Naugles Fast Drive Thru means Speed of Service

What Made Naugles Famous?

One Word- Fast

#drivethru #naugles #therealnaugle #hotsaucerecipe

Others may have a favorite, but this is reality. Dick Naugle shouts “Stack’em and pack’em!” Sounds like a cattle-call. Definitely an insult to some. But rather music to the ears of a person with only a 30-45 minute lunch break—Right?

On any day you can hear Dick Naugle in the restaurant yelling, “Mov-em Out!” This saying repeats over and over. Even if Dick Naugle assists with washing dishes or prepping food for the day. He leads by example. During business hours he positions himself at the second grill station. Each customer and employee can hear him shout from that strategic location.

Is it annoying, sure? But as a result, employees and customers jump into action. Also it depended on how he said it. Even if there is only one car in the drive thru, this comment echos in the building, loud and clear. Of course, quality food served hot or cold, is the focus.

Most of all, speed of service is Job 1.

Sounds simple—decades later you cannot find many operations moving cars this fast. Why not? It is not that easy or simple. No manual or video can achieve this feat.

First, is the use of time-in-motion studies. Dick Naugle evaluates each employee motions to maximize performance and lose wasted motion. This is Dick Naugle’s secret weapon.

Second, placement and equipment setup within the facility is key. So, there is the potential for wasted space, if you go too big. Less obvious, if you go too small, there is not enough room to operate efficiently. The final result, employees bump into each other and service to the customer is slow. So careful planning acquired through years of experience is an important factor.

Finally, a simple menu is the key.

In conclusion, these are three major factors. Due to limited space to discuss in detail, I wrote the N effect to layout some of Dick Naugle’s principles. Bill Naugle is writing The Naugle Effect to explain in further detail on the business side.

When a customer argues with Dick Naugle, he blurts out some of the following comments-

“This is not a drive in—it is a drive thru!”

“Guess What? This is not a parking lot—there is one down the street (Occasionally he might mention a competitors name for fun)!”

“This is a Fast Food establishment—We do both Fast and Food!”

Dick Naugle had plenty of slogans. While these are the ones fit for print, there are plenty of others available upon request.

What Made Naugles Drive Thru Profitable?

The number 1 factor was SPEED of service- FAST. This is the case at 14th and Brockton and many other locations. Unfortunately not all stores experience the same results. As the business grew and expanded, management is not able to keep up with Dick Naugle’s lofty goals.

Thus the SPEED and efficiency of the employees is vital. Keeping up such a fast pace for extended periods of time is not easy to achieve. Motivating employees is a gift and human trait, not always given or taught to all managers. Through the development of good habits, anyone can learn to motivate others. Dick Naugle gifted with this talent and ability motivates others. His innate ability to motivate others is legendary. Contrary to popular belief, employees loved and respected the man.

One day a customer comes up to the window and asks, “How can you work for that ornery old fart!” The lady at the pass thru window calmly states two things-

  • Number one—“That’s Mr. Naugle to you!”
  • And Number two- “We love working for him.”

Educating the Customer

Furthermore, training or educating your customer is a key to speed of service. Simple processes implemented can really SPEED the service, especially at the drive thru.

“Order Please”—you better know what you want! No long drawn out conversations permitted. Or stupid comments like ‘Welcome to my restaurant” on a recorded message and then no one takes the order. Food business is the people business. At least for some time into the foreseeable future.

“Have your money ready”— while exchanging no pleasantries. Even a kind word such as “Thank You”, or “Will there be anything else (an open ended question requiring thought AND TIME)” or God forbid- a lousy suggestive sale request is not in Dick Naugles repertoire. These can take not only precious seconds, but minutes longer to serve the customers.

In conclusion, “Thank you” comes when your change and food passes to you simultaneously. Besides, you better not have turned off the motor to your vehicle, nor put the vehicle in park. After receiving your food, prepare to put “pedal to the metal.” in Dick Naugles World, Drive thru means FAST. GET THE POINT, YET?

Naugles Speaker and Plug in’s

The speaker in the drive thru restaurant has many purposes. Also the loud speaker means Speed. Dick Naugle is not the first to have the speaker system. Rather, he is the first to use the speaker to increase the Speed of service for the customer.

