Drive-thrus offer convenience and speed to grab a quick meal to customers and additional revenue stream to restaurants by increasing the capacity. Drive-thrus have become more popular, especially with COVID-19. From February 2020 to February 2022, drive-thru orders grew by 20% . However, increasing traffic magnifies operational bottlenecks such as wait time and poor experience leading to loss of sales.
Major Drive-Thru Challenges of QSRs
1. Drive-thrus struggle with long wait times
Annual QSR Drive-Thru Report indicates that
Speed of Service are still the top two factors why respondents have chosen drive-thrus in the last years.
2. Employee attitude affects the experience and revenue.
Friendliness of service decreased from 79% in 2019 to 72% in 2022. The restaurant staffing shortage has overwhelmed employers and employees since the beginning of COVID-19. Lack of
accuracy and speed of service and costs $184K per store per year on average.
3. QSRs miss suggestion-driven revenue opportunities.
QSR Drive-Thru employees offered 42% of shoppers
additional menu items in 2022 compared to 28% in 2018 . 87% of the offers are
combo meals followed by the
How Voice AI helps with QSR Drive-Thru Challenges
The adoption of artificial intelligence in restaurants, including voice AI, has increased convenience and speed.
By adding voice to drive-thrus, restaurants can take orders when customers arrive at the drive-thru lane, thus decreasing
wait times and freeing up employees to complete the orders. Although employees may not follow the scripts or include phrases such as “please” and “thank you” to maintain the
quality of service, machines return optimal responses. By running A/B tests with multiple messages, QSRs can create
upselling opportunities to increase revenue.
Choosing the right voice AI vendor is crucial to unlocking these opportunities. Otherwise, poor voice experiences can do more harm than good. Make sure the voice-enabled drive-thrus
- understand the menu. The voice AI vendor should offer flexibility to
tailor models. Otherwise, the software may misunderstand Meatatarian Burger as Mediterranean Burger and cannot match it with the menu.
- is accurate
across accents and in noisy environments. The software should understand people from various backgrounds and when there are ambient sounds such as traffic noise or wind.
fast and reliable. The software, ideally, should process voice data on-device to avoid any latency issues. Consumers may wait for Alexa to play the next song for a minute. However, waiting for a minute for every menu item will increase the wait time and affect the user experience.
Start designing a voice activated drive-thru now!