Applebee’s Experiments With Drive-Thru Windows

An Applebee’s location in Texarkana, Texas, is adding a drive-thru option to their establishment. The restaurant is testing to see if the drive-thru method is effective. The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and many restaurants have turned to alternative methods for offering food.

“We look forward to assessing the performance of this installation, understanding feedback from our guests and operators, as well as any impact to business performance,” Scott Gladstone, the vice-president of strategy and development at Applebee’s, said. “If positive, we will determine whether pickup windows should be included in our building design packages.”

According to market researchers at The NPD Group, restaurant drive-thru visits increased by 26 percent in the second quarter of 2020. When the drive-thru service becomes available at Applebee’s, customers can either order through their phones or online using an app.

“I think consumer behavior will shift permanently to to-go and delivery because people have learned how to use them and, frankly, it looks like they like them,”  Gladstone said.

“We are looking at prototypes to think how we can handle to-go orders more efficiently. What are better, easier ways to pick up food? Does that include a pickup window? […] We were already thinking about to-go differently, but now we’re thinking about it more and ideating the most optimal ways to pick up food.”

Do you like the idea of a drive-thru for a restaurant like Applebee’s, or do you prefer to dine-in?


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