Benefits of drive through
Speaking at a previous Franchise Management Forum 2013, Eagle Boys Pizza founder Tom Potter says the decision for Eagle Boys to start offering drive through was to help regain its position as a market leader in the crowded pizza market.
Looking at the four top players in the fast food industry at the time – McDonald’s, Hungry Jack’s, KFC and Red Rooster – the one thing they had that nobody else had was drive through, and they held close to 75% of the market (or share of stomach as Tom likes to call it).
Tom did some further research and discovered around 65% of sales for a leading fast food franchise were made via drive through.
As the then franchisor of Eagle Boys, after investing a lot of time and effort in both research and implementation he introduced drive through pizza to the franchise, boosting sales in the pilot store to almost double.
“We moved a $15,000 a week store, 300m down the road in a small country town in Queensland and put in a drive thru,” Tom said.
“We didn’t change the product, we didn’t change the service, we didn’t change the price, but the sales almost doubled and maintained that level for ever and a day.”
Sell your customers time for competitive advantage
At the Franchise Management Forum 2013 another leading brand also mentioned internal discussions around whether or not to include a drive through offering.
As society becomes more and more time poor, and particularly if you’re targeting a family market, where a parent may have two screaming kids which they need to get in and out of the car to purchase your product, drive through may provide a competitive advantage over your competitors.
As Tom Potter put it, many customers want you to ‘sell them time’.
Drive through beyond fast food franchises
And while drive through isn’t suitable for all franchises – such as services (ie drive through waxing or lawn-mowing just wouldn’t work) – it isn’t necessarily just for food offerings either.
Drive through pharmacies are quite popular in the United States and provide another example which makes sense from a convenience point of view.
Drive through may also be suitable for a range of other retail concepts, particularly if your franchise can offer online ordering, enabling even complex orders to be complied in advance and then collected at a suitable time.