Drive-thru and mobile ordering are exploding right now due to COVID-19. For restaurants that don’t already have a drive-thru option, adding a “virtual drive-thru” can be a game-changer. The virtual drive-thru eliminates many negatives that have plagued drive-thrus since its inception in the 1950s, such as long lines and difficulty for the customer and worker to communicate through the speakers.
What is a Virtual Drive-thru
A virtual drive-thru is, essentially, mobile ordering. Through the use of an app or mobile website, customers can place orders for pick up. When the customer gets to the location, they mark that they are there, and their meal is delivered right to their car. Restaurants can also set up the availability to schedule customers’ pickups so they could place the order in the morning or early afternoon for a time they can pick up after work.
You can set up your menu to be your full dine-in menu or have a more limited carry-out menu. Whatever you choose, your customers can access that menu through your app or website to place their order. If you have a drive-thru already, they may ask the person to go through the drive-thru lane, and state they have a pick-up order or the store may have designated parking for pick up. Many stores will also ask the type of vehicle the customer is in so they don’t have to worry about the specific pick up areas.
A virtual drive-thru is also a great way to track orders for specific customers. If customers are frequently using your business, they are likely to sign up for an account to save their payment information and favorite orders. This will help you customize your promotions and deals.
Benefits of Virtual Drive-thru
There are multiple benefits of a virtual drive-thru. With the current worries about COVID-19, the number one benefit of virtual drive-thrus is contactless food. The food is prepared and put into the ToGo containers, then the person delivering to the customer’s vehicle doesn’t ever touch the food. They run the order to the customer’s car. And they can put the food in the passenger’s seat so that they aren’t coming into contact with the customer.
Other benefits of a PARk it virtual kiosk-like system include faster service and on-demand pick up. Many times with these apps, customers can mark themselves ready for pick up when they are almost to the store so that they will start making the order, and it will be available as soon as they have parked.
Ease of ordering is another excellent benefit of virtual drive-thrus and kiosks. When customers are trying to pick up dinner, mobile ordering allows them to discuss what the whole family wants without the pressure of sitting in the drive-thru lane with a worker and line of cars waiting for them to place the order.
The Perfect Time
Between the current situation with COVID-19 and the advancement of technology, now is the perfect time for you as a business owner to put a virtual drive-thru in place. Customers were already wanting a change from the traditional drive-thru, where they couldn’t understand the worker taking their order and had to wait in line to place the order and pick up. It is even more essential to provide an option for as little contact between your employees and your customers as possible.
Many companies are stepping up to create apps and mobile websites that seamlessly integrate with your existing sales system. While virtual drive-thrus are becoming more popular, it’s good to start your virtual drive-thru now, so that you stand out from your competition. Showing your customers that you are putting their convenience first is going to make your store more popular.
Get Started Today
Virtual drive-thrus are the future of foodservice. They are simple and convenient for customers who are busy and concerned about their families’ health and safety. But the technology to create a virtual drive-thru for your business is also easy to set up. Most systems you can find integrate with your existing point of sale system and can be set up within a few hours. Your customers will thank you for it.