OnTrend Concepts
Drive-Thru Digest

June 15, 2022

Matt Cook, Editor

Some great articles in the Drive-Thru Digest this week!  Taco Bell, Panera, and Tim Horton’s dominate the hard news, but there are also some important insights in the other articles as well.  Enjoy!


And now, the news…

Drive-Thru Digest – Issue #23

The Inside Story of Taco Bell’s Newest and Most Innovative Store Design

The company’s four-lane “Defy” concept is getting ready to open and could revolutionize the fast-food drive-thru. But that is only part of the story.

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Taco Bell's New Floating Restaurant Redefines the Drive-Thru Experience

The fast-food chain opened its first Taco Bell Defy location, which has no dining room. Instead, the two-level building has four drive-thru lanes delivering food prepared on the building's top floor.

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NRN editors discuss Taco Bell’s state-of-the-art drive thru, Starbucks’ new CEO hunt

Plus, hear from Starbird’s Aaron Noveshen on the state of the industry

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The 2021 QSR magazine Drive-Thru Study: Speed of Service

Data on the total time in the drive-thru for some major brands. What it does not indicate is how many cars in the line. A drive-thru time might be low because there are no customers, which might be a red flag!

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Panera Opens Digital-Only Restaurant

As of the end of 2021, 81% of Panera’s sales were via one of Panera’s off-premise channels.

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Panera Bread Readies 'Next-Generation' Drive-Thru

Panera is leaning in hard on drive thru's and pick-up service powered by its mobile app.

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Tim Hortons Unveils its Restaurants of the Future

The first drive-thru-only stores will open later this summer.

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Tim Hortons Plots Growth with New ‘Biebs Brew,’ Drive-Thru Model

On June 6, Tim Hortons introduced two new drive-thru formats aimed at improving the guest experience and attracting franchise candidates looking for more flexibility. The two formats include a 1,600-square-foot model with a 24-seat dining room and a drive-thru, and a smaller drive-thru-only model with a footprint of about 900 square feet.

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Wintrust Business Minute: McDonald’s tries speeding up drive-thru experience

Chicago-based McDonald’s is trying to speed up the drive-thru experience, particularly wait times in line. And to get that done, the company is cutting some healthy food from the menu. Nutritious menu options like grilled-chicken sandwiches, salads and fruit and yogurt parfaits are gone and likely won’t return anytime soon.

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Fast-casual chains rev up to meet drive-thru demand

Chains including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Shake Shack, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and Sweetgreen are meeting that demand with the rollout of redesigned units featuring drive-thru lanes.

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Why Consumers Still Prefer the Drive-Thru

Here's why drive-thru demand will likely persist long after COVID restrictions become a thing of the past.

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Fast Casual Customers are Starting to Expect a Drive-Thru

As the lines between fast casual and fast food blur, diners are increasingly expecting quick-service convenience at more-polished limited-service chains.

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Every second counts: How restaurants are surviving in 2022 and beyond

Restaurateurs weigh in on how to cut costs and thrive in 2022 and beyond.

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How Digital is Transforming the Restaurant Dining Experience

Mobile ordering and apps are now the norm—the next frontier is über-personalized experiences rooted in deep analytics and insights. Here, we look at how some of the most innovative restaurant brands are taking their digital game to the next level.

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