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Should You Add a Drive-Thru at Your Restaurant?


Should You Add a Drive-Thru at Your Restaurant?

With the rise of COVID-19 in 2020, many restaurants have seen a decline in in-person sales that still hasn't returned. Therefore, owners need to find new revenue streams to keep their businesses afloat. So, if you’ve been wondering if you should add a drive-thru at your restaurant, explore this blog to understand the process of adding one at your business.

What To Consider

Customers typically choose a drive-thru because of its convenience, so the first thing you'll need to decide is if your food would be conducive to the quick turnaround required. If your restaurant's menu isn't conducive to 5-minute turn arounds, a drive-thru might not be a good option. Also, the increased traffic can overwhelm a kitchen between those in line and those in the store.

A good rule of thumb is to look at your competitors. If they have a drive-thru, that means you probably need to add one soon to keep up. However, if they don't have one and you still think your business could benefit, then it could be a way to distinguish your restaurant from the competition.


If you decide to add a drive-thru, you'll have to consider the costs of installation. The main thing you'll need to build is the window itself. It will need to be located on the side of the building where cars can easily pull up.

You'll also need to decide how you’ll take orders. The obvious choice is to install a speaker system outside, where they drive around to the window, or you could opt for something to Chick-fil-a where they have a staff member outside who communicates with a two-way radio the orders back to the kitchen. That way, you can move people through the line quicker.

Also, it's suggested that you go with an electric board to display your outdoor menu. That way, you can quickly change out the products and prices.


Drive-thrus also require local permits for installation. Some cities will mandate the fire department to perform an inspection because you are adding a new window where air could get in during a fire. Local officials will also be concerned because of the idle cars that will sit so close to the store. So, you'll need to get approval from your city before construction can begin.

With this better understanding of adding a drive-thru at your restaurant, you’ll make the right choice to maximize your business's profits.

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