Freddy’s Frozen Custard is trying to find ways to get faster

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10/14/2021

Fast-growing fast-casual Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is looking for ways to become even faster.

The Wichita, Kan.-based chain has been testing having tablet-toting workers take orders and payments in the drive-thru lane to speed customers’ time in the line. So far, the test is in just seven locations, CFO Bill Valentas said, but it is going well.

“It’s been very positive,” Valentas said, adding that Freddy’s plans to roll the operational model out in more restaurants early next year after the chain upgrades its POS system.

The goal is to keep a car moving through the line every 30 seconds. For a seven-car line, that equals three minutes and 30 seconds to turn over the full queue. Right now, Freddy’s averages about five-and-a-half minutes to get through the drive-thru line, he said.

“We started doing it because COVID has changed our business model a little bit,” he said, noting that pre-pandemic, the majority of Freddy’s diners went inside the restaurant to place orders. Today, about 60% of customers are going through the chain’s drive-thrus.

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