Fast food restaurants like McDonald's and Chick-fil-A might be planning to speed up orders with some newly introduced tech, but it would come at a personal cost. ZDNet reports that a technology company called AdvanTech has created the Fly-Thru Drive-Thru, a "simple new solution" that is "enhancing the drive-thru without adding operational complexity." ZDNet describes the Fly-Thru Drive-Thru by comparing it to a toll booth, explaining that the AdvanTech-designed Zebra RFID technology can remember orders by recognizing customers as they approach their vehicles.
The tech does not scan your face but rather uses a system wherein "a customer's order is programmed into a branded decal that is placed on their windshield or dashboard." The company also claims that its tech does not store "sensitive customer information." The big issue for customers, it seems, is that if you frequent multiple fast-food restaurants, then you would have to have decals for each of those stores if you want the convenience of having your order remembered at each of those places. This could potentially cause your windshield to be a bit cluttered. It is also unclear if customers would be expected to pay for the decal or if it would be provided at a charge by the restaurant.
The new Fly-Thru Drive-Thru technology isn't the only thing helping fast-food restaurants be more efficient, as some — including several Chick-fil-A restaurants — utilize conveyor systems to help get food out faster. Over on TikTok, a user who works at the fast-food chain shared a video of what happens in the back of the store after the food is prepared. "Our kitchen sends the food to the window using a conveyor belt to make things move faster," he wrote.
In the clip, we see the conveyor belt in action, carrying bags of Chick-fil-A orders to the employee working the drive-thru window. The bags are carried overhead and then lowered to where the employee is standing. Notably, not all Chick-fil-A stores operate with a conveyor belt system. KGPE CBS47, a Fresno, California affiliate of CBS News, reported on the TikTik clip and stated that a representative for the company confirmed that there are 30 stores, approximately, that utilize the conveyor belt system currently. That makes up roughly 1% of Chick-fil-A restaurants.