How to choose the right pass thru window for your project
It’s no surprise that convenience for staff and customer is one of the biggest factors in whether or not a transaction window is successful.
Take Noble Stores, LLC, for example – a nine-store Dairy Queen franchise based in the Aurora, Illinois, market. Each of these stores is a Dairy Queen Treat Center, meaning they don’t serve the full food menu, only the brand’s iconic treats. Because Noble’s locations only feature drive thru and walk up windows, Joe Rintelman, vice president of Noble Stores, LLC, says sliding service window functionality is critical to the brand’s success.
Here are three crucial factors to consider when selecting a transaction window.
Rintelman says functionality is the most important factor when restaurant leaders decide which cashier window or service window to install. Because Nobel Stores focuses on serving guests outside the store, there are fewer touchpoints to impress customers, meaning choosing a solution that works for the brand is the most important consideration, and Rintelman knows from experience how much a less-than-ideal setup can create challenges.
“Transaction windows used for foodservice should self-close per health code,” says Anna Ellis, sales and marketing manager at Ready Access. “From low-cost gravity-fed sliding service windows to electronic fully automatic windows, it’s important to choose the system that works best for your brand.”
“In the restaurant industry, form without function is useless,” Rintelman says. “Everything has to be functional and enhance the guest experience. In the past, our staff had to hold open the transaction window while passing Blizzards through, and that wasn’t a good customer experience, and it wasn’t in the best interest of our staff.”
This was one of the biggest reasons why Rintelman began looking for new sliding service window providers when his team began renovating stores. Now, the brand uses Ready Access transaction windows, which feature self-closing mechanisms with an optional magnetic hold open device and presence sensor called Manual Open Electronic Release, or MOER. He says because the new serving windows keep employees from holding open windows, they have made staff more efficient.
The glass is another major concern.
“Do you need the least expensive option?” Ellis asks. “Or are you in an area where you need bullet resistant transaction windows or protection from breaking and entering after hours? Do your pass thru windows face the sun or are your stores located in areas with extreme temperatures? Answers to these questions can help Ready Access direct you to the best transaction window and glass for your project.”
This was a major factor for Rintelman’s Dairy Queen stores. He says Aurora, Illinois, frequently experiences cold weather and wind chills that drop into negative temperatures, so they chose insulated serving windows. Conversely, in areas where it gets warm, adding Low E to the insulated glass can reduce the heat transfer from the outside by 30 percent or more to keep your staff more comfortable. If you need a security window, choose Bullet Resistant glazing.
Consider the size for the service opening to ensure a transaction window is successful, Ellis says. Consider how much room is needed to hand out product or paperwork, how your equipment is laid out, and what height will help keep employees from stooping to interact with patrons.
“It’s important to ask transaction window providers if their products come in sizes that will fit your footprint,” Rintelman says. “We’ve never had an issue with Ready Access not being able to fit their products to our environment.”
“Staff notice the Ready Access service windows and love them,” he says. “I don’t think customers really notice, but that’s the point. They don’t notice what goes into them having a great experience at a restaurant, but they certainly notice if they’re having a poor experience. You don’t want your transaction windows to be an impediment to delivering an exceptional customer experience.” They should contribute to its success.