Jun 06, 2024

Improving Drive-Thru Speed of Service by 10% with Voice AI

Long lines at the drive-thru are frustrating for customers and worrisome to QSR and Fast Casual restaurants. Lines not only limit how many customers you can service each hour, they also deter arriving guests from getting in line — impacting revenue. And it also dampens guest enthusiasm, potentially reducing the likelihood of subsequent visits. 

“Chick-fil-A noted that about 30% of people drive away because the chain’s drive-thru lanes are so long.”

Business Insider

Voice AI-powered drive-thrus can significantly improve ordering time, which is the time from when the guest arrives at the ordering post to the order completion and confirmation, before the driver pulls forward. And this positively impacts the overall speed of service, which measures time from the start of ordering to pick-up. 

Speed advantages of voice AI

Putting these advancements to the test, we timed how long it took to place a moderately complex order with SoundHound’s Dynamic Drive-Thru with Dynamic Interaction, a category-level breakthrough product that uses multimodal input to achieve outstanding results, versus with a human. 

Dynamic Drive-Thru completed orders 10% faster than when that same order was placed with a human agent due to these factors:

  • Ordering begins as soon as the car pulls up to the ordering station (no waiting for employees to become free)
  • As guests order, Dynamic Drive-Thru responds instantly unlike employees that must manually key orders into a POS
  • Order modifications, upselling, and confirmations are handled quickly through Dynamic Drive-Thru’s immediate audio and visual feedback

Faster ordering time = higher annual revenue

Dynamic Drive-Thru reduced the entire speed of service – from arrival to food pickup (see calculations box) — by 10% from roughly 225 seconds per car to 202.5 seconds (based on industry benchmarks from the 2023 QSR report, and modifying them based on merchant feedback). Time may vary based on individual QSR methodology.

The result:  A single drive-thru could increase cars processed per hour from 16 to 17.78, and increase hourly revenue by $35.56.

If a single drive-thru is open an average of 14.5 hours per day and 360 days/year, this translates to a yearly increase of $185,600.00. A 50-location operation could  see a revenue increase of as much as $9,280,000. 

chart showing Dynamic Drive-Thru impact on speed and revenue

Get a Custom Estimate

To get a personal estimate of the impact that Dynamic Drive-Thru can have on your fast-casual or QSR business, speak to one of our experts.

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