How Restaurants Can Optimize Curbside & Drive-Thru

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Restaurants are going all in on to-go, optimizing off-prem as groundbreaking technology leads the way.
By Anna Wolfe, Senior Editor - Restaurants - 07/30/2020

As restaurants face the realities of doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re increasingly leaning in to off-prem, including drive-thru, curbside and to-go operations.

With dining rooms closed (or closing again), drive-thrus have dominated off-prem, according to Service Management Group’s (SMG) June study of 8,500 consumers. More than 75% of consumers surveyed have used a drive-thru in recent weeks, and more than half of respondents have used carryout [55%] and curbside pick-up [51%].

Delivery continues to grow, however, the majority of consumers prefer to pick up off-premise orders, whether it’s due to health and safety or financial concerns, according to SMG’s third annual study. This is not only good news for QSRs that were built with drive-thrus, but also for sit-down restaurants and fast casual formats that have added curbside and in some cases added pop-up drive-thrus in recent months.