Burger King, Tim Hortons, Popeye’s Announce Massive Drive-Thru Revamp

More than 40,000 high-tech screens and drive-thru loyalty scanners will hit Burger King, Tim Hortons locations.

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Need to Know

  • More than 40,000 digital screens are being installed at Restaurant Brand International’s (RBI) brands, which include Burger King, Popeye’s, and Tim Hortons.
  • The screens will feature technology such as predictive selling, integrated loyalty programs, and contactless ordering and payments.
  • More than 10,000 Burger King and Tim Hortons locations will receive the new digital screens, with Popeye’s beginning its own rollout later this year.
  • RBi is following other QSRs such as McDonald’s and White Castle by using personalization technology to enhance the drive-thru customer experience.

Analysis

Restaurant Brands International is launching a massive modernization of its drive-thru program, involving the installation of more than 40,000 digital screens across its restaurant properties.

The new screens feature a number of tools that are geared towards COVID-19 dining habits, including contactless ordering and payments. RBI has partnered with Verifone to develop a new remote, contactless payment device, the first prototype of which has already been installed at a Tim Hortons location in Canada. The screens will also feature predictive selling technology, designed by RBI’s in-house Guest Intelligence team, which will allow recommendations and promotions to be tailored to a customer based on previous orders, as well as regional weather and the time of day, among other factors.

The new drive-thrus feature loyalty readers and contactless payment options.

Each new screen will have a restaurant’s loyalty program integrated into its ordering technology. This tool is currently being tested at 30 Tim Hortons locations in Canada with the Tims Rewards program. All digital drive-thru menu boards will accommodate loyalty programs via smartphone scanning, Bluetooth, or near-field communication. The digital boards will also be weatherproofed, based on local weather patterns where they are installed.

“Our guests have sought out our drive-thru lanes for our iconic food and beverages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic—even in the face of mandated dining room closures around the world,” Jose Cil, CEO of RBI, said in a statement.  “We believe strongly that it is time to modernize our drive-thru lanes throughout the US and Canada to provide even better, quicker and contactless service for our guests.  This includes presenting menu options on digital screens that are tailored for each guest, as well as integrating our loyalty program at the moment of ordering and providing remote, contactless payment to speed up our drive-thru lanes in the near future.”

The 46″ screens are powered by STRATACACHE Media Engines that are clustered together redundantly. This means that if any one of the four digital screens at a drive-thru loses contact with its primary media player, a secondary media player will take over. STRATACACHE currently provides proactive 24/7 network monitoring for RBI and has the capability to manage any digital screen remotely.

The personalization piece of RBI’s new menu boards is novel, but not new: in 2019, McDonald’s acquired personalization company Dynamic Yield to roll out digital menu boards that can be tailored to reflect the weather and current ordering patterns, and can recommend items based on what a customer has already selected.

RBI’s new menu boards fit with Burger King’s already-revealed “Restaurant of Tomorrow” concept, which emphasizes touchless transactions, drive-thru technology, and contactless pickup. RBI brands Burger King and Tim Hortons will receive the screens at more than 10,000 locations, while Popeye’s plans a rollout later this year.

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