I use them all the time, yet when I step back, I have to admit they are really screwed up in terms of marketing.
I’m talking about fast-food drive-thrus.
Where else do companies want people to not even come inside their businesses?
Most places with drive-thrus also have sit-down or at least pick-up options inside as well.
And you’d think the inside traffic would receive equal or better service than the folks who don’t even come into a business.
That’s not the case during the morning rush at coffee shops.
Recently, faced with a long lineup at the morning drive-thru, I thought I’d pull in, park, and head inside, not burning fuel in the long lineup, and expecting to get in and out more quickly.
Well, I helped the environment.
I was fourth in line, but only one staffer was operating a till to serve the growing lineup of people.
I looked over and saw a veritable pit crew serving the drive-thru window.
Finally, after letting a woman who I think came in behind me (I honestly forgot who was first and she seemed in a bigger rush) get served, a second till opened and I placed my order.
Granted, the lion’s share of their morning income flows through that one window, but I’d have thought inside customers would at least receive equal treatment in terms of speed of service.
I left with a reminder to stay in the drive-thru line when in a hurry.
I realize drive-thrus are nothing new. We’ve been lining up to go through them for years for the convenience element.
But think for a moment: the marketing element for the restaurant is minimal at best. A positive experience, and signage near the menu by the two-way speaker, is about all the restaurant can offer or utilize.
Nearby building sides or fences facing the drive-thru, however, are different matters. Many are adorned with billboard-like advertising of area businesses. You are a captive audience as you proceed through the drive-thru lineup during busy periods.
Wings of an angel
We have some great readers who really appreciate our efforts here at The Chatham Voice. We’re a family here and I love to share our experiences with you folks.
So, a while back, my column talked about our office move and open house, as well as the fact we’ve been in business for five years.
I mentioned Mary Beth, my wife, has the dubious task of dealing with me at the office and at home.
“Mary Beth, my better half, has to put up with me at the office and home, so she deserves angel’s wings and a halo,” I said at the time.
So recently, a reader named Ruth sent an envelope. In it was a keychain with crocheted angel’s wings and an attached halo.