By: Josh Lambert, Managing Partner at Charge Up USA
Large menus, comfortable chairs, and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations…What do all of these have in common? They’re all designed to gain a competitive advantage.
Let’s take a look at why restaurants are introducing electric vehicle charging stations and what's (ahem) driving the demand.
New Customer Segments
EV charging stations let businesses tap into new customer segments, specifically EV drivers. According to ChargePoint, installing a station can boost customer "dwell time" by as much as 50 minutes. Customers who spend more time with you spend more money.
A fast-food customer spends an average of 5 minutes waiting for their order. However, large menus may encourage them to stay on the premises for 20 minutes. As fast dining is similarly priced, a restaurant with a charging station might sway hungry EV drivers.
The average time per couple visiting a fine dining restaurant is between one hour forty-five minutes and two hours. So there's plenty of time to get a meaningful Level 2 charge while eating. EV drivers can leave with peace of mind before heading back onto the freeway.
As more and more people switch to EVs, they'll be looking for places to charge while on the go. With EV charging stations, restaurants and fast-food chains can entice new customers and keep them returning.
Expanding EV Infrastructure
There are now 113,600 EV public charging stations in the United States, but the network is still developing. For it to succeed, electrification must blend in with people's daily lives. In other words, it needs to be as ubiquitous and convenient as gas stations.
As a country, we’re getting there, but more EV infrastructure is needed to support the growing number of EVs on the road. To that end, some major brands are collaborating with restaurant chains to install EV charging stations across the nation.
Volvo has announced plans to install electric car chargers at 15 Starbucks locations along a 1,350-mile route in North America. All EV owners with a ChargePoint account will be able to use the Volvo-branded stations.
Similarly, ChargeNet and Tritium unite, offering electric chargers to Taco Bell customers. They encourage EV adoption by expanding charging availability in areas where customers feel at ease- the local fast food joint.
Redefining Corporate Values
Many restaurants and fast-food franchises aspire to be environmentally responsible. In Sweden, for example, scores of McDonald's restaurants have installed charging stations. The move is part of McDonald's goal to have all its restaurants in Sweden be 'carbon neutral' by 2030. McDonald’s has similar climate goals in north America.
By installing EV charging stations, companies show they’re investing in clean energy infrastructure. This sends a strong message to customers and the general public that they’re committed to sustainability.
Additional Benefits of Installing EV Charge Points
Charging stations are heavily featured on navigation apps. When people search for nearby EV chargers on Google Maps, Yelp, and Charge Net, they’ll see charger locations, photos, reviews, and street view imagery. By deploying charging stations, businesses ensure their location is on display to a wider audience. Display icons for on-site charging could attract new customers and help retain current ones. In turn, this increased visibility could lead to higher profits.
Restaurants near fast chargers may someday offer "combination" deals that include meals and charging. Franchisees can also deliver branded charge cards with reduced charging costs or reward programs. These offers could be a key differentiator for firms as the number of EVs on the road climbs.
Drawbacks of EV Charging Stations
The main drawback is cost. A dual-port EV charging station costs around $7,200. That's without factoring in additional soft costs and management fees. These will simultaneously charge two cars for eight to ten hours.
While the initial cost of installing EV charging stations may be high, businesses can offset station expenditures. Federal, state, and local utility grants and rebates are available.
Another challenge is finding the correct location. Businesses will need to install EV chargers in convenient places for customers but with enough space and electrical capacity to support them.
Before installation, restaurant owners should determine what type of charger they need, as they must handle power requirements to accommodate the additional load. Restaurants can get permits faster and reduce closure times, opting for battery-integrated fast chargers, which only demand a small amount of electricity. Experts at companies like Charge Up USA will guide you through every aspect of the job from start to finish, ensuring that you choose the right solution to fit your budget and needs.
Businesses that install EV charging stations are helping the environment by investing in clean energy infrastructure—a crucial step towards a sustainable future.
But it’s not just about being eco-friendly; it’s about being customer-friendly and driving more business.
Fast EV charging stations are a premium service, and demand is increasing. Restaurants can use them to attract new customers and reward loyal ones. As foot traffic increases, so do revenues.
With EVs steadily becoming mainstream, more franchises are electrifying their parking to stay ahead of the curve.
Guiding You Through Every Step Of Your Installation
Don’t make the mistake of hiring an in-experienced, un-qualified, or sometimes unlicensed service professional. If you’re looking to go electric, Charge Up USA is ready to help as a one-stop-shop turnkey provider of EV charging solutions. Charge Up USA streamlines the process of finding the best EV charging stations, and the best installation professionals, at the best price. No need to spend hours researching solutions, electrical contractors, and shopping for quotes, Charge Up USA will guide you through every aspect of the job from start to finish. Most importantly, there’s no cost to you for the service.
Tools like Charge Up USA’s project management software give customers visibility into the status of their installations, ensuring that every project is completed safely and to code. Don’t wait, begin your journey to electrification today!
About the Author
Josh Lambert is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast specializing in bringing great ideas to life. Josh is passionate about improving the current state of our environment and is on a mission to make the world cleaner and greener in his role as the Managing Partner of Charge Up USA.