4 major benefits of a multi-lane drive-thru

The 4 Benefits of a Multi-Lane Drive-Thru

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has driven more traffic to drive-thrus (no pun intended) — this translates into a roughly 43% increase in drive-thru use since April 2020. This increase in use has restaurants investing in multi-lane drive-thrus to deal with increased traffic. And the great news is that restaurants have been seeing the benefits.

Multi-lane drive-thrus have been growing in popularity across the country, with some businesses going up to four drive-thru lanes at certain locations. Is it worth the investment for your quick-service restaurant? This article will go over the major benefits of a multi lane drive thru and how to get started.

What is a Multi-Lane Drive-Thru?

Originally, a drive-thru was an individual lane outside of a restaurant (typically a quick service restaurant) that a customer could drive to and order. They place the order, pay, and receive their order all without ever stepping foot out of their car.

And since single-lane drive-thrus have been so successful in driving business for QSRs, businesses have naturally evolved the single lane into numerous lanes.

A multi-lane drive-thru allows anywhere between two and four lanes to exist in your drive-thru. Cars can enter numerous lines — resulting in shorter lines — and place their order the same way they would in a single lane. Typically, the cars then merge into a singular line between the ordering box and the pickup window.

Businesses from Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, and McDonalds are just some examples of QSRs that have been reaping the benefits of multi-lane-drive-thrus. Taco Bell has even designated certain lanes of their multi-lane-drive-thrus for mobile pickup, due to the growing popularity of order-ahead and carry-away options.

What Are the Benefits of a Multi-Lane-Drive-Thru?

The influx of large chains embracing numerous lanes in their drive-thru is a safe indicator that there are some major benefits. Here’s what you can expect.

Increase Speed of Service

The biggest benefit of a quick service restaurant to customers is that they’re quick (it’s in the name, after all!). Because of that, being able to offer speedy service that actually is fast is key. Giving your customers an option that allows them to spend less time in line is a great way to boost that QSR experience.

At the end of the day, increasing speed of service is a huge revenue driver.

Lines Look Half as Short, Making it More Appealing

Have you ever pulled into a drive-thru, only to see a massive line and immediately turn the other way? Even if you haven’t, one of your customers likely has. In fact, the CEO of Chick-fil-A estimates over 30% of their customers have turned around if the drive-thru line seems too long. Having two potential lines makes things look smaller, and minimizes the number of customers who would drive away — two lines of five cars seems much less time-consuming than one line of ten cars.

It’s Easier to Meet Demographic Needs

QSR Magazine did a survey that revealed that 42% of people would want more options for mobile orders through a drive-thru — it’s no wonder Taco Bell recently embraced that specific lane for mobile orders. You don’t want to clog up your single drive-thru with mobile orders, but it’s easy to meet this customer desire when you have more than one lane available.

You Can Reach More Customers

Simply put, customers want drive-thrus, even if you’re not a traditional QSR. The same QSR Magazine survey referenced above also discovered that 57% of respondents would order more from fast-casual restaurants if they had a drive-thru as an option. By having a multi-lane drive-thru, you can reach that audience easier.

How Do You Implement and Optimize Your Multi-Lane Drive-Thru?

Here are 3 ways to implement and optimize your multi-lane drive-thru operation.

Embrace Technology

You don’t have to master the drive-thru overnight on your own — there is extremely powerful restaurant technology available that can make optimizing your new efforts easier. This can include using drive-thru timing systems, performance monitors your in-house team can see, and cloud-based reporting that provides valuable and actionable insights.

This technology can lead to majorly impactful improvements. For example, the DTiQ and Summit Innovation solutions have been proven time and again to improve the speed of service times by 20-60 seconds. That much time saved for customers in a drive-thru is huge!

And on the business side, more cars = more revenue. Customers feel good, and your bottom line increases. It’s a win-win.

Train Your Team Sufficiently

Having adequate training is key to both a smooth drive-thru experience for diners and an engaged and capable team. Let teams train on how they take orders from two, three, or four lanes, versus one, and learn to balance the increase in traffic.

Have Enough Staff to Manage Order Influx

Training will only go so far if you don’t have people to manage the demand. If all goes to plan, a multi lane drive thru will lead to more drive-thru traffic — this means more work to be done in-house. Before launching your multi-lane drive-thru on a full scale, make sure you have enough staff to manage it. While still entirely possible, increased demand can make it harder to deliver the same experience with a limited team.

Final Thoughts

As the popularity of the drive-thru experience continues to book, so does the need for restaurants to level up their drive-thru experience. For the reasons discussed above, a multi-lane approach may be the next step to serving up the best customer experience possible. If you’re looking for more support on the technology side of your drive-thru (either single or multi-lane), see how DTiQ and Summit Innovations can help. You can contact us to see our technology in action — and the benefits it could bring your QSR.

