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Drive, pay, then be on your way!

Posted 18 July Josef Hoccom

It’s been over 30 years since McDonald’s opened its first UK Drive-thru* and with Greggs opening its 4th one in Newcastle last week. Why have consumers responded so well to this purchasing method and what does the future hold?

We discussed recently the consumer shift to a virtual shopping experience, and we have also explored how Delivery App Food Ordering has become increasingly popular with consumers shifting to a more health-conscious lifestyle. Greggs, Itsu and Pret-a-Manger have become colossal players in the quick stop-and-go food market. Regularly seeing their stores brimming with hungry workfolk popping in for a quick bite to eat. Their mantra is quick, simple and ultimately great food and their customer service must match this demand.

This is great if you’re travelling short distances or lucky enough to work in a city or town centre, but what happens if you’re a long-haul commuter? Throw into the mix increased time employees spend at work, this has stimulated a group of consumers to ‘stop off’ on their travels. Drive Thru’s have become a godsend because within a few minutes you can get back to your journey with some tasty morsel in hand and no need to even exit the vehicle.

 

This is where Greggs have had the tenacity to follow suit with the likes of Costa and Starbucks on the uptake of Drive-Thru concepts that are different from your typical fast food. They are tapping into a revenue stream which is proving very fruitful. From a bacon sarnie and a latte in the morning to a Steak Bake and a Cake at lunch, they are there waiting to fulfil your tummy-rumbling hunger. This concept relies on customers split decision making, which is influenced not only by cravings but also convenience – the need for speed!

The challenge, minus the pastry crusts in your car, with this simple service concept, is where do you even start and once up and running, how do you maintain the efficiency?! There are many different elements of the Drive-Thru to allow for a seamless experience. From sensors to detect oncoming vehicles, intercom systems to take orders, Kitchen management Systems to organise the staff and PoS devices to take payments. The perfect drive-thru is a complex system but with the right guidance can be a financial triumph.

So, what’s the future? Well with the increase in AI Technology, ** we may see a shift to a fully automated voice ordering process. McDonald’s in America have already started to invest in this technology to enhance their customer interaction experience. If successful we will no doubt begin to see other brands adopting this tech as it becomes more widespread and efficient.

We will also see the development of Marketing teams utilising Digital Media and recognition technology to create targeted campaigns. By identifying your likeness or your cars number plate, they can be more responsive. Producing bespoke ads and utilise efficient upselling techniques to encourage a higher spend at the tills.

We are service innovation leaders when it comes to Drive Thru’s within the Hospitality Industry. From concept through to the installation and connection of the many different types of technology used within one system, our knowledge and experience are unchallenged.

Our comprehensive experience comes from the fact our Engineers and Project Teams have a unique skill set to be able to deal with the challenges of these solutions. From dealing with contractors, the installation of cabling, hardware installation and technical configuration, delivering the level of detail and precision comes second nature.

Contact us today about how we can support you with all your Drive Thru needs.email sales@celestra.co.uk or call 01908 889 500

 

* https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-38327032

** https://metro.co.uk/2019/03/27/mcdonalds-employing-artificial-intelligence-manage-drive-thrus-9036991/

 

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