Optimize your vital drive-thru window restaurant service.

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Tips to optimize your vital drive-thru window restaurant service. During pandemic life, the drive-thru window serves as a vital source of revenue for restaurants set up to offer this service. Sit down restaurants across the country remain closed at this time, leading customers to seek alternative methods of ordering food. Whether you’ve operated a drive-thru for many years or you’re adding this service in light of the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve got tips to make your service safe and efficient.

1. Use Safety Protocols

Have visible signs reminding patrons of the importance of sanitation and these posters are becoming the norm for all establishments as it shows your establishment takes the safety and health of your staff and cleints seriously. 

  • Cashier shields – Installing these sheilds at your drive-through windows serves two purposes. The barrier between your employees and guests protects both parties. The drive-thru window itself serves as a protective shield while it’s closed, but when it’s opened, a cashier shield adds another layer of safety.
  • Contactless handoff – Get your staff familiar with using methods of contactless handoff when they serve customers. An easy way to avoid direct hand contact with guests is to use a serving tray to pass items from the drive-thru window to the customer’s car.
  • Face masks – Face masks are a requirement for all restaurant employees, especially when preparing and serving food. your clients will want to know these basic requirements are used. Check out our selection of Safety Chefware

2. Keep Your Menu Board Updated

If you’re experiencing shortages of food items, make sure to remove those options from your drive-thru menu board right away. Keeping your menu up to date will streamline the ordering process and prevent your customers from being disappointed. It might take seconds to say, “I’m sorry, we’re out of that item,” but you can shave time off your drive-thru wait by avoiding that entire conversation.

Digital menu board menu boards are great as you can make changes to items and pricing immediately. Instead of taking the time to walk outside and manually update the menu board, it can be completed in mere seconds.

3. Institute Online Ordering

Online Ordering for your drive-thru allows customers to place their order directly from your website and pick it up at the time of their choosing. This cuts down on your wait time and gives customers the ability to order on any of their devices, no matter where they happen to be at the time.

One of the most appealing features of online ordering is the capability for guests to customize their orders at their own pace. Instead of relying on the order taker to enter every request accurately, the order goes straight from the customer to the kitchen. Giving the guest total control over their order eliminates mistakes and increases customer satisfaction.

4. Use Touchless Payment

Touchless payment methods speed up your drive-thru time and help you avoid direct hand contact with customers. Payment options added to your online ordering platform cut out client pulling out there card. Even the use of a tap-to-pay terminal that reads cards and mobile phones decreases the time the client spends in your drive thru que and it has minimal contact. 

5. Visit Your Drive-Thru

The best way to ensure your drive-thru service is working out the way you’ve intended is to visit your drive-thru for a test run. Go through every step of the process to observe how quickly and easily your order is prepared. Take note of how your menu board looks, determine if the drive-thru speaker can be heard clearly, and make sure your staff is observing safety protocols.

6. Keep the Drive-Thru Station Stocked

Your drive-thru window should be stocked with essential items at all times. If a staff member has to leave the window during a shift to find napkins, cup lids, or ketchup packets, it slows down your service and leaves your window unattended.

Keep all condiments and disposables close at hand and organize them for efficiency. The drive-thru window has limited countertop space, so utilize stackable condiment bins and in-counter cup dispensers designed for compact areas. With all necessary supplies in plain sight, it’s less likely that anything will be forgotten. Nothing is more irksome for a customer than realizing they have to turn their car around because the straws were left out of their bag.

7. Maintain Your Drive-Thru Window

Sometimes neglected, your drive-thru window itself is the center of activity and a crucial piece of equipment. Continuous operation and exposure to the elements take their toll on the window frame, the glass, and the slide track. By instituting a cleaning and maintenance schedule, you can extend the life of your window and keep it looking its best. Inspect the frame of the window daily and remove debris, dead leaves, or any organic matter that may have become lodged in the guide track.

The coronavirus pandemic has created a shift in the restaurant industry that will most likely influence the way businesses and customers interact well into the future. Drive-thru service presents an opportunity for restaurants to take advantage of an alternate revenue stream and provide a safe, contact-free experience for your customers.

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