You are in your car, but stuck there. You cannot leave the car even to buy yourself coffee or stop by a library to drop books. For many drive-thru windows are salvation.
Our slow descent into automotive laziness started in 1928. America at that time was a land of opportunity and promise. It was also a land that was about to be dominated by the automobile. Surprisingly, it actually wasn’t a restaurant but a bank that blazed the trail. A Midwest bank opened what is claimed to be the first “drive-up” window in 1928.
As far as food goes, the watershed moment happened in 1947 with Sheldon Red’s Giant Hamburg along Route 66 in Springfield, Mo. The drive thru was born when the owner replaced his carhop service with a drive-thru window.
The rest is history. Fast food drive-thru windows are now part of everyday life. Hold the pickles, mustard, ketchup, tomatoes, buns, burgers and french fries. The drive thru concept has expanded and very strange drive thrus have appeared.
Check out our drive thru tidbits, the options are endless.
- In 2009, Pennsylvania politician Kevin Murphy opened and operated a drive-thru window designed to speed constituent service at his district office.
- Your car can be an effective examination room-one that prevents the spread of infectious diseases from patient to patient, and from patient to caregiver. Stanford Hospital & Clinics of California tested a model of drive-through emergency department. What’s more, instead of taking 90 minutes to examine patients, as typically happens, physicians completed their evaluations in an average of 26 minutes. Automobiles, it turned out, made excellent moving examination rooms, as well as self-contained isolation compartments.
- Robert L. Adams Mortuary in Compton, Calif., features drive-thru viewing of the dearly departed. You can come by after work, you don’t need to deal with parking, you can sign the book outside and the family knows that you paid your respects.
- “Pull over for Prayer!” In L.A. come Sunday church goers don’t even have to get out of your cars. Patrons rolled down their windows, and the Rev. Chris Martin or another minister held their hands and prayed while the cars idled.
- A Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas features the drive-thru Tunnel of Love marriage service. Some things that happen in Vegas really do need to stay in Vegas.
- There are several locations around North America that have open a convenient and quick way to drop library books with a drive-thru to drop books open 24hrs.
- The world’s largest specialty coffee chain once shunned the drive-thru concept, fearing it might alienate customers who like to come inside and sip their lattes while listening to music in cozy chairs. About a quarter to fifty percent drive-thrus comprise the Starbucks operated stores. Starbucks drive-thrus are nearly twice as efficient as typical fast food chains drive thrus.
- McDonald’s opened its first drive-thru in Sierra Vista, Ariz., in 1975, because soldiers from nearby Fort Huachuca were not allowed to get out of their cars while wearing army fatigues. McDonalds was also revolutionary in 2005 when they started experimenting with drive-thru call centers. Workers took orders remotely from McDonald’s outlets around the country, which were then sent back to the restaurants via the Internet, to be filled a few yards from where they were placed.