Customer waiting in the drive-thru:
“Ummm- I am in your drive-thru line, and I placed my order three minutes ago, but the line has not moved. Is there a hold-up? If you are waiting on someone’s food can you ask them to pull forward please?”.
DON’ T LAUGH, I bet you are asking yourself if someone taped you last time you were impatiently waiting at the drive-thru!
Speed: When is FAST not fast ENOUGH?
So, this is real, and I have been in the passenger seat of a car watching it happen on more than one occasion. I know that the car I was in is NOT the only one.
Let’s consider the evolution of “fast-food”. From sit-down restaurants, to the drive-thru that started as a convenience, and now to many is a nuisance. There is curb-side pick-up, order ahead, or when you want the ultimate convenience, there are many new online food ordering and delivery apps waiting to deliver any food you desire with very few boundaries. Those that are the fastest and freshest win the sale now, and again.
SPEED is the name of the game. I am consistently seeing research, studies and articles indicating that those restaurants that successfully master the art of quick service, delivery, and order/pay ahead with pick up are the players who are going to win the race.
This is especially true for millennials and Generation Z the research says, but as a non-millennial consumer, I am equally drawn to the speed at which I can obtain the meal I want. I am as guilty as my 17-year-old daughter of having numerous restaurant apps on my phone, ordering and paying with “saved orders” before I leave one destination, having it ready when I get there with very little interruption, and heading to my next stop with food in hand. If that expectation is disrupted in any way, I don’t give many second chances.
The expectation bar has been set very high in terms of “quick-service”, “fast-food”, and delivery times for the current restaurant owner no matter what type of food you are serving. According to Mckinsey, there is huge growth potential for delivery of meals- the first is substitution for dining in at a restaurant, and the second is to replace the preparation and consumption of meals at home.
As life continues to get faster and busier, I don’t see that changing. After all, robots will be shopping for our groceries soon and loading them into our trunk as I see it. Speaking from individual experience, brand loyalty is highly influenced by your store’s ability to respond and meet expectations of these consumers. Have you implemented the necessary platforms and metrics to capitalize on the need for speed?