OnTrend Concepts
Drive-Thru Digest

January 31, 2023

Matt Cook, Editor

Remember when the authorities closed many restaurant dining rooms and customers’ only options were basically drive-thru and delivery?  The prevailing wisdom was that as soon as the authorities ended COVID restrictions the dining rooms would be full again.  The bad news is that dining room traffic is not what it once was for many.  The good news is that many customers became fans of the convenience of the drive-thru.

Drive-thru expansion and innovation is booming.  High drive-thru traffic is pushing restaurateurs to surpass customer expectations before the drive-thru loses its association with convenience.  Expansion is happening everywhere.  McDonald’s is growing for the first time since 2014, Salad and Go continues to expand, and Smoothie King is adding several locations.  And that’s just some of this week’s highlights.  Fun (and busy) times!!

And now the news…

Drive-Thru Digest – Issue #54

The Future of Fast Casual in 2023 and Beyond

The pandemic inspired fast casuals to adopt drive-thrus and delivery.

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Chick-fil-A revealed a troubling fix for a very big problem

One area where it's had significant problems is when Chick-fil-A causes vast traffic jams.

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California KFC Debuts Solar Drive-Thru Canopy

Solar canopies address customer needs while also locking in lower energy costs.

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McDonald's Will Open Hundreds Of New U.S. Locations In 2023

The last time the chain opened more locations than it closed was in 2014.

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How the McDonald's drive-thru was born

McDonald’s didn’t open its first drive-thru until 1975.

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Wawa Drive-Thru Strategy Results in Positive Growth

Chain benefitting from standalone food location.

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Smoothie King Opened 77 Locations in 2022

Smoothie King announced the brand signed agreements in 2022 to add over 160 stores.

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Smoothie King expands to 10 new Albany locations

The smoothie brand plans open 10 new stores in the Capital Region over the next three years.

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Raising Cane's Drive-Thru Lines Inspire Saturday Night Live Sketch

Saturday Night Live featured a parody ad for a car dealership that turned into a diatribe.

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Salad and Go drive-thru chain rolls into Houston suburbs in Texas expansion

Salad and Go plans to open three initial locations in February as it expands into Houston.

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Chicken Salad Chick Opens in San Antonio

This location marks Chicken Salad Chick’s 24th restaurant in Texas.

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This Indian Street Food Restaurant Opened Its First Drive-Thru Outlet In UK

The famous Indian street food eatery originally started operations in Delhi back in the 1920s.

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Frustration as old hotel and pub site could become Greggs with drive-thru

People say there are already "plenty enough" takeaways and drive-thrus in the area.

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Drive-thru pot dispensary proposed in Orchard Park

The request is for a drive-thru dispensary not far from Highmark Stadium.

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Our newsletters are a collection of all the news from the previous week related to each digest topic.  The focus is on trends, deal announcements, technology, and other industry disruptors and innovations.

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