Since this is the first drive-thru operation for their established foodservice business, Nick’s IT team essentially replicated the iOrder kiosk menu on the Topaz POS terminal that is installed in the drive-thru lane using chain-menus. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at this location and since the Topaz POS terminal is integrated into the Verifone’s Kitchen Management System, cashier orders entered directly onto Topaz appear on screen in the order queue for the foodservice operation staff to prepare.
When a customer enters the drive-thru lane, they immediately see the menu board for selecting their foodservice items. There is a speaker where they are greeted by an associate that is able to enter the customer’s order on the Topaz register. As items are entered into the Verifone Topaz register, they appear on the Order Confirmation Board that is positioned on the stanchion supporting the speaker, so the customer sees the items that they are purchasing. Once the order is completed, a total appears at the bottom of the Order Confirmation Board and the drive-thru customer proceeds to the payment and order pick-up window.
Once at the payment window, the customer is greeted by a cashier associate who asks the customer if they would like to add anything else to their order as they wait for their made-to-order food to be prepared. “We wanted to make all of the in-store items available to drive-thru customers as well for their convenience. We have installed a five-door cooler in the drive-thru area where customers may select additional beverages. We have sweet and salty snacks as well as cigarettes and other tobacco products that they can add to their ticket,” Nick said. “We really wanted to bring the in-store experience to our drive-thru customers.”
Although it is early your Alexandria store’s operation, how would you rate the success of the drive-thru operation? “We are thirty plus days into the operation at this point, it was slow the first few days, as customers were getting used to the store being open for business. Every day is better than the last, but the slow start was a good thing since our associates are all thumbs at first.” Nick chuckled. “Our cashiers are getting more confident with every shift and as their service levels ramp up, they are able to handle the increased load every day. The busiest time during our day for us is the lunch period which is concentrated between the hours of 11:30am and 1:00pm. Breakfast and dinner periods tend to be spread over a several more hours so getting to the point where we are hitting on all cylinders during the lunch rush is critical to build a solid reputation for quality foodservice products and speedy service within the local community.”
“Working with the Verifone Foodservice team was easy. The new Drive-Thru lane equipment (Order Confirmation Board, Speaker and cashier headsets) was installed in two days. We had planned a whole day for debugging the new system, and when I arrived at the store 30 minutes after my team started the installation, the technician said he was finished and everything was working perfectly,” Nick shared.
As far as future projects are concerned, St. Romain Oil plans to fine tune their Alexandria operation for the next year in order to identify any design tweaks that they feel will improve the overall operation. “As we explore future site opportunities, we feel that designing a drive-thru operation into the overall site plan is an important step toward ensuring a smooth running operation. We are very happy we made the decision to go this route and are pleased with early results,” Nick indicated.
Nick St. Romain is the Chief Business Development Officer at St. Romain Oil Company and Y not Stop Stores.
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