Frisch’s survey reveals drive-thru trends

Frisch’s survey reveals drive-thru trends

Operator seeks to find out what drives trips to the drive-thru

Nearly a third of Millennials ages 18 to 24 choose the drive-thru at restaurants because “they don’t feel like dealing with people,” according to recent survey by Frisch’s Restaurants Inc.

Cincinnati-based Frisch’s, which owns and franchises 120 Big Boy Restaurants, researched this month what drives drive-thru sales. The resulting survey found that 83 percent of consumers have purchased a meal or snack at a restaurant drive-thru in the past year. 

Frisch’s said drive-thru transactions in its Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio restaurants have increased for the past five years, and now account for 30 percent of company revenue.

To bolster its drive-thru offerings, Frisch’s has introduced three new car-friendly breakfast items, including a sausage, egg, cheese and hash brown burrito; a bacon, egg, cheese and hash brown burrito; and a Hog Heaven burrito, with sausage, bacon, egg, cheese and hash browns. 

“Now that school is back in session, we developed these new breakfast burritos to give busy families a fresh way to eat on the go,” said Jason Vaughn, Frisch’s CEO, in a statement.

As part of the menu introduction, Frisch’s released some results from its recent drive-thru survey. Among the findings:

• Lunch dominates drive-thru dayparts, with 56 percent of respondents using it for that meal. Twenty-seven percent of respondents used the drive-thru for dinner, and 17 percent for breakfast.

• Reasons for veering into the drive-thru vary. Forty-two percent of U.S. consumers said that other than speed or convenience, the main reason they chose the drive-thru was that they didn’t feel like parking and walking inside. The next closest responses were consumers not wanting to deal with people, at 16 percent.

• Order accuracy counts: About 53 percent of consumers never leave the drive-thru without checking their order, but about 35 percent of customers said they trusted the drive-thru team to get the order right.

 • About 39 percent of consumers eat the drive-thru order in their car.
 
• There’s pushback when it comes to upselling: 38 percent of consumers said they prefer not to be asked if they’d like to order additional items. However, 59 percent of those surveyed said they appreciated the attendant asking about their day. Fourteen percent didn’t want to chat.

• About 25 percent of consumers “feel sloppy” when they eat in the car.

For the drive-thru research, Frisch’s surveyed 523 people older than 18 in the United States from Aug. 2-5.
 
Frisch’s, acquired by Atlanta-based private-equity firm NRD Capital in 2015, owns and operates 95 Big Boy restaurants, and franchises another 25 units.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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