Immediate preparation of a meal is possible. Instead of employees relying on a computer screen to complete a meal. The focus of attention diverts from the customer. A sound of the hamburger patty immediately slapping ‘the flattop’ grill echoes. This echo throughout the building is music to Dick Naugle’s ears. No time lost here.

From the outside, the customer can hear the hustle and bustle inside. This speaker created an aire of excitement. It is a tool from Dick Naugles motivational tool chest.

Sure POS systems save paper, help with accounting/inventory, and collect money, but it is a crutch. Dick Naugle is not the type of person to accept a crutch. Seems like Dick Naugle is old fashioned.

No operator in their right mind is going to use it, even today. Well good for you. There is no doubt, Bill Naugle would still install it. Most of all, understanding the purpose is key.

Before the exterior menu board add-ons, employees brave the line of cars, taking orders. Dodging back and forth between the cars and the menu board- one-by-one.

Eventually a long black cord attaches to a clipboard to make it easier for all. Hence, for the employees it is safer—I know duhhh? Back in the day, getting sued is not as big a deal as it is today.

Drive Thru Stop Watch

Dick Naugles started using a stop watch in the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. He brought it with him to both Del Taco and Naugles.


Yet today, most managers or employees might consider this a negative situation. Rather Dick Naugle used it as a motivational tool. Dick Naugle’s stopwatch created a desire in the employees to do their best. It was a competition, whereby current speed records were continually challenged.

During Dick Naugle’s years at Naugles, companies tried to come up with ways to track CPM (Cars Per Minute). Most timers made to track CPM in the drive thru are not successful. It takes management motivation to meet Dick Naugle requirements.

Today, Dick Naugles grandsons laugh at these devices. Every time the timer clock hits 4 or 5 minutes, as we sit in a drive thru waiting for someone to take the change, they laugh. The great grandsons comment about the fact this timer did not take into account the time it took to take the order. Nor did it count the time in line before pulling up to the window- Go figure! This is not rocket science, especially if the great grandson’s get it.

Most noteworthy today, Sonic is using a timer clock. This is not only for food preparation, but tracks delivery to the customer. This is impressive. I am sure Dick Naugle is smiling with this development. Especially since it is one of the last truly successful national drive in chains left.

Drive thru versus Walk up Service

At Naugles, if you do not know what you want, you come to the walk-up window- no exceptions!

There is plenty of help inside! And Dick Naugle means what he said. This shout blasts at a customer by Dick Naugle, safely tucked away behind the front counter. Or quite possibly stated in a more polite fashion by an employee not wanting to get punched in the nose.

Being one of the first to station an employee standing ready in the walk up staging area to help new customers. If you did not know what you want, this employee took the time to help. Other customers are not slowed down or required to wait. “If you know what you want,” shouts Naugle. “You go to the front of the line!” Makes complete sense, yet today this technique is hardly used.

Probably sounds rude to some, but he cares about ALL customers and their valuable time. No one person waits on a “Newbie” at Naugles.

Another reason to come inside is the ability to ask many questions and learn how to order. How many places do you go today and wait 5 or 10 minutes in line, just for one car to place an order? Heaven help us, if this is the person in front of you. These type of customers take the Fast out of Fast Food.

Train the Customer

Training the customer goes hand-in-hand with educating the customer.
Dick Naugle trained the customers without them knowing it!

There are some examples above, yet this is the purpose for the writing of the Naugle Effect. Bill Naugle shares the business tenants, methods and principles from Dick Naugle. If you want to know more or have a specific question—please leave a comment.

Finally, one of Bill Naugle’s favorite examples for you. No customer in Dick Naugle’s world ever left more than 12’ to 24” between the bumpers of the car in front or behind. There are plenty of comments made, if you did not know how to use the drive thru or operate your vehicle-LOL Dick Naugle’s slogan of “Stack‘em and Pack‘em”. In the end, we finish this post with this especially relevant Dick Naugle Slogan!

Buy the Book

The N Effect | The Power of Influence

Meet the man who put the “fast” in fast food. Despite never finishing fourth grade!
Buy the Book