The drive-through lane is the heartbeat of any successful quick service restaurant. An efficient, well-managed drive-through is the key to moving more cars through at peak times, for maximum profitability.
At the center of that operation is the drive-through base station. Today’s base stations have advanced alongside other technologies to embrace the superior clarity of digital sound (over the original analog systems). Digital systems ushered in the age of faster service times and greater order accuracy. In fact, a study published in QSR Magazine found that switching from an analog system to a digital system, helped operators speed up service times by 8-10 seconds per customer.
And whereas the base station used to be simply a device for managing communication between employees and customers at the drive-through, it has now morphed into a full-fledged management tool.
Some systems give managers the ability to program communications that “greet” the customer as soon as they pull up to the drive-through. This “Greetings” feature gives QSR’s the ability to promote specials at various day parts, and improve check averages. And because the greetings are programmed to play automatically, staff can focus on processing orders, not pushing specials.
Routine tasks like stocking the station, checking the bathroom, and having employees wash their hands, are just part of the day-to-day operation of any quick service restaurant. The problem is, today’s managers find themselves spending lots of time reminding employees to do these things. Programming these types of ‘Reminders’ to play automatically on employee headsets is a feature on some base stations that takes the onus off the manager.
In some cases, the base station can also be linked to key areas of the restaurant, so it will automatically send ‘Alert’ messages to staff members if there are developments that affect food safety and employee security. For example, if someone leaves the cooler door open, or the back door open at night.
From communication coordinator to management tool, the base station is command central for running an efficient, profitable drive-through.