Drive-thru lanes have been around for decades and not much has changed. However, since the Pandemic, many restaurant tenants single handedly witnessed drive thru lanes and take out operational components as lifelines to keeping their businesses afloat. Due to this, more restaurants are interested and desire to add drive-thru lane components to their current prototype and future expansion plans for customer convenience and the enhancement of the overall experience.
“According to the NPD Group, drive-thru restaurant visits increased by 26 percent in the April, May, and June of 2020, and represented 42% of all restaurant visits. For some chains, getting through 2020 meant relying heavily on the drive-thru lane. McDonald’s, for example, reported that in its top markets drive-thru orders accounted for 70 percent of total sales.”
With the new surge of restaurants wanting to add drive-thru lanes, it can come with some unpleasant side effects. This could mean longer wait times and increased traffic congestion for patrons. With the help and advancement in technology, some of these hinderances can be overcome to get customers through the lanes faster than ever before. Apps that allow users to order beforehand will become more and more popular and restaurants will adapt their business models, menu offerings and kitchens to allow for a quicker and more seamless experience. For example, Chick-fil-A has staff outside to take orders quickly and accept payment on the spot. They have also added more lanes so they can ease traffic congestion around their properties.
To this end, we will see restaurants require this in their future store expansion plans, ultimately leading to happier customers.
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