Veronica Mathias

Veronica Mathias

Media Relations Manager | Marketing

In 2018, common dining options have turned into curbside pick-up and delivery, so does that mean we will start to see less drive-thru service in the future? We don’t think so! Drive-thru’s are evolving everyday to keep up with digital trends and the customer experience. When you think of a drive-thru, you initially think fast-food; but the thoughts that are often paired with that thinking is convenience, consistency, speedy service and satisfying your taste-buds. Take a look at what a few drive-thru restaurants are doing to stay relevant in today’s digital age.

Think of a drive-thru that has a line full of cars, no matter the time of day and still gets your food out to you quickly, while still hot… Chick-fil-A would be the correct answer. Face-to-face interaction when going through a drive-thru seems to make the process go a little faster. In Chick-fil-A’s case, they have their team members with a tablet at the outside menus to get your order to the kitchen faster. Within the last year, they have created their mobile app for customers to order through and pick it up in the drive-thru. Chick-fil-A has recently partnered with DoorDash, a mobile ordering and delivery company and is set to roll out in 1,100 restaurants nationwide.

Since 2016, Starbucks has enhanced their drive-thru ordering system with a screen that shows you a video of the Barista taking your order. This feature also provides the opportunity for hearing impaired customers to use ASL to order their drinks. Starbucks also added to their mobile app, allowing customers to pay through the app, earning them rewards for each order. If you’d rather skip the drive-thru line, order your drinks online and walk into the store to pick up your ready order.

Chipotle doesn’t often fit into the category of fast-food, but we think now, it might. Within the last year, Chipotle has added two services to their menu – delivery and a drive-thru. In 2018, Chipotle added a lane to five locations in the U.S. including Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Massachusetts. The drive-thru lane is exclusively for mobile or online orders. As of now, Chipotle intends to keep the drive-thru lane specifically for online orders.

McDonald’s, often thought of as the dual lane drive-thrus and home of the Big Mac, has evolved their ordering system in the last few years. McDonald’s has adopted the mobile ordering and pay into their drive-thrus at 20,000 locations worldwide. Enhancing their in-store experience as well, they have added ordering kiosks for an easy ordering process.

According to the QSR 2018 drive-thru report, the average speed-of-service times—the time between the customer placing his or her order and then receiving it—have largely slowed across the board among the major players. This year’s brands clocked in at an average of 234 seconds, compared with about 225 seconds last year. Back in 2003, the year Wendy’s scored an all-time Drive-Thru Study best of 116 seconds, the national average was about 190 seconds.

The times are changing, but the drive-thru services will remain to evolve along with them.

At CASTO, for more than nine decades, we’ve built a foundation on experience and trusted relationships. Our solid market knowledge, consistent first-rate service and honest and straightforward dealings have contributed to our several successful partnerships. Click here to contact a leasing representative to get your drive-thru rolling.