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4 major benefits of a multi-lane drive-thru

The 4 Benefits of a Multi-Lane Drive-Thru

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has driven more traffic to drive-thrus (no pun intended) — this translates into a roughly 43% increase in drive-thru use since April 2020. This increase in use has restaurants investing in multi-lane drive-thrus to deal with increased traffic. And the great news is that restaurants have been seeing the benefits.

Multi-lane drive-thrus have been growing in popularity across the country, with some businesses going up to four drive-thru lanes at certain locations. Is it worth the investment for your quick-service restaurant? This article will go over the major benefits of a multi lane drive thru and how to get started.

What is a Multi-Lane Drive-Thru?

Originally, a drive-thru was an individual lane outside of a restaurant (typically a quick service restaurant) that a customer could drive to and order. They place the order, pay, and receive their order all without ever stepping foot out of their car.

And since single-lane drive-thrus have been so successful in driving business for QSRs, businesses have naturally evolved the single lane into numerous lanes.

A multi-lane drive-thru allows anywhere between two and four lanes to exist in your drive-thru. Cars can enter numerous lines — resulting in shorter lines — and place their order the same way they would in a single lane. Typically, the cars then merge into a singular line between the ordering box and the pickup window.

Businesses from Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, and McDonalds are just some examples of QSRs that have been reaping the benefits of multi-lane-drive-thrus. Taco Bell has even designated certain lanes of their multi-lane-drive-thrus for mobile pickup, due to the growing popularity of order-ahead and carry-away options.

What Are the Benefits of a Multi-Lane-Drive-Thru?

The influx of large chains embracing numerous lanes in their drive-thru is a safe indicator that there are some major benefits. Here’s what you can expect.

Increase Speed of Service

The biggest benefit of a quick service restaurant to customers is that they’re quick (it’s in the name, after all!). Because of that, being able to offer speedy service that actually is fast is key. Giving your customers an option that allows them to spend less time in line is a great way to boost that QSR experience.

At the end of the day, increasing speed of service is a huge revenue driver.

Lines Look Half as Short, Making it More Appealing

Have you ever pulled into a drive-thru, only to see a massive line and immediately turn the other way? Even if you haven’t, one of your customers likely has. In fact, the CEO of Chick-fil-A estimates over 30% of their customers have turned around if the drive-thru line seems too long. Having two potential lines makes things look smaller, and minimizes the number of customers who would drive away — two lines of five cars seems much less time-consuming than one line of ten cars.

It’s Easier to Meet Demographic Needs

QSR Magazine did a survey that revealed that 42% of people would want more options for mobile orders through a drive-thru — it’s no wonder Taco Bell recently embraced that specific lane for mobile orders. You don’t want to clog up your single drive-thru with mobile orders, but it’s easy to meet this customer desire when you have more than one lane available.

You Can Reach More Customers

Simply put, customers want drive-thrus, even if you’re not a traditional QSR. The same QSR Magazine survey referenced above also discovered that 57% of respondents would order more from fast-casual restaurants if they had a drive-thru as an option. By having a multi-lane drive-thru, you can reach that audience easier.

How Do You Implement and Optimize Your Multi-Lane Drive-Thru?

Here are 3 ways to implement and optimize your multi-lane drive-thru operation.

Embrace Technology

You don’t have to master the drive-thru overnight on your own — there is extremely powerful restaurant technology available that can make optimizing your new efforts easier. This can include using drive-thru timing systems, performance monitors your in-house team can see, and cloud-based reporting that provides valuable and actionable insights.

This technology can lead to majorly impactful improvements. For example, the DTiQ and Summit Innovation solutions have been proven time and again to improve the speed of service times by 20-60 seconds. That much time saved for customers in a drive-thru is huge!

And on the business side, more cars = more revenue. Customers feel good, and your bottom line increases. It’s a win-win.

Train Your Team Sufficiently

Having adequate training is key to both a smooth drive-thru experience for diners and an engaged and capable team. Let teams train on how they take orders from two, three, or four lanes, versus one, and learn to balance the increase in traffic.

Have Enough Staff to Manage Order Influx

Training will only go so far if you don’t have people to manage the demand. If all goes to plan, a multi lane drive thru will lead to more drive-thru traffic — this means more work to be done in-house. Before launching your multi-lane drive-thru on a full scale, make sure you have enough staff to manage it. While still entirely possible, increased demand can make it harder to deliver the same experience with a limited team.

Final Thoughts

As the popularity of the drive-thru experience continues to book, so does the need for restaurants to level up their drive-thru experience. For the reasons discussed above, a multi-lane approach may be the next step to serving up the best customer experience possible. If you’re looking for more support on the technology side of your drive-thru (either single or multi-lane), see how DTiQ and Summit Innovations can help. You can contact us to see our technology in action — and the benefits it could bring your QSR.

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4 major benefits of a multi-lane drive-thru

Posted
May 16, 2024
by
Katie McCann
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The 4 Benefits of a Multi-Lane Drive-Thru

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has driven more traffic to drive-thrus (no pun intended) — this translates into a roughly 43% increase in drive-thru use since April 2020. This increase in use has restaurants investing in multi-lane drive-thrus to deal with increased traffic. And the great news is that restaurants have been seeing the benefits.

