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Saving Time at the Drive-thru with a New Ordering System

Saving Time at the Drive-thru with a New Ordering System

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioYou may be surprised to hear what some restaurants are doing to save time at the drive-through. The orders are going farther then you may think.

You pull up to a typical Wendy's drive-through, like you would any given day, and you place your order. Then through a series of phone lines and Internet connections your order goes to a call center in Delaware. A recent USA Today article says some Wendy's restaurants in New Hampshire and Florida are doing this. Best Buy's Personal Computer and Home Office Supervisor Darrell Twiss says inventions like Vonage and Skype let you handle any call from just about anywhere.

Twiss says, "As long as you have a high-speed Internet connection, like a broadband cable connection or some type of fiber optic connection, then, yeah, it's totally possible." He says even laptops can become a call center. "A lot of people take their Vonage with them as they travel," Twiss says.

The system some Wendy's restaurants are trying may work very well. But, you'll have a hard time convincing some customers. One woman laughed when she heard about it. She and her son question the need for this kind of thing. She says, "They're pretty quick as it is. I think they would do better without sending my order that far." He says, "We're in Utah, and they're right there versus all the way in Delaware."

Some analysts say this new system is more effective. One remote ordering system company spokesman was quoted by USA Today as saying people inside are doing, "five different tasks. Their ability to execute is challenged." But, not all restaurant chains are convinced.

Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetch says, "We're not jumping on the bandwagon yet, you know. You may look at it down the road as a possible option, but for now, we're looking at other things." He says this new remote ordering system might not be effective for their chain. "Over 60 percent of our orders are custom orders so it's pretty important that we have someone there that is taking the order that can make sure that it's done right and the customer is happy."

Wendy's employees say they've never heard of any restaurant in Utah doing this. Recent reports say this could speed up drive-through time by a few seconds, but that could save millions of dollars for the fast food industry.

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