Where are my onion rings? Drive-thru kiosk can get it right.

Oct. 4, 2012 | by Chris Gilder

There is a lot to be said about drive-thru food ordering – especially in the fast food-nation! Many times there just isn't time for a sit-down meal. People are rushing to work, from work, to their kids' sporting events, to the next meeting or home. People are packing errands into short breaks and in general trying to do more with less.  

Whatever the reason may be, drive-thru food service is a welcomed offering. In 2010, according to www.statista.com, the fast-food industry generated $184 billion U.S. dollars from more than 300,000 restaurants. A majority of these restaurants have drive-through service.

That is a lot of food pumping through those windows and a lot of conversations through headsets into speakers. Drive-thru is great – until you drive away and are half way to your next stop and realize your order is wrong. It's especially frustrating when you're picking up food for someone else and have to listen to the fall out of an order being messed up.

This is where the next generation of drive-thru comes in. Touchscreen digital menu boards at drive-through kiosks make sure you get your onion rings and not fries. With the menu at your fingertips, if you get your order wrong – it's on you. The touchscreen technology helps expedite ordering time and increase order accuracy – key challenges for fast-food retailers. The new touchscreens are weatherproof and durable withstanding the elements and allow for the restaurant staff to focus on making the orders instead of taking the orders.

Touchscreen ordering puts the control back into the customer's hands. The fuzzy speaker that muddles the conversation is eliminated. Ordering is simplified since you just point and click and press the gas pedal to move forward, pay and pick up your order. Order accuracy is likely to be higher since the food workers can focus on making the orders and don’t have to multi-task with taking and making. Customers will be happier with faster and more accurate orders. The benefits of implementing a touchscreen drive-thru kiosk are multiplied for both consumer and retailer.

You might be thinking, sure but what about when it's raining? It's really no different – you still have to roll down your window. Drive-thru kiosks are getting better with each new design. Kiosk designs are more flexible and the touchscreen technology can adapt to any size vehicle – whether you drive a low rider or a monster truck or something in between – the screen will adjust so your order is still at your fingertips. Screen resolution is adaptable to – adjusting to sunny summer days and grey, overcast winters. Additionally, new designs consider adverse weather conditions to keep you warm and dry and your orders correct – that way, when you return home you can enjoy those onion rings.

Topics: Customer Experience , Display Technology , Interactive / Touchscreen , Self-Ordering

Chris Gilder / Chris Gilder, CEO & Founder of Meridian, brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial successes to the senior management team. His vision and drive to succeed has led Meridian’s double digit growth for well over a decade. Meridian has been recognized as the leader in the self-service kiosk industry and an innovator with the development of the Self Service Technology Center in partnership with Intel, HP, Microsoft, Zebra Technologies and Storm.

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