Multi-lane drive-thrus have been growing in popularity across the country, with some businesses going up to four drive-thru lanes at certain locations. Is it worth the investment for your quick-service restaurant? This article will go over the major benefits of a multi lane drive thru and how to get started.

What is a Multi-Lane Drive-Thru?

Originally, a drive-thru was an individual lane outside of a restaurant (typically a quick service restaurant) that a customer could drive to and order. They place the order, pay, and receive their order all without ever stepping foot out of their car.

And since single-lane drive-thrus have been so successful in driving business for QSRs, businesses have naturally evolved the single lane into numerous lanes.

A multi-lane drive-thru allows anywhere between two and four lanes to exist in your drive-thru. Cars can enter numerous lines — resulting in shorter lines — and place their order the same way they would in a single lane. Typically, the cars then merge into a singular line between the ordering box and the pickup window.

Businesses from Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, and McDonalds are just some examples of QSRs that have been reaping the benefits of multi-lane-drive-thrus. Taco Bell has even designated certain lanes of their multi-lane-drive-thrus for mobile pickup, due to the growing popularity of order-ahead and carry-away options.

What Are the Benefits of a Multi-Lane-Drive-Thru?

The influx of large chains embracing numerous lanes in their drive-thru is a safe indicator that there are some major benefits. Here’s what you can expect.

Increase Speed of Service

The biggest benefit of a quick service restaurant to customers is that they’re quick (it’s in the name, after all!). Because of that, being able to offer speedy service that actually is fast is key. Giving your customers an option that allows them to spend less time in line is a great way to boost that QSR experience.

At the end of the day, increasing speed of service is a huge revenue driver.

Lines Look Half as Short, Making it More Appealing

Have you ever pulled into a drive-thru, only to see a massive line and immediately turn the other way? Even if you haven’t, one of your customers likely has. In fact, the CEO of Chick-fil-A estimates over 30% of their customers have turned around if the drive-thru line seems too long. Having two potential lines makes things look smaller, and minimizes the number of customers who would drive away — two lines of five cars seems much less time-consuming than one line of ten cars.

It’s Easier to Meet Demographic Needs

QSR Magazine did a survey that revealed that 42% of people would want more options for mobile orders through a drive-thru — it’s no wonder Taco Bell recently embraced that specific lane for mobile orders. You don’t want to clog up your single drive-thru with mobile orders, but it’s easy to meet this customer desire when you have more than one lane available.

You Can Reach More Customers

Simply put, customers want drive-thrus, even if you’re not a traditional QSR. The same QSR Magazine survey referenced above also discovered that 57% of respondents would order more from fast-casual restaurants if they had a drive-thru as an option. By having a multi-lane drive-thru, you can reach that audience easier.

How Do You Implement and Optimize Your Multi-Lane Drive-Thru?

Here are 3 ways to implement and optimize your multi-lane drive-thru operation.

Embrace Technology

You don’t have to master the drive-thru overnight on your own — there is extremely powerful restaurant technology available that can make optimizing your new efforts easier. This can include using drive-thru timing systems, performance monitors your in-house team can see, and cloud-based reporting that provides valuable and actionable insights.

This technology can lead to majorly impactful improvements. For example, the DTiQ and Summit Innovation solutions have been proven time and again to improve the speed of service times by 20-60 seconds. That much time saved for customers in a drive-thru is huge!

And on the business side, more cars = more revenue. Customers feel good, and your bottom line increases. It’s a win-win.

Train Your Team Sufficiently

Having adequate training is key to both a smooth drive-thru experience for diners and an engaged and capable team. Let teams train on how they take orders from two, three, or four lanes, versus one, and learn to balance the increase in traffic.

Have Enough Staff to Manage Order Influx

Training will only go so far if you don’t have people to manage the demand. If all goes to plan, a multi lane drive thru will lead to more drive-thru traffic — this means more work to be done in-house. Before launching your multi-lane drive-thru on a full scale, make sure you have enough staff to manage it. While still entirely possible, increased demand can make it harder to deliver the same experience with a limited team.

Final Thoughts

As the popularity of the drive-thru experience continues to book, so does the need for restaurants to level up their drive-thru experience. For the reasons discussed above, a multi-lane approach may be the next step to serving up the best customer experience possible. If you’re looking for more support on the technology side of your drive-thru (either single or multi-lane), see how DTiQ and Summit Innovations can help. You can contact us to see our technology in action — and the benefits it could bring your QSR.

THE AUTHOR
Katie McCann
Manager, Content & Communications
Meet Katie, the creative force behind content and communications for DTiQ. When she's not at work, you'll find her soaking up the great outdoors with her four-legged sidekick or breaking it down in a spin class. But it's not all hustle – she knows how to kick back and enjoy some quality time with her friends, especially when there's charcuterie involved.

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