OnTrend Concepts
Drive-Thru Digest

March 16, 2022

Matt Cook, Editor

Restaurants continue to see some great results from their drive-thrus.  Applebees, Portillos, Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, In-N-Out Burger and others all have drive-thru news this week.  Even the “bad” news (drive-thru’s not being approved by city councils) is a testament to the popularity of drive-thrus (they are being denied because of the long lines impact local traffic patterns!).  I think it is time someone launches an event to bring together the experts in drive-thru technology and operations…keep an eye out for an announcement along those lines, coming soon!


Oh, and we understand that some of our subscribers did not receive the Drive Thru Digest last week.  To check out last week’s issue, click here.


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And now, the news…

Drive-Thru Digest – Issue #11

Applebee’s is adding more drive-thru restaurants this year

Applebee’s is planning to open about 10 restaurants in 2022, doubling last year’s total, and several of them will have a drive-thru.

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In-N-Out officially submits application to open first Idaho location

In-N-Out Burger has officially filed for a permit to build its first Idaho location at the Village at Meridian.

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Portillo’s Q4 exploits its multi-channel model

First three-lane Pickup location opened Feb. 1 in Joliet, Ill., with sales reaching $140,000-plus a week, company CEO Michael Osanloo says.

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4 Reasons for Optimism at Red Robin

Staffing challenges have slowed the chain’s comeback from COVID. But these underlying trends have the brand feeling good about the future.

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Streamlined To-Go Restaurants Expanding At P.F. Chang’s

In February 2022, the restaurant chain P. F. Chang’s introduced P.F. Chang’s To-Go, with a smaller footprint, and an emphasis on take-out and delivery.

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Arctic Circle to open new double drive-thru concept in Bluffdale

Arctic Circle, a Utah-born food and frozen treat hotspot for more than 70 years, is turning a new page with the restaurant chain’s first-ever double drive-thru concept.

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Chick-fil-A to build new drive-thru to ease traffic congestion near Norwalk restaurant

The Norwalk Conservation Commission voted this week to approve plans to build a larger drive-thru at the popular fried chicken chain’s Connecticut Avenue location.

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Chick-fil-A isn't the first to get backlash over a drive-through. It's a California tradition

For decades, critics have complained the drive-through lanes create traffic woes, litter, noise and bad air quality.

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McDonald’s ‘disappointed’ after new restaurant and drive-thru plans refused

UK: McDonald’s says it is ‘disappointed’ and ‘reviewing options in moving forward’ after plans for a new restaurant and drive-thru in Tamworth were refused.

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Case Study: KFC.com — A transformed digital ordering platform, merging KFC’s iconic brand with unparalleled convenience

With estimates that quick-service restaurants will be 54% digital by 2025, KFC needed an agency partner to help bring their southern hospitality into the digital age.

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In absence of RRF, restaurants can use tech to boost recovery

When hard work and hard-working technology come together, restaurant profit margins can grow from the 5-7% profit margins that this industry has come to expect to the double digits that this industry deserves.

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Olo Integrates Radar’s Geofencing Technology to Help Minimize Restaurant Pick-up and Delivery Wait Times

The enhanced integration and strategic partnership will enable trip tracking functionality to improve the digital order fulfillment process and off-premise experience for Olo and Radar’s marquee restaurant brands and their consumers.

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Demand for autonomous retail accelerates

UK: The overwhelming majority of Brits (70%) now want an autonomous shopping experience.

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More Americans Drinking Coffee and Venturing Outside the Home, NCA Report Shows

In several ways, the report suggests the pandemic has created a massive boomerang effect in regard to the methods by which coffee is brewed and the places in which it is consumed.

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Surging Gas Prices May Hurt Drive-Thru Sales

In theory this makes sense, but have you noticed less traffic on the road due to gas prices?

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11 essential Houston drive-thru restaurants, from tacos to kolaches

Texans love Whataburger, we get it. The burger chain is fast, it’s cheap, and there’s a drive-thru window that is all too convenient on days when you’re strapped for time. Here are some others.

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