Drive Through Signage & Menu Boards: A Point of Purchase Facilitator

Sep 2, 2022 8:47:12 AM

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The drive-thru restaurant has long been a focal point for quick-service restaurants. If we looked at statistics for the last decade or two we would find that the drive-thru accounted for between 60 to even i75 percent of sales in these types of restaurants. The closing of indoor dining in many restaurants during the recent pandemic increased the use and the value of the drive through and in some areas we saw as high as 95% total sales coming from the drive-through. Even as the pandemic has hit an off-ramp, drive through use has remained high and well above the 60% number it was just a few years ago, 

 Post-lockdown, many quick serve restaurants have experienced short-staffing  which has caused limited indoor hours of operations and forced customers through the drive-through. Some QSRs have never even re-opened lobby spaces, thus creating the only place to make an impact on the customer at the drive-through and more specifically the signage and menu boards located there. 

The QSR industry expects an increase in drive-through traffic as  changing consumer habits continue after the pandemic and businesses evolve in their offering. Dynamic menu boards that can have content changed on the fly are starting to pop up at your favorite locations. These boards make it easy to adjust as product availability changes and also allows for the boards to be seen from a greater distance thus making ordering for the customer quicker.

Many QSR's took the pandemic time period to update their menu boards McDonald's for instance updated nearly 8000 displays during the course of the last two years. These displays and the digital signage software powering the content has allowed McDonald's to showcase featured menu items or specific deals in their recently revamped mobile app. Customers also see time of day product specific offerings on the screen enhancing the drive-through experience and increasing revenue for the restaurant. 

Recent advances in display and digital signage technology have made transitioning to a new system much easier in the last year or two. While visual quality and performance are essential to the customer experience, innovations in the display hardware itself  and content management

Readability and clarity of the display has become more critical as QSRs have added more items to their menus and more detail regarding their products to layouts. Many restaurants even include advertisements that help to monetize the signage network to global executive team. This means ensuring the appropriate font size and brightness based on the amount of content that changes in real time. Brightness and sun must also be accounted for.. Otherwise drivers who are closer to the screen or further away in some instances will get glare, or have less readability with a screen that is too bright or too dark. A brightness specification of 2,500 nits makes the display perfectly legible in direct sunshine most of the time and is the suggested performance measure to ensure that all content is legible. There are many things to consider when expanding your digital signage or menu board experience and we can help provide the clarity that you need.. Drive-through menu boards and digital signage are often the first and only opportunity that you have to impact your customers with controlled messaging. Don't miss that opportunity!


Ben Seiber

Written by Ben Seiber

Ben Seiber is the Digital Signage lead at PTG. Ben has decades of experience designing and implementing the latest digital signage systems for companies of all sizes.

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