Digicam Drive-Thru

Digicam Drive-Thru


How many times has this happened to you: you leave the fast food drive-thru, get about a half-mile away from the place and realize they forgot the apple pies and the honey mustard sauce? You decided to go drive-thru because you’re in a rush so you’re not heading back – you angrily decide you’ll do without the inevitable missing items and drive on.

Well, digital cameras may help prevent this all-to-familiar scenario from ever unfolding again. According to recent statistics, more than 70 percent of fast-food orders today are made at drive-thrus rather than at restaurant counters. Chains such as Wendy’s and McDonald’s have begun testing new technology aimed at combating the above problem, among others, that currently face the $142 billion fast-food industry:

A new system developed by a Boston-based based provider of technology for the fast-food industry dubbed “Order Perfect” utilizes digital cameras to take pictures of customers and their cars as they order at the drive-thru and then match the picture with the correct order. The digital pictures are apparently helping staff accurately match the order to the customer, thus cutting down on botched orders.

Simple enough but as is often the case, there is one glitch – nay-sayers are claiming plenty of people might be uncomfortable with the idea that they’re being photographed every time they make a quick stop for a bite to eat.

The system is currently in place at several Wendy’s across the country and early reports are that it is indeed cutting down on botched orders and generally speeding up wait times on drive-thru lines. In order to ease potential tensions over being photographed at least one of these locations has erected signs explaining the system’s benefits and letting customers know the images are automatically deleted after the order is collected.