Beacons at the Drive-Thru

Your customer pulls up to your drive thru, and just as they finish ordering, they cast a quick glance at their phone buzzing with notifications. They grab their food, pull into a spot to take a few bites, and take a closer look.

This slice in time would arguably be the ripest moment for direct communication between you and your customer. A few bites in, fresh off a direct interaction, this is the moment where they are most likely to be open to your message and take an action that you might prompt.

Imagine: they look at their phone, mouth full, and there, in their notifications, is a message from you. Not an email – but rather a direct notification triggered by your guest having just pulled up to the drive thru.

What would you say to them?

The fact is, this is not merely a hypothetical exercise: it’s a real, geo-specific communication channel opened up by beacon technology. Beacons make use of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to deliver particular messaging to people’s phones based on their locations. Beacons push out a message – typically a few words and a URL – to phones within a defined radius.

Come within three feet of a movie poster equipped with a beacon, and receive a notification including that movie’s web URL. Visit an animal shelter equipped with a beacon, receive a notification that directs you to a page full of the animals’ photos and biographies. Stroll down the bedding aisle of your favorite department store, receive a notification that alerts you to a sale on sheets.

Beacon technology allows for precise geo-marketing that requires almost nothing from its target audience. They don’t need to conduct a search to be fed an ad, and they don’t need to open your app or permit location services (learn more about beacon technology here and here).

In anticipation of this potentially rich new marketing channel, we equipped our Touchscreen Drive Thrus with beacon technology. We are here ready to help you discover and experiment with the power of beacons.

Because this line of communication is new and somewhat unprecedented, it’s important to make sure that you strategize carefully. The content you push through this channel should be high value to both your guests and to you.

So here are 3 ways we’d suggest you adopt the technology early and make the most of beacons at your restaurant…


1. "Next time, order ahead with out app."

Push app downloads. Your guest will most welcome the suggestion of an app download when your cup of coffee is already in their hands. Perfect timing.


2. "How happy are you?"


Get immediate feedback. Response rates are bound to be higher when you send out customer surveys the instant they interact with you.


3. "Next time, try the Supreme Extreme Burger and get $1 off!"

Promote new menu items and LTOs. Reward your drive thru customers with coupons and special promotions instantaneously, and they'll likely visit again. Because timing is everything.


Want to find out more about beacons at the drive thru?

Talk to us to learn the details and discuss the exciting options ahead of us.