Hitting up a drive-thru fast food chain used to be the quick and convenient way to grab a small snack, cup of coffee or bite to eat. Whether you did a quick drive-by for a large mocha on your way to work or needed a quick way to feed the kids after soccer practice, drive-thrus were simply a fast and convenient way to keep with the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Now, though, drive-thru is not just the quick and convenient way. It is the only way. Since COVID-19 struck the United States early this year, stay-at-home orders across the country are preventing anyone from eating at restaurants, other than for carry-out and of course, drive-thru. And, as the pandemic continues throughout the country, drive-thrus are frequently packed with cars of patrons just waiting to feel a shred of normalcy with a large fountain soda or a take-home pizza.
Considering Drive-Thru for the Future
Are drive-thru-only operations the new normal for the United States? Consider the following:
Timing: While some states are beginning to loosen stay-at-home orders in early May, no one knows a set-in-stone timeframe of when things will “go back to normal.” Waiting for the okay from city, state, or federal officials could mean weeks, months or more.
Minimizing Interaction: An in-store outbreak of COVID-19 could cause incalculable damage. Drive-thru-only operations help to minimize long interactions, keeping your employees and customers safe.
Revenue Margins: Without the added space to rent for dine-in patrons, revenue margins for a smaller, drive-thru-only operation has the potential to help with restaurant revenue immensely.
Patron Experience: While the country works through this global pandemic, it’s important to take into consideration the future of your patron’s dining experience. A countrywide mentality change could mean patrons frequent drive-thrus more than dining in for the foreseeable future.
The Social Impact of Drive-Thru Operations
While we might not see drive-thru-only restaurants and other chains go to 100% drive-thru operations, there is a social aspect to this quick-service set-up. The correct job-function strategy helps make customers more comfortable coming to your business. The result? You experience a softened financial impact on individual stores and franchises.
Are you considering drive-thru-only modular buildings in the wake of COVID-19? Contact RJ Russo today for quality manufacturing and contracting needs, including factory-built modular structures that are perfect for drive-thru functions.