District Restaurant News | Fall 2020

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Drive-thru and curbside In the drive-thru arena, Starbucks was a clear winner at a wait time of 2:51. Pizza Hut also performed admirably with a wait time of 5:21, although the experience was noted as somewhat confusing. Meanwhile, “Starbucks had a consistently easy and positive experience across all trips.” When it was time to deliver curbside, casualdining chains demonstrated an ability to get orders delivered within three minutes. A surprise to some might be Olive Garden, which posted a 2:59 wait time. Panera Bread delivered a higher CSAT score although it did not meet Olive Garden’s time. Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill was among the casual-dining restaurant chains that also produced short wait times.

Looking ahead The process of running a restaurant amid a pandemic and in an environment of higher customer expectations is not easy. And the competition isn’t just other restaurants. Grocers are also promoting curbside pickup and delivery, increasing offerings and creating a streamlined path for consumers to get their food on demand. This makes orderahead pickup an essential battleground for restaurants. One strategy is to focus on wait times and deliver on that metric. This goes for all types of restaurants, whether chains or independent. Another Rakuten Ready recommended practice is to allocate sufficient resources and collateral to the pickup experience; examples are clearly marked signage and team-member training. Promoting the order-ahead program is another crucial practice. After investing time and restaurant man-hours to institute or streamline a program, the way to get traction is to get the word out. For additional channel-specific recommendations in the Rakuten Ready whitepaper, navigate to https://bit.ly/2SluNZy to learn more. https://pages.rakutenready.com/2020TimeStudy.html

Coming Soon HOLIDAY ISSUE Holiday treats Cocktail creativity Virtual selling Boosting item profit and more!

WINTER ISSUE Leveraging comfort foods Hot drinks for hot sales Industry forecast Operators talk resurgence and more!