Walk-Up Windows and Drive-Thrus

The New Restaurant Model: Walk-Up Windows and Drive-Thrus

It’s business as usual, but nowadays it’s long lines in the drive-thru instead of long lines at the hostess stand. With indoor dining limitations making a comeback, restaurants are having to change their business model in order to maintain sales and keep customers coming back. Walk-up windows and drive-thrus have become the new business model for restaurants.

Even though pick-up windows and drive thru’s have been around for a while now, we are seeing more and more restaurants adding these features to their operations to provide a more convenient and safe experience for customers.

These contactless restaurant experiences are the new normal and the shift in customer behavior creates new opportunities for restaurant owners to continue to serve their community and keep staff employed.

Increase Guest Convenience with a Drive-Thru

Even though customers can’t dine in, order demand doesn’t look to be slowing down. A solution that can be implemented to maximize guest convenience is a drive-thru. No need to spend money on building out or adding square footage to your operation. You can reuse the tent you purchased you’re your winter outdoor dining as a makeshift drive-thru space. Since COVID-19 forced restaurant operators to pivot to contactless options and close indoor dining, some QSR restaurant executives reported their drive-through volume, once 20% of their business, has increased to 90%.

The closure of indoor dining can slow down foot traffic and leave servers and hostesses without a job. You can prevent having to lay off employees by repurposing your indoor staff and utilizing them for your new drive thru experience.

Also, digital menus and message boards at your drive thru create a safe way to display your menu items and prices without having customers touch a piece of paper or pull out their phones. Mood Media provides different products that you can use to maximize your digital real estate, promote special offerings and entertain guests as they wait for their order.

Increase Customer Traffic with a Walk-Up Window

A hole-in-the-wall has a whole new meaning these days. Remember when you could walk up to the pick-up window at your favorite burger joint, place your order and someone wearing roller skates would bring your food to you? Walk-up windows are no longer a thing of the past and are a great solution to keeping the dining experience personal – without much contact. Customers still want to visit their favorite local restaurants but feel safer getting their food to-go. By installing a pick-up window, customers can place their orders and safely communicate through glass

For neighborhoods with higher foot traffic and nightlife, pick-up windows also assist in creating the ultimate outdoor dining experience. Since indoor capacity is limited, try popping up a tent and some heat lamps next to your window where customers can eat outside after receiving their favorite foods.

Even when the pandemic comes to an end, these contactless features you add to your restaurant operation will act as another source of sales and convenience that customers can appreciate.

Don’t let indoor dining shutdowns or a pandemic stop you from making money and doing what you love to do best – feed the mouths of hungry foodies. By adding walk-up windows and drive-thrus to your operation, you can stay ahead of the game and create a safe way for customers to visit your restaurant. As a member of Dining Alliance, restaurant operators can get exclusive pricing on contactless solutions to support your new drive-thru or walk-up business model. Want to learn more? Contact us! We’d love to meet you.