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Making the Most of the Trend of Eating and Charging

Posted 06/04/2020

Most EV drivers charge at home, but just like drivers of gas-powered cars, EV drivers can find themselves lacking needed fuel at inconvenient times, and need to utilize charging stations on the go. Garages and lots everywhere from doctor’s offices to movie theaters fill a need by installing EVSE. The latest trend in charging, however, is charging while dining. Restaurants are great locations to install electric vehicle charging stations. Fine dining establishments, whose clients often rank among Tesla drivers, are a particularly hot spot for installing superchargers. Likewise, casual and contemporary casual restaurants, like fine dining, are destination restaurants, where diners can spend a lot of time, making a Level 2 charger a valued amenity. Fast food and fast-casual restaurants close to freeway exits are great places for Level 2 chargers, as they allow EV drivers to charge up and get back on the road fast.


Expected Jump in EV Ownership Over the Next 7 Years

Would Drivers Really Stay Long Enough to Use a Charger at a Restaurant?

The truth is chargers are faster than they ever were, and they will continue to get faster. Gone are the days of only Level 1 chargers and painfully slow charging. Most of these drivers are looking for a needed charge to get home, to the grocery store, to daycare, or a meeting across town, not to be plugged into a charger for 8 hours. Most drivers want enough charge to get where they’re going from a public charger, which restaurants can easily provide. The Blink IQ 200 charger is the fastest Level 2 charger on the market and can charge a car at 20-50 miles per hour. An hour is more than enough time to give drivers the amount of charge they need. Blink’s charge rate of 19.2 kWh will have your customers’ cars charged and ready to go. Does your average customer stay that long? Probably. A 2002 Cornell University study showed 65% of Americans eat out more than once a week, and diners consider approximately 60.2 minutes to be the ideal length of a meal out, while 29.9 minutes is considered short, and 81.6 minutes to be longer. Customers also stay longer and order more when their car is charging.

Benefits for Restaurants

According to Smart Car, sales of EVs are expected to jump 50% in the next 7 years. That’s a lot of new EV drivers looking for somewhere to charge up. For those without garages of their own, or those on the go, EVs in public places will become more valuable. We know customers order more and stay longer when they’re charging their car, but restaurants also have the opportunity to attract younger and wealthier clientele without making pricier improvements. Most restaurants serve similar food at similar prices. Why should a diner choose one over another? Give EV drivers an immediate reason to choose yours by installing electric vehicle driving stations. EV drivers are loyal to those who support environmental issues and show they think of the needs of EV drivers. In fact, restaurants, which often serve healthy food or minimize their carbon footprint, are particularly good matches for EV charging stations and send a consistent message to consumers. EVSE also present the opportunity to gain customers. While usually patrons are looking for a restaurant where they can eat and charge, some are just looking for a charger. Their odds of dropping in however are high, and spending money they normally would not have spent, possibly on a regular basis. Even if you think few of your customers drive EVs, installing a charger can still be good for business. When your restaurant chooses to join a network, your EV equipment appears on special maps which electric car drivers utilize to find locations to plug in and charge. These maps are easily accessible to anyone who owns a smart phone. Having your restaurant appear on Google apps can increase your business with all customers, and literally put your restaurant on the map! By charging for the service, restaurants also have the opportunity to use the charger as a secondary source of income. The Blink Network takes care of all the details, allowing owners to control hours of operation, who can and cannot use the charger, collection of fees, and even control the station remotely.

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