The Growing Demand To Drive-Thru

August 5, 2022

The drive-thru concept had its start in the 1930s but really began to take off in the 50s and continues to rise in popularity today. America’s love for convenience by car started with the banking industry and has grown over the years to include dropping off mail, picking up a prescription, or grabbing a bit to eat.

According to a June 2022 report by IBISWorld, you should have more drive-thru options as the number of fast-food restaurants in the United States has grown 0.6% per year on average since 2017. These venerable establishments deservedly have their very own National Drive-Thru Day on July 24th.

Societal demand for convenience has increased the demand for drive-thrus. As a result, the increased demand for commercial real estate supporting the establishments has thrived in recent years. CNN reported, “a consumer survey found about 52% of quick-service restaurant orders were placed in drive-thrus in August 2021, compared to about 42% in January 2020.”

Many fast-food chains are phasing out or downsizing dining areas to make room for more drive-thru lanes. Competition for drive-thru real estate has increased as more dine-in-only restaurants have also decided to try the drive-thru concept.

Existing commercial properties are seeing an increase in property value allowing for the possibility of collecting higher rent, up to 20% in some cases, on future commercial or ground leases. Local governments are easing restrictions on drive-thrus as they too see the need for these in-demand establishments.

Drive-thru popularity is a boost for commercial real estate and the restaurant industry. It’s clear there will not be a slow-down for fast food or the commercial real estate the establishments occupy anytime soon, making the real estate they occupy a great investment.

Future drive-thru trends like more lanes and AI ordering components are sure to make your meal runs and more a breeze.

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