Drive-Thru Digest

February 2, 2022

Peter Cook, Publisher

Plenty of drive-thru related news this week…both company announcements/deals/news and great analysis regarding trends and opportunities.  Of particular note is the National Restaurant Associations State of the Industry Report.

Grab a cup of coffee and take your time reading this week’s Drive-Thru Digest.  It is our best yet.  And please share it with colleagues and clients who are also in the business!

And now, the news…

Drive-Thru Digest – Issue #5

National Restaurant Association Releases 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry Report

Key findings illustrating how the restaurant industry continues its recovery.


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Majority Of US Restaurant Operators Think It Would Be A Year Before Normality Returns: Survey

In its 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry report, the NRA projects the foodservice industry to reach $898 billion in sales in 2022. Further, the foodservice industry workforce is projected to grow by 400,000 jobs, for total industry employment of 14.9 million by the end of 2022.


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Dunkin’ building a GO drive-thru and walk-up model in North Jacksonville

The doughnut and coffee shop opened its first Florida concept with no indoor seating.


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How One Fully Automated Restaurant Continues to Thrive

As the restaurant industry moves toward contactless service, Box’d is working to create a blueprint for the future of restaurants.


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A drive-thru only Buffalo Wild Wings? One is planned in Florida

Buffalo Wild Wings, known for its massive dining rooms and dozens of large-screen TVs tuned to sporting events, has been rolling out more express to-go stops during the pandemic.


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Peter Piper Pizza Launches To-Go Only Concept – Peter Piper Express

The brand extension comes after Peter Piper saw off-premise sales skyrocket in 2021 with strong demand for its scratch-made pizza and menu items.


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Santa Barbara Takes Steps to Declare Chick-fil-A Drive-Thru a Public Nuisance

Wildly popular restaurant is trying to address the fact that they have far more customers than their drive thru lanes and parking lot can accommodate.


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Checkers & Rally's Reveals Big Growth Plans for 2022

This past year, the company successfully executed 90 new commitments towards new restaurants, attributing 39 units to existing franchisees and 51 units to new franchisees. The company is expected to open more than 60 new sites in 2022.


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Atomic Wings adding drive-thru

Atomic Wings, a New York-based franchise with dozens of locations, is unveiling its first drive-thru restaurant in Hagerstown, Maryland.


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The UK’s first ever drive-thru kebab shop could soon be on its way

The two-story building could be converted into a branch of the restaurant chain German Doner Kebab.


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Podcast: WD Partners, Joanne Heyob: I’ll Take a Cheeseburger with a Side of Innovation, Please.

In this episode, drive-thru expert Joanne recommends four key ways that restaurant operators can adjust their drive-thru strategy to give the consumers what they want.


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Domino's introduces $3 credits for carryout customers

Domino's carryout credits incentivize off-premise ordering, but may also relieve some of the labor pressure facing the chain's self-delivery operations.


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Del Taco Opens A New Prototype As The Company Focuses On Taking The Brand National

The drive-thru has always been a big business for the quick-service segment, generating about 70% of sales at several chains.


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Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Gets into the Drive-Thru Game

The fast casual has signed a 50-store deal with a franchisee, all of which are slated to include drive-thrus.


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Tech Roundup: The Case for Google Ordering

The low-commission channel continues to look like a no-brainer for restaurants.


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Restaurants Hedge Their Bets with a Future-Proof Tech Stack

Key considerations must include a strong mobile strategy with location capabilities that facilitate fulfillment, automation, and self-service.


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How to create a digital menu to boost your restaurant’s marketing strategy?

How to create a digital menu to boost your restaurant’s marketing strategy?


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How Data Science Gives Small and Midsize Brands a Competitive Edge Against Big Brands

Operators improve sales and targeting with access to better data.


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The future of to-go dining: Ghost kitchens and virtual brands

While the pandemic continues on, the once looked-for “new normal” has evolved into an ever-changing “next normal.” For the restaurant industry, the next normal is largely focused on capitalizing on increasing sales from to-go and off-premise dining.


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How to Use Hyperlocal Marketing in Today's Consumer Environment

The 'invisible' digital guest is just as important as the customer in front of you.


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Want to Know Where Restaurants are Headed? Follow Gen Z

The younger generation is far more likely to use modern innovations like alcohol delivery and digital ordering. Their habits point the way to future growth.


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Where the digital and in-person restaurant experiences collide

Krystle Mobayeni aims to deepen the relationship between restaurants and customers by merging off-premises and on


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Restaurant menus shrank 25 per cent because of supply chain, price issues, data suggest

The data comes from Square, which provides a variety of financial products, including point-of-sales systems, to hundreds of thousands of small businesses in Canada.


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The restaurant labor crisis won't end in 2022. But it's improving.

Quits are high, but hires are higher, signaling a slow recovery this year for restaurants who can offer competitive pay, benefits and culture.


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Restaurant visits nearing 2019 levels, but recovery will be 'bumpy'

Major chains have been able to adjust operations and shift to off-premise channels more quickly than their independent peers, which better insulated the bigger concepts during the initial shutdowns of 2020, as well as the subsequent delta and omicron variants.


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Why To-Go Packaging is the New Dinnerware

To-go packaging today must deliver a convenient experience.


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Restaurant Sector Update – Winter 2022

Sales growth, aided by strong off-premise trends combined with the proliferation of ghost kitchens and virtual brands, continues to improve month-over-month despite ongoing labor challenges.


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DoorDash driver shoots McDonald's worker after drive-thru argument, Baton Rouge Police say

The spat started with a disagreement at the restaurant's drive-thru window, which involved a DoorDash driver who was angry with the contents of an order they were trying to fill. While it's good to see someone so passionate about getting the order right, this is a little extreme.


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8 plant-based fast food entrees you can get at the drive-thru right now

Nearly every major fast food chain across the nation has taken a dip into the plant-based community pool. Some are still just testing the waters, but others are diving right in. The team here at OnTrend Concepts is looking forward to the time when someone announces meat-based vegetables...like "Announcing veggie-less kale chips, made with 100% bacon!"


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