How KFC innovatively improved their Drive Thru experience with drive-thru equipment
The introduction of drive-thru’s revolutionised the quick-service industry. What started as a simple way to offer convenience to consumers, has now grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
KFC aren’t the first restaurant chain to think seriously about their drive thru, Starbucks, McDonalds and Hungry Jacks among others have spent hours and in some cases years investing in research to improve drive-thru productivity and profitability.
Why? Because, according to restaurant experts, drive-thru design heavily influences what consumers purchase at a drive-thru – or – if they purchase anything at all. Make no mistake, the trip down the drive-thru lane is an important one.
What many don’t know is that drive thru windows, drive thru menu boards and drive thru intercoms are all designed to subtly influence consumers and increase spending. And while usually a wait isn’t ideal, it’s not a mistake when it comes to the drive-thru. The ideal drive thru will have 4-5 cars stacked to allow for consumers to add more to their orders along the way. In fact, the entire driver experience has been well thought out by marketers, even right down to what types of cups and packaging used to make it convenient to eat on the go.
But it might be the actual driving experience that makes or breaks a restaurants drive-thru experience.
When designing a drive thru, it’s important to remember not everyone is a fantastic driver. Customers who choose to use the drive thru, do so because it’s easy, cheap and fast. If damage is caused to their car when driving through your drive thru – their entire experience with your brand and your drive thru can be permanently ruined. As one driver says about getting gutter rash from a KFC drive thru
‘I’ve held it against them ever since, because it hurts too much to blame myself.’
And it’s not just if damage is caused, the mere fear of damage can be enough to throw your customers off. Your brand can suffer and your profits significantly impacted if driving through your drive thru causes the driver to be anxious or uneasy. Consumers that associate a negative experience to a brand tend to spend less – if they spend at all. The easier the drive through the drive thru, the more likely it is that customers will spend more and keep coming back.
That’s why leading experts advise strongly against confinement in drive thru’s. We all know that no-one likes driving through tight spaces, that feeling that you are about to scrape or damage your car is enough for most of us to completely avoid the situation if we can. These days with the rising cost of land, it’s not possible to avoid confinement in drive thrus and with so many different cars on the market deciding on proper clearance heights and widths can be problematic.
There is a simple solution. Rumble Bars.
Catering for every driver and nearly every car is possible with rumble bars.
KFC are one of the first drive thus in Australia to use rumble bars which can act as lane dividers, curb protectors or curb spacers. Using rumble bars as a lane divider rather than painted lines safeguards cars against wheel damage commonly known as gutter rash. The rumble bar acts as a divider and first warning sign to the driver that they a close to the gutter. Gutter rash is the most annoying yet most common damage suffered by drivers in drive thru. Not only is it frustrating to look at, its expensive to repair. It’s bound to annoy your customers for years to come or at least until the damage is fixed. That’s why prevention of gutter rash is much better than the cure. Rumble bars are both cost effective and easy to install which is why they are quickly becoming the standard drive-thru equipment. Rumble bars also serve a dual purpose and can also be used protect your drive thru equipment in tight turning spots. If you are interested in purchasing rumble bars for your drive thru, you can see our range of rumble bars below.