Drive-thru Done Right

Back in 1975 when McDonald's installed its first drive-thru window, U.S. consumers were in the midst of a sea change in their eating habits. Drive-up restaurants weren't new — A&W had hired its first car-hop in 1923, when it opened its first drive-in restaurant in Sacramento, Calif., — but dining habits were changing, leaving home-cooked meals at home in favor of the quick, the takeout, the "less work for Mother" (as Automat's first slogan read) meal. Still, in the mid-1970s full-service restaurants claimed about 60 percent of the total restaurant market. (Franchise Times, May 2012)

Today that percentage is about 50-50, and hundreds of fast casual and quick service restaurants have joined the economy, providing options not even imaginable when McDonald's opened its first drive-thru. Read More

Posted on August 9, 2013 and filed under The Chipotle Effect.