Micros South Africa expects to roll out at a total of three drive-thru locations for Pedros this year and was already in talks with several quick service restaurants chains to assist in transitioning from existing systems to the new smarter system. Photo: Supplied.
Micros South Africa expects to roll out at a total of three drive-thru locations for Pedros this year and was already in talks with several quick service restaurants chains to assist in transitioning from existing systems to the new smarter system. Photo: Supplied.

Pedros restaurants, not chicken, to launch smart drive-thrus

By Given Majola Time of article published Dec 7, 2021

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Micros South Africa, a hospitality and restaurant industry solutions provider, has equipped the first two restaurants in the country with its new smart drive-thru point of sale solutions for fast-food outlets as it strives for a safer customer experience amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The system went live at the newly launched Pedros Flame Grilled Chicken outlet in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, along with an upgrade from an older system at Pedros Bonaero in Johannesburg. This promised to establish a faster, smarter and more efficient quick service restaurant experience amid Covid-19.

Micros South Africa managing director Reginald Sibeko said drive-thru ordering, historically seen as an ancillary (and optional) sale mechanism, was becoming increasingly vital to continue the sustainability of the food service sector, which was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.

“If sales systems can demonstrate their ability to serve high volumes of customers safely, even under the strictest lockdown, they will go a long way towards preventing closures and maintaining revenues while delivering a seamless customer experience, thus protecting businesses and millions of jobs in a high unemployment environment," Sibeko said.

Micros is a subsidiary of Adapt IT. It recently announced a partnership with PAR Technology to introduce a smart drive-thru communication system specially designed for quick-service restaurants. The solution includes modular 5G wireless headsets, microphones, speakers, robust anti-glare displays and AI-enabled reporting and timer systems to deliver continuous efficiency improvements over time.

PAR Technology is a systems and service solution provider for the food and beverage industry. The USA-based company offers an assortment of software and hardware solutions, including, point of sale (POS) software, POS terminals and drive-thru technology.

Micros South Africa expects to roll out at a total of three drive-thru locations for Pedros this year and was already in talks with several quick-service restaurants chains to assist in transitioning from existing systems to the new smarter system. It currently offers hospitality and restaurant industry solutions to 3 500 restaurants and 700 hotels.

According to the FNB 2021 franchise and economic outlook, the food and beverages sector lost R14 billion in revenues last year when compared to 2019, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2019 Franchise Association of South Africa (Fasa) survey reported that South Africa had more than 800 franchise systems operating through 48 000 outlets and employing 500 000 people, with a contribution equivalent to 14 percent of the gross domestic product.

With stricter Covid-19 regulations expected during the festive season, the impact on franchise businesses that usually thrive during the festive season, like those in the hospitality sector, retailing and in services like beauty and health, was said to be worse off. Any further stricter lockdown regulations will ring the final bell for many small businesses.

The food and hospitality sector is the one mostly in the spotlight as it has borne the brunt of shutdowns and restrictions that impact social activity. The pandemic and its consequences have certainly been a wake-up call and have brought many changes to everyone’s personal and working lives. Jobs have been lost, projects put on hold and business owners have had to rethink how they will continue to operate their businesses.

The July rioting and looting delivered yet another debilitating blow as retailers, supermarkets and food stores bore the brunt of the onslaught with damage running into the millions of rands.

According to a Micros, sales revenue report of the South African industry, drive-thrus, like all other restaurant sales channels, was devastated by restrictive lockdown. The solutions provider said, however, since the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, it had shown the strongest recovery with a 36 percent increase in revenue from December 2019 to October this year. It now generated greater revenues than eating in, which it said fell by 35 percent in the same period.

Sibeko said as more people ventured out to eat, there were strong indications that long-term fundamental changes in consumer behaviour were here to stay, with one store in their network increasing its share of drive-thru from 20 percent pre-Covid to over 40 percent by now.

“As we anticipate higher drive-thru volumes this year, the real-time Partech reporting system will give restaurant managers the ability to make immediate operational adjustments, implement queue-busting measures when needed during busy periods and offer incentives to staff members and locations. Increased efficiencies in the queues, especially in the ordering and payment processes, means an outlet can increase the number of vehicles from an average of 400 a day, to as much as 700 vehicles.”

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