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How Outdoor Directional Signs Help QSR and Drive-Through Efficiency

Sep 21, 2021



Outdoor Directional Signs Improve QSRs Image

Creating a confusion-free, efficient, multi-lane drive-through is no easy task. There is a lot to consider, plan, and execute to ensure customers receive their orders quickly, and traffic flows are simple and steadily moving. Despite best-laid plans, many quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and drive-throughs don’t consider how they will relay critical messaging regarding traffic flows to customers. Outdoor directional signs are an excellent way to ensure smooth traffic flows, orders are received quickly, QSR and drive-through operations are running efficiently, and customers have the best possible experience.

Road, Traffic, and Lane-Control Signage

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It all starts with customers approaching the restaurant in their vehicles. Outdoor directional signs near the street help drivers know where to enter the premises. From there, additional illuminated signage can guide customers to the establishment’s drive-through lanes (yes lanes - by having multiple drive-through lanes, restaurants can easily work around traffic bottlenecks that hinder operational efficiency). These signs are crucial in two ways. First, they virtually eliminate any confusion regarding where the restaurant and its drive-through lanes are and keep traffic moving. Secondly, traffic flow around the restaurant is a significant factor contributing to a great customer experience, not only for drive-through customers but also for dine-in patrons. By directing drive-through lanes to the appropriate location, you can divert traffic so dine-in customers and curbside pickup service orders (more on those later) are not negatively impacted.

The designated start of the drive-through lines presents another opportunity to further direct traffic flows and allow operations to run at maximum capacity. Illuminated open/closed signs let drivers know which lanes to enter and receive services, while other signs within the drive-through lanes — pull forward, stop, clearance/height bars, customizable messages, etc. — provide finely tuned instructions. There can even be a sign to indicate whether a worker is outside taking orders through the line of cars. This strategy has been proven to dramatically improve the throughput of drive-throughs.

Curbside Pickup Signage

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The COVID-19 pandemic brought forth the rise of contact-less delivery and curbside pickup options. What once may have been initially viewed as a flash-in-the-pan service has quickly become a long-lasting industry staple; QSRs that don’t adopt curbside pickup are in jeopardy of quickly becoming obsolete.

While beneficial to both QSRs and consumers, curbside pickup needs to be thoroughly planned and executed to provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. This planning process is similar to designing an efficient drive-through: outdoor directional signs near the street should direct drivers to the restaurant premises. Then, the signage should guide them to the appropriate curbside pickup area (for consumers and courier services alike). When properly executed, curbside pickup signs will work perfectly in concert with drive-throughs and dine-in options: relieving drive-through line congestion and not hindering dine-in patrons.

Qualities of High-Quality Outdoor Directional Signs

Every business wants to maximize efficiency while expanding margins and improving production times — and it’s no different for QSRs and drive-throughs. Introducing well-planned and executed signs is one way to do so. However, not all signs are created equal. Signs with confusing wording, are poorly constructed and dimly lit, and don’t come with customer support can become more of a hindrance than an operational benefit. The signage QSRs and drive-throughs adopt to improve efficiency and improve service times should:

  • Promote multiple drive-through lanes
  • Display lane availability
  • Reduce traffic confusion
  • Increase traffic flow efficiency
  • Be readable in direct sunlight
  • Be readable at wide angles
  • Be professionally designed
  • Endure the harshest outdoor conditions
  • Have a robust warranty and ongoing support

Signal-Tech is the leading LED sign company for lane control and improving efficiency at QSRs and drive-throughs. If you’re ready to improve traffic flows, bolster operational efficiency, and heighten your customer satisfaction, we’re prepared to provide you with the necessary outdoor directional signs to do it. Our team of experts is prepared to guide you toward the best LED sign and directional systems solutions for your QSR. Add our LED drive-through lane signs to your restaurant to bolster efficiency and create the best possible customer experience. Contact us today to learn more!