11. Digital drive-thrus
As consumers’ call for convenience continues, operators are finding ways to meet those demands. Chipotle is experimenting with Chipotlanes, or drive-thrus for mobile orders, while tech-forward Cava is similarly testing a drive-thru lane for orders placed online or via the chain’s app and scheduled for a select pickup time. Cava opened its first drive-thru in April and is expanding the test.
43. Culture cards
Emily Hanlin, executive director of food and nutrition services at Cobb County School District in Kennesaw, Ga., sends handwritten birthday cards to team members, which she says makes staff feel connected to the operation.
Hannah’s Bretzel makes sure its customers know its better-for-you stance, even after they’ve ordered. The fast casual provides health-forward information on its e-receipts for digital orders. In a “Did You Know” section, it highlights that “High intake of whole grains has been associated with help in weight management, reduced risk of heart disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes,” and continues with more information on grains.
In a move that aims to set new standards for restaurants, fast casual Sweetgreen has expanded its perks for employees to include five months of paid leave for new parents. The leave extends beyond new mothers to fathers, adoptive parents, foster parents and “others with new additions to their families,” the chain said. The leave is available to all employees who have been on the payroll for at least six months.