Follow the line of cars. That would be for the drive-through window where most of the orders for QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants) are being fulfilled, in lieu of in-house seating.
McDonald’s recently reported that 90% of its sales are coming from the drive-through window, compared with about 60% pre-COVID-19. Mobile order and pay apps play a big role as well and also benefit both employees and customers since they do not have to handle cash. Eateries without drive-through capabilities have been at a disadvantage and will continue to be as the COVID-19 shutdown unwinds.
The following Wall St. Journal article, excerpted below, reports more on the topic:
Big restaurant chains have done an admirable job navigating the coronavirus crisis. As a result, the future of the industry might look a lot like the present. The spread of the coronavirus, coupled with government-mandated lockdowns, wreaked havoc on the U.S. restaurant industry.
Darden Restaurants, which operates sit-down chains like Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, said Thursday that comparable sales fell nearly 48% from a year earlier in the quarter that ended May 31, and are down by a third so far in June. Many smaller independent businesses, meanwhile, have been hit even harder.
At the same time, big fast-food chains have been bringing home the bacon. These chains have responded to the crisis by reducing menu options, closing dining rooms and offering better deals. As a result, customers have been returning in large numbers.
McDonald’s U.S. sales fell by 19% from a year earlier in April, but that figure rebounded to just a 5% decline in May. Carrols Restaurant Group, one of the largest franchisee groups in the U.S., said sales at its Burger King locations fell by 33% from a year earlier during the last week of March, but were up by 2.5% during the first week in June. Sales jumped 14.6% during that same week at its Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen stores. Stock prices have jumped far off the March lows in response.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group