applies even in drive-thrus with just a single tablet. For instance, if a customer isn’t ready to order, there’s no need to wait or start blank orders to save their spot. You can efficiently move down the line, return when they’re ready, and retroactively save their spot with a drag and drop. This ensures that, regardless of multiple tablets or dynamic customer interactions, your team always stays in control.
Furthermore, if a guest still ends up paying out of sequence, Brink triggers automatic resequencing on the Kitchen Expediter KDS to ensure accurate order flow for a timely pickup. Brink indicates the revised sequence to kitchen staff by utilizing visual cues or elements on the KDS screen without disrupting existing cards. Thus, any unexpected changes in the drive-thru line are seamlessly accommodated, ensuring that kitchen staff can focus on preparing orders promptly and accurately.
The result? enhanced efficiency, reduced errors, a more conducive environment for kitchen staff, and a satisfying guest experience.
Example: Staff moves up order #107 in front of order #104 in ‘lane manager’ which is reflected instantly in the POS order screen
At PAR, we believe in enhancing the restaurant experience, especially in drive-thrus, by integrating technology as an ally, not a replacement.
Brink’s commitment to merging innovative technology with human oversight reflects our dedication to delivering a flawless and personalized drive-thru experience. It is all about enhancing service without losing the personal touch.