7 Benefits of Digital Drive-Thru Menu Boards for QSR Businesses

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A drive-thru digital menu board showing discount offers


What are drive-thru digital menu boards?

Drive-thru digital menu board solutions that have taken the QSR industry by storm. These are digital screens placed at various drive-thru premises that have reinvented how food service businesses present their menus and interact with customers.

By combining captivating visuals, real-time updates, and intuitive interfaces such as interactive ordering, audio-enabled ordering, etc., these digital touchpoints create an immersive and convenient experience.

Digital menu displays at drive-thrus play a vital role in attracting customer attention, streamlining operations, and boosting sales, making them a key competitive edge.

7 reasons why drive-thru digital menu boards are thriving

Survey data shows a mighty 200000+ drive-thrus are operating in the United States alone. It is a billion-dollar market, and the service speed is what makes any drive-thru experience attractive to customers. That means technologies like digital menu boards impact the business bottom lines.

Here are some of the top benefits of drive-thru digital menu boards for QSR businesses:

1. High-quality graphics

A drive-thru digital menu board showing discount offers

Since drive-thru menu boards are placed outdoors, it is important to have high-quality menu images and videos that can attract customer attention and encourage purchases.

Appetizing pictures of delicious menu items can make your customers crave for more. And the best part is, business owners nowadays have so many menu design tools available at their fingertips.

In fact, several digital signage content management platforms like Pickcel come loaded with free menu templates that can accelerate the production of high-quality graphics for digital drive-thru menu boards.

2. Reduced ordering time with all-in-one-kiosks

Another advantage of using digital menu boards at drive-thru eateries is that they streamline the ordering process for your customers. With a single kiosk, they can easily select their meals, make payments, and receive a unique token number to collect their food at the counter. Say goodbye to multiple stops at the drive-thru premise, as these all-in-one screens reduce ordering time and the need for additional staff.

3. Gamified discounts

While retail stores are binging on gamification left, right, and center, restaurant businesses can make the most of it. Interactive gamified discounts on digital drive-thru menu boards can amalgamate sales boosting with enhanced customer experience.

For instance, customers can scan a QR code and unlock a fully randomized discount value which they can redeem while ordering on the same self-service ordering kiosk.

4. Reduced service time & more order accuracy

Your drive-thru digital menu boards can also streamline and accelerate your QSR operations. How? By displaying easy-to-read menus visible from a distance, customers make quick selections, speeding up the ordering process.

With user-friendly interfaces, these boards prevent errors by providing visual cues. The screens can be integrated with the customers’ smartphones to show live order status and estimated wait time. The outcome? Faster service, improved efficiency, and happier customers.

5. Cross-selling & upselling

Drive-thru digital menu boards leverage real-time customer data, making them valuable tools for boosting sales. With the help of advanced technologies, these screens can be used for targeted promotions and personalized suggestions.

Once a customer places an order, your business can store their purchase history and effortlessly upsell complementary items in subsequent purchases to maximize order value. Tailored customer experiences have proved to add value to sales strategies.

6. Weather-based promotions

A drive-thru digital menu board showing weather-based suggestions

Quick service drive-thru digital menu boards can tap into weather-based data to promote specific menu items, creating highly targeted and timely marketing campaigns. When the weather is hot, highlight refreshing beverages and cool treats.

Digital menu board content can be quickly updated to showcase warm and comforting options once the weather turns rainy or cold.

Such smart digital signage solutions will enable you to adapt and deliver relevant promotions that resonate with your customers, ultimately driving sales and customer satisfaction.

7. Accessibility and user-friendliness

The experience of ordering at a drive-thru can be particularly demanding for the differently-abled since very little human assistance is available. You can enhance the customer experience and expand your customer base with disability-friendly drive-thru digital menu board options.

Interactive menu board-cum-ordering kiosks can be designed with haptic touch compatibility for the visually impaired, ensuring everyone can access the food menu effortlessly.

Additionally, sign language translations can also be introduced to benefit individuals with speech or hearing impairments.

Besides the differently-abled, other marginal customer personas may find accessible digital signs particularly useful. For instance, multilingual content can cater for a diverse non-native audience, accommodating customers from various backgrounds.

The Post-Pandemic Rise of Digital Drive-thru Menu Boards

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly reshaped the landscape of the QSR industry, and drive-thru menu boards have emerged as a vital solution to navigate these challenging times.

  • With strict social distancing measures in place, drive-thru lanes became a lifeline for businesses, offering customers a contactless ordering and pickup experience.

  • The demand for digital drive-thru menu boards skyrocketed as QSR establishments sought ways to adapt to evolving customer preferences and stringent safety guidelines.

  • The pandemic forced many fast-food chains to rethink their operational strategies and invest in technology-driven solutions. Drive-thru digital menu boards became the go-to option for customers.

  • Notably, the pandemic spurred creative innovations in drive-thru menu board usage. Some QSR establishments implemented QR code scanning for touchless menu access, enabling customers to browse options directly from their smartphones. Others embraced voice recognition technology to streamline ordering and minimize physical contact.

  • The impact of COVID-19 extended beyond operational adjustments. Digital menu boards were crucial in maintaining business continuity and generating revenue during lockdowns when dine-in options were restricted.

Potential Challenges with Digital Drive-thru Menu Boards

While drive-thru digital signage offers numerous benefits, it is important to consider potential downsides and drawbacks. Some challenges include initial installation and maintenance costs, technical issues that may disrupt operations, and the need for regular content updates.

Furthermore, drive-thru digital menu boards may not be suitable for all quick-service establishments, especially those with limited physical space or in areas with strict signage regulations.

It is crucial for businesses to evaluate these factors carefully and implement proper planning and management to mitigate any potential downsides.

Drive Your Cravings!

Drive-thru digital menu boards are indispensable tools for QSR businesses. They capture customer attention, boost sales through cross-selling and upselling, reduce service time, ensure order accuracy, and adapt to changing customer preferences. Leveraging the power of technology, these menu boards enhance customer experience, provide real-time updates, and enable targeted promotions.

With Pickcel, you can publish content and manage all your digital drive-thru menu boards and commercial displays. With plenty of customization options, our digital signage solutions can bring the best out of your screens.

Want to learn more? Hop on a call with one of our digital signage gurus for a free product demo & consultation.

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Shivangi Chatterjee

Shivangi writes for Pickcel. She consumes knowledge on the world of business & marketing at the same rate she consumes her cups of coffee. When she is not writing, you will find her reading books, grooving to music or admiring art.

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