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  • Performed simulations to test technology and employee experience.

  • Identified opportunities for procedural enhancements prior to the restaurant’s opening.

  • Shared best practices and future considerations based on experience research.


The Challenge

One quick-serve restaurant wanted to test a high-capacity drive-thru — a digital-focused restaurant with no physical dining room area — capable of achieving over 720 transactions in a peak hour. The goal of the research was to maximize the potential of the design by considering labor models and service process impacts to improve the employee experience. The QSR turned to The ExperienceBuilt Group to initiate a trial run and gather insights.

The Experience Solution

1) Simulation to test attainability of goals.

The first simulation tested the efficiency of both the upstairs kitchen and lower-level fulfillment areas. We tested both low and high volume transactions— low being 30 transactions per 10 minutes and high being 60 transactions per 10 minutes— to evaluate how employees worked within the new system. Afterwards, we consulted team members to share what they liked, wished to improve, and wondered about the experiment. This feedback provided a foundation for our second simulation.

2) Second simulation with reduced size to test new implementations.

Before the second simulation, the QSR used our research to optimize the kitchen area for efficiency, streamline assembly line systems and labor models, and implement a numbered sticker system to improve order fulfillment times and the employee experience. The results of this simulation were simple: we proved that the system works with the proposed staffing models and successfully beat the projected order wait time by 25 seconds.

3) Share best practices and considerations for ongoing success.

After the simulations, we presented our key findings and future considerations to assist the quick-serve restaurant in their real-world execution of this system. We determined that the QSR labor models should account for maximum team member efficiency at high volume, implement practical training for new employees, and factor in moments of customer care that the business is known for.

The EBG Impact

The quick-serve restaurant can use our experience research findings to inform future decisions that impact everything from employee wellbeing to customer wait time and satisfaction. The company made changes to the physical technology and staffing plans of the restaurant prior to the official launch to make systems run as smoothly as possible. The QSR was able to use our findings to launch and open to the public.

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