Adapting to the New Normal: Drive-Thru Ordering System

Aren’t we all just sick of this COVID-19 pandemic? No matter how bad we want to go back to the way things are, it’s still not going to happen anytime soon. The best we can do now is to move forward and adapt to the new normal.

COVID-19 was a brutal blow for everybody and the economy, especially last 2020. School got suspended, the transportation industry was hampered, restaurants filed bankruptcy, and the list goes on. The number of businesses that closed is just heart-breaking.

Social distancing protocols have made the most impact on establishments that are in the business of people coming in large numbers, such as shopping malls, hotels, cinemas, gyms, bars, and restaurants. Lucky are those businesses that we’re able to survive in 2020. But will they survive another year?

Let’s talk about the restaurant industry. Without a doubt, one of the most affected industries by the pandemic. In NYC, indoor dining set-up is shutting down. According to the National Restaurant Association, they worry they won’t make it, while 10,000 restaurants have closed in all of America. The restaurant industry had pivoted, and for a business to survive during this crisis, they have to rethink and modernized the way they do it.

Adapting to COVID-19: New food ordering system

Restauranteurs must adapt before their business cease to operate. Many of them have already shifted to taking orders online, through phone calls, home delivery, and the hottest one today–drive-thru. Drive-thru had been popularized by fast food. But whether your business is fast food or not, you will reap a lot of benefits in this food order-and-go trend. Many restaurants have already acquired this type of ordering system. It seems to be working.

While drive-thru isn’t so new, this strategy has catapulted since COVID-19. So whether you are planning to open or already in the business of dine-in restaurants, consider this alternative. The drive-thru food ordering system will still have a future for your business post-pandemic, so don’t worry so much about investing in one.

person in the drive thru

Tips for starting a drive-thru that sells:

1. Create signage that attracts

The first thing you want to do is attract your customers’ attention. Create graphics that will take your indoor branding to a great drive-thru experience. You can even go digital. Put up LED screens instead of prints. You must not forget three things when deciding on a graphic for your business: color, font, and size. Find a professional graphic designer to have this done for you.

2. No window? No problem.

Organize the premises. A drive-thru doesn’t always have to be a window. Use what’s available to you. For example, if your store-front is made of glass walls, a part of it can be converted into a drive-thru window. You may use a privacy window film for this. This can create an illusion of a partition between your glass wall and your drive-thru. Using this tool can give you privacy and get protection from the sun’s harmful rays with its UV protection factor.

3. Decide how you will take orders

Plan how customers will place their orders. You would want to have this done with little to no face-to-face contact at all. Here are some ways you may want to opt for:

  • Through your website (they will drive-thru just to pick-up)
  • Through phone calls (they will drive-thru just to pick-up)
  • Drive-thru intercom systems. You will need your menu posted somewhere on the window for this. The only time you will open your window is when your customer’s order is ready.

4. Manage traffic

To avoid heavy traffic, the drive-thru needs to move fast. Have one person-in-charge of the traffic. Drive-thru is quick-service, and customers are not supposed to hang around for a long period. Be sure someone is monitoring this to keep the lane a smooth sail.

5. Promote Online

There is no better way to spread the word than through the use of our mobile phones and the internet. Promote your new ordering system on social media and your website. It’s also a good idea to offer discounts to those who will order from their mobile phones. This lessens the heavy flow of traffic on your drive-thru window.

The bottom line: Drive-thru can make restaurant businesses adaptable to the changing times. This type of ordering system is becoming more important now than ever. It is another stream of revenue that can save your indoor dining restaurant this time of the pandemic. The drive-thru has been around for decades, and it is here to stay.

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