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Changing Dynamics of the Fast-Food Industry: Wendy’s, Burger King, Chipotle Focus on the Drive-Thru Technology

Changing dynamics of the fast-food industry: Wendy’s, Burger King, Chipotle focus on the drive-thru technology

The fast-food chain industry has been doing very well despite the pandemic. Thanks to its focus on the drive-thru technology, which is responsible for bringing lots of earnings to the complete earnings. 

The pandemic might have taken a toll on the earnings of many businesses across the world. However, that has not stopped these fast-food restaurants from making money. It has prompted them to think the other way round as to what technique they could adopt to prevent their businesses from taking the downward path. And drive-thru technology is something that has kept them going, even in crucial times. 

The latest food-chain to give weight to the drive-thru technology is Wendy’s. On Wednesday, Todd Penegor, CEO of the food-chain, has spoken to investors over a call where he has stated that Wendy’s has “a new appetite to look at drive-thru only restaurants.”

Penegor further added that the food chain is committed to bringing forth new prototypes. It is also thinking of restructuring places where its restaurants are located by getting a “conversion task force.”

However, before Wendy’s announced its plans of focussing on drive-thru technology, some other food-chains have also stated their plans of focussing more on the drive-thru operations. They are:

  1. Starbucks: The food chain specializing in coffees, as well as other treats, has turned its focus towards the drive-thru business, that has been responsible for increasing the percentage of sales within store outlets across the US in recent months. CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, stated over a call last week that, “We remain focused on our strategy of developing drive-thru locations largely in suburban and semi-rural locations, extending the reach of the Starbucks brand with high volume, high margin stores.”
  2. Taco Bell: Taco Bell has brought some changes within its restaurant structure, such that drive-thru orders placed via mobile phones have become very convenient to implement. David Gibbs, CEO of Yum Brands, went on to say, “Drive-thru demand skyrocketed this quarter, as Taco Bell served over 30 million more cars and was 17 seconds faster year-over-year.”
  3. Dunkin’: Dunkin Donuts, as it is called, made a lot of profits such that the growth in its sales was in double digits during the latest quarter. This growth can be attributed to various strategies and new technologies adopted by the food chain, such as completely digitized menu cards, handheld tablets that help reduce the checkout lines for customers, and a brand new speaker setup. However, Scott Murphy, President of Dunkin’ in the US, attributed the tremendous profits mainly due to the drive-thru technique’s adoption. “Of all the lessons we learned during COVID, the power of the drive-thru was overwhelmingly evident,” stated Murphy.
  4. Burger King and Tim Hortons: Both of these food chains use high-end technology for completely remaking about 10,000 drive-thrus. Frank Liberio, Chief Information Officer of the parent organization Restaurant Brands International, that owns both Burger King as well as Tim Hortons, went on to say, “The urgency got ramped up a bit with the pandemic.”

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