Big restaurant chains are modernizing their drive-thru experience

Press release

Restaurant Brands International Inc. has announced it is modernizing the drive-thru experience at more than 10,000 Burger King and Tim Hortons locations, with Popeyes beginning its own rollout later this year. 

More than 40,000 digital screens are being installed with powerful “predictive selling” technology, integration with restaurant loyalty programs and the ability for remote, contactless payment.

Predictive selling

The digital drive-thru menu boards are designed with powerful “predictive selling” technology designed by RBI’s in-house Guest Intelligence team, allowing for special promotions to be tailored based on previous orders, regional weather patterns, the time of day, and many other factors. This home-grown technology can dynamically learn preferred ordering habits and also show the latest and trending menu items most-ordered by location.

Integrated loyalty programs

The menu boards have been designed with the ability to integrate loyalty programs, allowing for customized menu options to be displayed that are based on customers’ favourite purchases and redemption history. This functionality is currently live and being tested at 30 locations in Canada with the Tims Rewards loyalty program. All digital drive-thru menu boards in the U.S. and Canada have been designed to accommodate loyalty integration via scanning, Bluetooth, or near-field communication.

Remote, contactless payment

The digital drive-thru menu boards also have the flexibility to add immediate, remote contactless payment to allow guests to order and pay simultaneously and speed up drive-thru lanes. RBI has partnered with renowned payment solutions provider Verifone to develop a new global remote contactless payment device for a drive-thru lane.  The first prototype is currently installed at a Tim Hortons restaurant in Canada, with 15 more locations to test this functionality by January 2021.

Weather-proof installations

New installations are using enclosures that have been designed to withstand the heat of the southern U.S., the cold of Canada’s north, and the corrosive, salty air from cities along North America’s oceans. The enclosures are also IP56-certified, meaning they are fully waterproof and can sustain continuous water pressure, even from powerful waterjets. Existing installations will be retrofitted to this level of protection to ensure the long-term integrity of this important guest touchpoint. 


The 40,000+ outdoor-rated 46″ screens are powered by the latest STRATACACHE Media Engines that are clustered together, redundantly, for high-availability – meaning that if any one of the four digital screens in a standard drive-thru loses communication with its primary media player, the secondary media player will take over and ensure that content continues to be displayed correctly. STRATACACHE has the capability to manage any digital screen and to update or modify menu board content across remaining digital screens in the event of a hard screen failure.

As of September, Tim Hortons has installed digital drive-thru menu boards at approximately 800 locations in the U.S. and Canada; Burger King has installed digital drive-thru menu boards at more than 1,500 locations in the U.S.; and Popeyes is starting installation at new locations later this year. A typical drive-thru lane includes 4 digital screens, while double drive-thru lanes typically include a total of 7 digital screens. RBI is assessing drive-thru locations and, where possible, is installing double drive-thru lanes to increase capacity and efficiency at our restaurants.