Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes are giving their drive-thrus a modern update

40,000 digital drive-thru menu boards will be installed in North America locations by mid-2022

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Restaurant Brands International (RBI) announced on Tuesday that it will modernize the drive-thru experience at more than 10,000 Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes locations in North America by mid-2022.

An initiative to boost sales in the age of coronavirus, RBI’s drive-thru modernization includes the installation of over 40,000 digital drive-thru menu boards that use “predictive selling” technology, integrate loyalty programs, and offer contactless payment methods. The 46-inch digital menu boards are weather-proof and have tech that should help prevent outages.

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Developed by RBI’s in-house Guest Intelligence team, the digital menu boards’ “predictive selling” technology allows for special promotions to be tailored based on previous orders, regional weather patterns, the time of day, and many other factors. The “predictive selling” technology can also dynamically learn preferred ordering habits and show the latest and trending menu items most-ordered in one’s location.

The digital menu boards are designed to accommodate loyalty integration via scanning, Bluetooth or near-field communication, allowing for customized menu options to be displayed that are based on the customer’s favorite purchases and redemption history. This feature is currently being tested at 30 locations in Canada with the Tims Rewards loyalty program.

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For the contactless payment functionality of the digital menu boards, RBI has teamed up with payment solutions provider Verifone. The first prototype is currently installed at a Tim Hortons restaurant in Canada, with 15 more locations to test this feature by January next year.

Digital drive-thru menu boards with loyalty scanning and contactless payment reader at Tim Hortons

As of September, 800 Tim Hortons and 1,500 Burger King locations in North America are already using the new digital menu boards. Popeyes, meanwhile, is set to start installation at new locations later this year. Restaurants with the digital menu boards have higher overall sales and more spending per order, RBI’s Chief Operating Officer Josh Kobza said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Tuesday, adding that they are “seeing really strong sales uplifts from the investments the franchisees are making.”

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Digital drive-thru menu boards at double drive-thru location at Burger King
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A typical drive-thru has 4 digital screens, while a double drive-thru normally includes a total of 7 digital screens. RBI said it is installing double drive-thru lanes where possible to increase capacity and efficiency at their restaurants.

Sources: CNN, Restaurant Business Online, Restaurant Brands International