July 5, 2020
Will McDonald's USA be Ready for the New Normal?
During the June 19 NFLA call management was asked about a "Drive-Thru" only option. Management seemed to poo-poo the idea based on previous experience. This is the new normal and previous research and knowledge mean very little. The typical McDonald's
drive-thru percentage of sales is going to settle in at 5 or 10 percent above of what it was
pre-pandemic. If it was 70% before, it may be 80% in 2021.
This is now a germaphobe nation and your customers have been retrained. They'll also have a little PTSD and it's going to be difficult to get folks to feel comfortable eating next to strangers. Drive-thru only new stores and rebuilds as options might make a lot of sense in the future.
And on the June 19 NFLA call management was evasive about the future of Self Service Beverage Bars. SSBBs are another thing that will keep guests out of the dining room.
I've already admitted to being a germaphobe and that I think SSBBs are disgusting, always have. Restaurant operators of all brands should prepare themselves for a world without SSBBs.
Following is a video from a radio station that appears to be a local patch job with some corporate video. Can you imagine customers viewing this or similar messaging and then be willing to use an SSBB in a restaurant?
The more you boast about cleanliness and safety (as you should) the less your guests will go anywhere near an SSBB. As said before, if guests are afraid to touch your outside door handles they're not going to touch the levers to get ice or pour a drink.
This rejection of SSBBs will drive more customers to the Drive-Thru where they will feel
that the McDonald's crew person handling their drink is more trustworthy than the customer before them at the SSBB.
Video from an Atlanta radio station
How the pandemic will change how restaurants are built - Restaurant Business