A couple of months ago we shared some thoughts on potential innovations coming in regards to drive thru’s (see this post: https://ontrendconcepts.com/grocery-insights/drive-thrus-driving-innovation/).
Certainly on the restaurant side we have already seen several concepts pivot to a digital and drive-thru focus. Witness the new Shake Shack concept, Wawa just opened their first drive thru (which is the first major convenience store to go with this format), Sonic unveiled a new drive-in design, Chipotle’s shift to “Chipotlanes” has received a lot of coverage, and there have been many articles in general about the shift to drive-thru concepts. We believe those are some smart adjustments for any chain which offers a quick-service type of concept. A similar pick-up window for your traditional sit-down restaurant may be the next trend we see (see our earlier posting on the idea).
We’re waiting to see if grocery chains have a similar shift. The idea of a drive-thru supermarket has been around for a long time, and I’m not sure it is realistic. There are a couple of one-off examples in Louisville and in the UK, but a more realistic approach would be for existing grocery stores to develop an out-of-the-way covered (out of the weather) pick up land for groceries ordered online. Something to keep an eye on!