In the United States, drive thru technology is normal for most businesses especially in the fast food industry but in other parts of the world, that’s not the case.
Restaurants with drive thru technology have recorded better sales! In fact, drive thru stores do 50% more business than stores which does not provide the service.
Drive thru technology simplifies customer purchasing journey which leads to a better customer experience. The existence of digital technology allows businesses to communicate with customers at ease and with convenience, making it a quick seamless transaction process between both parties.
One of the early pioneer of drive thru technology was McDonalds. They were not the first to introduce the concept. The first drive thru concept was used in 1930’s and it had nothing to do with any food industry. In fact the first drive thru ”technology” was introduce by the Grand National Bank of St. Louis where the drivers were only allowed to deposit. McDonalds introduced its first drive thru in 1975.
One thing certain is that, McDonalds are not sitting back with their drive thru technology. Instead they are innovating it further to simplify customers experience journey. Starting from 2018, McDonalds rolled out in-store touch screen ordering kiosk world-wide into their franchises which resulted in shorter que for customers, faster and easy transaction process and a reduction in overall waiting time.
It was reported that an estimated $6billion was forked out by McDonalds for upgrades of 1000 stores in each quarter for 8 to 9 quarters.
For McDonalds though, they have the chance to use technology in providing a better customer experience.
With the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, McDonald’s hopes to bring its drive thru technology a notch higher. In the middle of 2019, one of McDonald’s chain was experimenting with AI’s ability to recommend what to order for customers even before they start ordering. The trick is to identify customers vehicle plate and then use that information to provide recommendations based on AI. Suggestions based on customers previous orders will pop up on the touchscreen of the drive thru.
According to McDonalds, plans are ahead to introduce its AI to all of its drive thru in the US soon, as recommendations algorithm have resulted in an increase in order quantity.
McDonalds are constantly looking to innovate and stay ahead of the pack. Their acquisition of dynamic yield in 2019 shows that they mean business! After testing dynamic yield’s core platform in a number of United States restaurants, McDonald are set to introduce it in international markets.
Dynamic yield’s platform will enable McDonalds to display personalized menu to customers based on the time of the day, trending products, weather condition, and existing waiting period. It will also automatically recommend add-ons based on customer’s order.
The integration of decision technology into customer point of sale will prove to be a masterstroke for McDonalds as it paves way for a better customer experience.
What’s fascinating is that dynamic yield wasn’t the only company McDonalds acquire last year in order to improve its drive thru technology, they also managed to acquire Apprente to develop voice automation at their drive thru.
This creates great customer experience for consumers and will increase productivity for crew members.
Another part of McDonalds positive customer experience is their growing delivery service which is available at 23,000 restaurants globally. On average, customers are placing around 10 orders per second through Mcdelivery globally.
In 2019 the company expected a total $4billion sales from its Mcdelivery service – up from $1billion in 2016.
For now though, McDonalds are well prepared to head into 2020 and push for a even more robust technological advantage over its competitors. Just recently, McDonalds announced that they will be creating a digital customer engagement team. With so much importance being put on simplifying customer experience journey, it doesn’t come as a surprise on why McDonalds is one of the leading companies in the world.