Your Drive Thru is Banned! What Now?

Written by  on 21 August 2019
Drive Thru BanA recent article in QSR Magazine caught my attention the other day, and I've been thinking about it ever since. According to the magazine, the City Council in Minneapolis voted on August 8th to ban the construction of new drive-thrus. Other legislation was already in place to limit drive-thrus, but this ban is sweeping. No new drive-thrus in Minneapolis. If you are thinking about a new restaurant in Minneapolis and a drive-thru is part of your concept, think again.
 
"Most major quick serves report about 70 percent of their sales going out the drive-thru window..." QSR Magazine, October 2018
 
It's not news that the drive-thru is a source of significant revenue for quick-service restaurants. So, what do you do when you are no longer allowed to have one? And before you think, "I don't live in Minneapolis" ask yourself why they put this ban in place. Could your city make a similar decision? The bottom line: Minneapolis has a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. It's a green initiative, and green initiatives are happening all over the country. Your city could be next. Are you prepared?
 
The leadership team at RSS discussed this issue, and here are the questions we are asking ourselves. You should be asking them too.
 
  1. To what service channel will typical drive-thru customers switch? Online ordering, In-store kiosks?
  2. Given the choice between two restaurants, one with and one without a drive-thru, which will they choose?
  3. How will this ban impact the property value of existing locations with drive-thrus?
  4. What design and operational changes will be necessary to accommodate the increased flow of foot traffic?
  5. Can a quick-service restaurant be successful without a drive-thru?
 
A ban of this nature will force restaurants to invest more in building their online ordering platforms. It will also force them to figure out their delivery model. These things were already coming, but with a ban on drive-thrus, it's inevitable. Store owners must also look hard at the inside of their stores. Do people want to come inside? Can you serve them quickly and efficiently enough to draw them into your store repeatedly?
 
The only way to be ready for a change like this is to think hard now, ask the right questions, and invest in the best people and the right technologies.
 
What do you think? How do you get ready for a disruptive change of this nature? Leave a comment below.
 
Read 197 times Last modified on Wednesday, 04 September 2019 10:55

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