Shake Shack, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Starbucks are some of the fast food enterprises that are focusing on expanding their drive-thru infrastructure over the coming months. The shift seem to have come from the new social distancing norms wherein fast food chains have realized the importance of drive-thrus for business.
Food industry executives claim that customers prefer contactless access to their favorite food chains. Drive-thrus have worked as a boon for fast food companies like Wendy’s and McDonald’s. These companies experienced more reasonable same store sales declines as the lockdowns started and revenues that jumped back up more rapidly.
Aaron Allen, Chief Executive and Founder, Aaron Allen & Associates, a renowned restaurant consultancy, stated that the pandemic has resulted in a double digit revenue growth among drive-thrus. This trend has fueled a resurging buyer frenzy among food chains to acquire drive-thru real estate.
Fast casual restaurant chain, Shake Shack is reportedly bringing its own twist to its drive thrus next year. The food chain plans to make lanes for digital order pickup and ordering food on-site. The company also wants to develop a walk-up window or a lane only for digital order pickup, both of which are being dubbed as ‘Shack Tracks’.
Randy Garutti, CEO of Shake Shack stated that, in the present times, to stay safe, customers prefer to stay within their cars. However, while this fear will not last forever, the pandemic has proven why the drive thru in its original form works. The company wants to do the same in a new way.
Apparently, burger and milkshake chains are not the only companies entering the drive-thrus business for the first time because of the pandemic. Wawa, a renowned convenience store chain also reportedly announced its plan to start its very first freestanding drive thru in December 2020.