Beyond Technology: How Have Drive-Thru and QSR Technologies Evolved During COVID-19?


The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted every corner of the foodservice industry, and this was especially true for QSR operations that had yet to digitize their drive-thru operations.

With in-person dining off-limits for the better part of a year in many parts of the world, brands quickly shifted to prioritizing their investments in delivery, pickup, and drive-thru. This spurred acceleration of digitization and adoption of innovative solutions that can bring new speed and accuracy to the increasingly omnichannel customer ordering experience.

To explore in greater depth how the pandemic accelerated the digitization of operations in QSR brands, particularly in Europe, and explore how many brands took their first steps on this journey, Beyond Technology host Hilary Kennedy chatted with Acrelec’s Peter McManus, VP, Global Account Management.

Peter McManus, who has managed many a large account for Acrelec and saw the shift from a focus on in-person dining to drive-thru service happen in real time during the pandemic, was uniquely suited to offer his front-line insights.

“Certainly, there has been a range of reactions,” McManus said. “One of the things that we’re certainly seeing is new thinking around new store designs. … Many operators have reimagined what their stores should look like.”

That means catering to online and mobile ordering, special lanes to fulfill those orders, a new focus on drive-thru success, and more.


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