Survey Shows 70% of Drive-Thru Customers Want More Automation as Wait Times Rise – Produce Blue Book

SAN CARLOS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Over the past two years, restaurant closures have forced customers to switch to takeout, delivery and drive-thru orders. Despite widespread reopening, this trend away from on-site restaurants is expected to grow, with only 25% of respondents more likely to use on-site restaurants compared to a year ago.

On the other hand, almost half of survey respondents (46%) are more likely to order takeout and only 22% are less likely to order at the wheel compared to a year ago.

These are some of the findings of the Presto Pulse of the Industry (“Presto Pulse”) study, a survey designed to understand trends and customer perceptions regarding restaurant usage, service quality and responsiveness. to automation technology.

Presto, a leader in the restaurant hospitality technology industry, noted that the survey results indicate continued abandonment of on-site dining, overall consumer frustration with the quality of service at steering wheel and a strong positive attitude towards technology. As drive-thru wait times increase and service appears to be deteriorating, 70% of respondents want technology like AI voice assistants, personalized menus and smartphone apps to help ease the pain.

Asked about the quality of their driving experience, the vast majority of respondents (77%) felt that the situation was the same or worse than last year. Long wait times were identified as the biggest issue, with 27% of respondents saying they had gotten significantly worse over the past year. User friendliness comes second with 18% saying it has deteriorated. So, as demand shifts towards drive-thru, service levels deteriorate, leading to greater customer dissatisfaction.

“In many drive-thrus, it’s hard to hear the person taking your order,” said one respondent. “This leads to frustration and inaccurate orders.”

“Use technology to speed up the ordering process,” said another respondent.

So how can this situation be alleviated? 78% of respondents believe that automation technology is critical to running a fast food restaurant. Most respondents felt that using technology in a restaurant makes the experience more efficient. They also felt that a technology-enhanced experience is more enjoyable, could lead to lower menu prices, and is unavoidable. However, a third of respondents felt that technology could detract from some of the personalized service and make the overall experience less personal.

“We need a drive-thru with shorter wait times,” said one respondent. “Automated order taking”, “designated channel for advanced online ordering” and “faster payment methods” were a few other suggestions.

When it comes to drive-thru specific technologies, customers were most comfortable using an artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant for faster ordering, personalized menus, personalized suggestions and an order/payment using a smartphone. Over 70% of respondents indicated that they would be receptive to using one or more of these technologies in the drive-thru if it resulted in shorter wait times and more efficient service.

Going forward, the company plans to conduct Presto Pulse every 6 months to gauge customer sentiment and identify trends in the industry. The current survey had 243 respondents representing a wide range of American restaurant customers representing different socio-demographic, economic and life-cycle variables.

On November 10, 2021, Presto announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement with Ventoux CCM Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: VTAQ), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition (“Ventoux”) company, which will make Presto a publicly traded company. company. Upon closing, the combined company (the “Company”) will be renamed Presto Technologies, Inc. and is expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol PRST.

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About Presto

Presto superimposes next-generation digital solutions on the physical world. Our professional-grade touch, vision and voice technologies help foodservice businesses thrive while delighting customers. With over 250,000 systems shipped, we are a market leader in enterprise-grade labor productivity solutions for restaurants. Founded at MIT in 2008, Presto is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, and counts many of the top 20 restaurant chains such as Applebee’s, BJ’s, Checkers, Chili’s, Famous Dave’s, Outback Steakhouse, and Red Lobster among its customers. .

Lucas E. Kelly