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What's Keeping QSR Leaders In The Lead

7 easy ways to upsell at
the drive-thru.

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December 10, 2020
Off-Premise, Solutions for Foodservice Pros

These days, operators have a window of opportunity to improve business and increase profits. That window is at the drive-thru. The numbers speak for themselves. When picking up food, 44 percent of consumers prefer to stay in their cars. And by the end of August, nearly half (45 percent) of all transactions occurred at the drive-thru. That’s up 26 percent from a year ago.1 Here are some tips that can help you and your drive-thru:

 
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1. Use promotional signage to promote special offers.

Create a drive-thru promotion. Offer discounts. Then drive traffic with window clings, yard signs and other promotional materials. Boost profits by giving customers a reason to stay in their cars and pull into your drive-thru.

Create a drive-thru promotion. Offer discounts. Then drive traffic with window clings, yard signs and other promotional materials. Boost profits by giving customers a reason to stay in their cars and pull into your drive-thru.


 
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2. Teach your employees about upselling.

Train your employees to suggest additional items when customers order. For example, “Have you tried our mozzarella sticks?” “Would you like onion rings?” These days, “Do you want fries with that?” isn’t a joke. It’s good business.

Train your employees to suggest additional items when customers order. For example, “Have you tried our mozzarella sticks?” “Would you like onion rings?” These days, “Do you want fries with that?” isn’t a joke. It’s good business.


 
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3. Speed up your service at the drive-thru without sacrificing quality.

Your customers don’t have time to wait. Simplify your menu or add new technologies inside the restaurant and at the drive-thru to get them in and out in no time. McDonald’s® helped employees focus by consolidating its menu. McDonald’s® ended All-Day Breakfast and cut down on items that didn’t sell or were too time-consuming to prepare.2

Your customers don’t have time to wait. Simplify your menu or add new technologies inside the restaurant and at the drive-thru to get them in and out in no time. McDonald’s® helped employees focus by consolidating its menu. McDonald’s® ended All-Day Breakfast and cut down on items that didn’t sell or were too time-consuming to prepare.2


 
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4. Adapt your menu to shifting mealtimes.

Focus on offering breakfast later. The fact that drive-thru breakfast has become a later-in-the-day family activity rather than the solo endeavor has been a boon for Dunkin’®.

Focus on offering breakfast later. The fact that drive-thru breakfast has become a later-in-the-day family activity rather than the solo endeavor has been a boon for Dunkin’®.


 
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5. Keep your dining rooms closed.

Focus on drive-thru, curbside, pickup and even delivery. It’ll be easier on your staff and safer for your customers. Del Taco® maintained profitability by focusing on these areas. Del Taco® chose not to reopen dining rooms and to streamline its service models.3

Focus on drive-thru, curbside, pickup and even delivery. It’ll be easier on your staff and safer for your customers. Del Taco® maintained profitability by focusing on these areas. Del Taco® chose not to reopen dining rooms and to streamline its service models.3


 
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6. Devote a lane for mobile pickup orders only.

Make the whole experience faster and easier for consumers on the go. That’s what Shake Shack is doing. It has a drive-thru with three lanes, one of which is designated specifically for mobile orders.4 And Taco Bell® is following a similar strategy. Taco Bell® is planning to create digital-forward stores by including a mobile-order-only drive-thru lane.5

Make the whole experience faster and easier for consumers on the go. That’s what Shake Shack is doing. It has a drive-thru with three lanes, one of which is designated specifically for mobile orders.4 And Taco Bell® is following a similar strategy. Taco Bell® is planning to create digital-forward stores by including a mobile-order-only drive-thru lane.5


 
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7. Make sure the food tastes as great at home as it does in your restaurant.

With the coronavirus pandemic showing no signs of slowing, 71 percent of consumers turn to takeout and delivery as a way to get their food.6 Capitalize on the snacking trend by making sure your menu travels well. Use products like McCain® SureCrisp™ Shoestring Fries or Anchor® Wisconsin Cheese Curds and Stuffed Jalapeños to keep your drive-thru busy.

With the coronavirus pandemic showing no signs of slowing, 71 percent of consumers turn to takeout and delivery as a way to get their food.6 Capitalize on the snacking trend by making sure your menu travels well. Use products like McCain® SureCrisp™ Shoestring Fries or Anchor® Wisconsin Cheese Curds and Stuffed Jalapeños to keep your drive-thru busy.

For more tips, ideas and to learn how McCain can help your drive-thru business, talk to your local McCain sales representative today. To find one near you, visit us at McCainUSAFoodService.com/sales-rep-lookup.


 

1 Fern Glazer, “5 Ways Restaurant Consumer Trends Are Shifting during the Coronavirus Pandemic,” Nation's Restaurant News, 11 Sept. 2020

2 Jonathan Maze, “McDonald's Franchisees Want to Make Their Smaller Menu Permanent,” Restaurant Business, Restaurant Business, 2 June 2020

3 Jonathan Maze, “Del Taco Is in No Hurry to Reopen Its Dining Rooms,” Restaurant Business, 24 July 2020

4 Nancy Luna, “Shake Shack Adding First Drive-thru Next Year,” Nation's Restaurant News, 31 July 2020

5 Danny Klien, “Taco Bell Unveils New Restaurant Built for a Digital Future,” QSR Magazine, Aug. 2020

6 NPD Crest, 6 months ending August 2020

 

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How to capitalize on snacking in QSRs.