OnTrend Concepts
Drive-Thru Digest

January 5, 2022

Matt Cook, Editor

Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Drive-Thru Digest!  This weekly newsletter will bring you all the news from around the web related to the drive-thru industry.  Our primary focus will be on restaurant drive thru news, deals, innovation, and technology (including order management, apps, customer loyalty programs, data management, AI, etc.).  We’ll touch on pharmacy drive-thrus, grocery drive thru’s, and related topics when we think the news will be of interest, but the primary focus will be on restaurants.


Please feel free to encourage your colleagues and other contacts who work in the industry to subscribe to this free news digest (they can do so here).


This issue has a lot of articles looking back at 2021 or predicting trends for 2022.  Most future issues will be more focused on news, deal announcements, innovations, and technology.


So welcome to the Drive-Thru Digest!  Sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy this “drive thru” all the latest news and insights in the industry!

Drive-Thru Digest – Issue #1

Why Customers are Ready for Drive-Thru Automation

Habits adopted over the last two years have staying power.

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The Acceleration of Drive-Thru Upgrades and Emerging Technologies

Download this whitepaper and learn more about the 4 drive-thru upgrades that quick service restaurants (QSRs) need to increase ROI, the integration of artificial intelligence and mobile geolocation into QSRs, and how these emerging drive-thru technologies allow QSRs to create a more efficient ordering process.

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Will in-car ordering reinvent the drive-thru?

For a number of years, quick-serve restaurants have been piloting different combinations of technology to try to address drive-thru bottlenecks. Now a new solution is bringing voice ordering right to the car’s interior.

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3 Tips For A Highly Effective Drive-Thru Restaurant Menu

Best restaurant menu designs can improve a customer’s dining experience by assisting them in making satisfactory choices and boosting their hunger.

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7 restaurant technology trends to watch in 2022

So, what digital trends and tools should be top of mind in 2022 to stay up-to-date, and even ahead of the competition?

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7 restaurant trends that will define 2022

Restaurants will trim their menus, phase out cumbersome curbside pickup channels and invest in automation as operators balance labor pressure with off-premise demand, analysts say.

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For Large Restaurant Brands, 2021 Was Better Than Normal

2021 was a good year for major restaurant chains, not only in contrast to the devastating year before, but also by pre-pandemic standards.

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Tech Companies Predict Food Trends for 2022

Plenty of those solutions come courtesy of the restaurant technology companies that build and implement them, giving restaurant tech companies a unique vantage point to observe and analyse modern restaurant operations.

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Technomic Issues Predictions for Restaurants in 2022

Year of the Climb: Restaurants can rebound with help from plant-based items, labor-saving products, and more.

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Five Restaurant Technology Trends to Watch in 2022

Looking ahead towards 2022, here are a few key trends gaining traction that could take center stage in the new year.

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Restaurant Industry Outlook for 2022: Five Trends

As a result, businesses have increased their efforts online and implemented eating policies that follow safety guidelines.

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These 3 Restaurant Franchises Thrived During the Pandemic. Here's What to Learn From Their Successes.

Facing an unprecedented labor shortage, forward-thinking restaurants doubled down on technology to increase profits

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The first drive-thru-only Chick-fil-A in the Midwest is coming to Glendale this year

The drive-thru-only restaurant will not offer indoor or outdoor seating.

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Chipotle Mexican Grille, featuring drive-thru, now open in Plain Township near Walsh U

The newest location includes a drive-thru. Seating is limited as the location is focusing on pickup and drive-thru service, with orders coming online or through a mobile app.

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Top 5 Land Use and Zoning Trends to Watch in 2022

Among other things, look for more “digital” restaurants where drive-through pick up is the only option.

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UK: Takeaway boss ‘scammed out of month’s profits’ days before Christmas by crooks posing as JustEat

Scammers easily convinced him they were legit because he had been having issues with the device the restaurant used to receive orders from the takeaway website.

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EU: McDonald’s disallowed to build restaurant, drive-thru at ancient Roman site

Italy’s Council of State has officially denied McDonald’s plan to put up an 8,600-square-foot restaurant with a drive-thru for $1.47 million at the Baths of Caracalla, an ancient site in Rome, for the protection of cultural heritage.”

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Minnesota teen recognized for saving life in drive-thru

She jumped through the window and performed the Heimlich with the help of another customer.

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TikTok is loving this Whataburger employee dancing at drive-thru

We have the perfect TikTok to make you smile – and it involves something Texans know and love: Whataburger. TikTok user @s. carr reached viral status after posting a pair of videos of a Whataburger employee dancing joyously at the drive-thru window.

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Burger King worker shot, killed at Milwaukee drive-thru

Police released surveillance footage Monday that shows the suspect leaning into the drive-thru window from a Chevrolet Impala holding a gun. Investigators believe the shooting was part of a robbery. The shooter remains at large.

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Future of Work: Computer vision and machine learning may soon bolster restaurant jobs

Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol expects the restaurant industry to adopt more emerging technologies to deal with supply chain issues, worker turnover

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Desperate for workers, South Florida restaurants send in more robots

A metal-jointed arm that swings out to cars in the drive-thru, Tulloch’s Tully Arm does credit-card payments and even spritzes free sanitiser into drivers’ hands. Freed up from handling credit cards, Circle House staff has more time to mix coffee drinks, fix breakfast sandwiches and schmooze with customers. Which brings in more tips.

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Our newsletters are a collection of all the news from the previous week related to each digest topic.  The focus is on trends, deal announcements, technology, and other industry disruptors and innovations.

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