Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants Reveals Secrets of the Drive-Through Window

More than half of American consumers (53 percent) won’t drive off
without checking the bag, 39 percent eat in the car while 35 percent
wait until they get there

CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#fastcasual–Eight out of 10 U.S. consumers (83 percent) have enjoyed a meal or a
snack at a restaurant drive-through this year, according to a Frisch’s
Big Boy Restaurants nationwide survey that underscores the enduring
popularity of this quintessentially American activity.

At Frisch’s, the drive-through service now accounts for 30 percent of
overall revenue. Additionally, drive-through sales have been on the rise
for the past five years at the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana locations.

To celebrate the introduction of three new car-friendly, portable
breakfast burritos, plus free coffee with any drive-through burrito
purchase in September, Frisch’s asked diners across the nation about
their drive-through preferences.

In one key finding, the survey shows that Americans crave flexibility.
Seven out of 10 consumers (70 percent) said they’d order a burger for
breakfast. More men (82 percent) would order a burger for breakfast than
women (58 percent).

“Our drive-through opens at 6 a.m. and if you want a burger, we’ll make
it fresh. Unlike other restaurants, at Frisch’s, you can get anything
you want anytime,” Frisch’s CEO Jason Vaughn said.

Here are other drive-through secrets revealed by the survey:

  • 42 percent of Americans said that other than speed or convenience, the
    main reason they choose the drive-through is they just don’t feel like
    parking and walking inside. That far outdistanced the next closest
    response – I don’t feel like dealing with people (16 percent). Other
    reasons were having kids in the car, being on the phone and not being
    dressed appropriately.
  • A much higher number of 18-to-24-year-old millennials, 31 percent,
    said they use the drive through because they don’t feel like dealing
    with people.
  • There are two kinds of people, those who check the bag and those who
    don’t. Those who never leave the window without checking are the
    majority, at 53 percent. Just 35 percent said they trust the
    drive-through attendant to get the order correct.
  • The split is far more even on the eat-in-the-car versus
    wait-until-you-get-there issue: 39 percent eat in the car, 35 percent

“These results will come as no surprise to burger fans,” said Chef Greg
Grisanti, Frisch’s director of research and development. “Big Boy is not
just for lunch anymore.” In fact, the Big Boy sandwich is one of the top
ten most sold items at Frisch’s between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The Frisch’s survey shows that Americans are sold on exchanging
pleasantries, but not sold on drive-through upselling. Fifty-nine
percent of consumers said they are appreciative if the attendant asks
about their day, versus just 14 percent who don’t like to chat, while 38
percent said they prefer not to be asked if they’d like to order
additional menu items, versus 34 percent who appreciate being asked.

Get nervous ordering at the drive-through? Nearly six out of 10
Americans (59 percent) said the drive-through menu is hard to read,
especially when there is a line behind them.

The three new Frisch’s breakfast burritos include a sausage, egg, cheese
and hash brown burrito; a bacon, egg, cheese and hash brown burrito; and
Hog Heaven, featuring sausage, bacon, egg, cheese and hash browns.

“Now that school is back in session, we developed these new breakfast
burritos to give busy families a fresh way to eat on the go,” CEO Jason
Vaughn said.

Other highlights from the drive-through survey:

  • 57 percent of consumers said extra condiments or sauces are the items
    they most often request at the drive-through; napkins followed at 52
    percent. Fifteen percent requested water or ice.
  • 25 percent of consumers said they feel satisfied when they eat in the
    car, while 25 percent said they feel sloppy when they eat in the car.
  • 70 percent said their parents allowed them to eat in the car.
  • 56 percent said the meal they’re most likely to visit the
    drive-through for is lunch (27 percent dinner, 17 percent breakfast).

The Frisch’s survey had 523 respondents and was conducted across the
United States from August 2 to August 5. Respondents were males and
females over the age of 18.

About Frisch’s Big Boy

Founded in 1939, Frisch’s Big Boy restaurants are located in Ohio,
Indiana and Kentucky. NRD Capital, a private equity firm based in
Atlanta, Georgia, acquired the company in August 2015. Frisch’s operates
95 Big Boy restaurants and franchises another 25 restaurants to
independent operators.


For Frisch’s Big Boy
Bryce Anslinger, 513-426-1273