A rendering of Sweetgreen’s “drive-in” check location
Salad restaurant chain Sweetgreen will open its first location with a drive-thru lane and ordering from parking spots subsequent yr because it expands past cities into suburban America.
It joins the flood of restaurant firms which have unveiled new designs impressed by the coronavirus pandemic. Quick-food chains like Yum Manufacturers’ Taco Bell and Restaurant Manufacturers Worldwide’s Burger King have targeted their new designs on making supply and digital orders much more handy.
However the fast-casual phase, which incorporates Sweetgreen and Chipotle Mexican Grill, has been influenced by the success of drive-thru lanes. Drive-thru orders grew by 24% throughout the restaurant trade in October, in response to The NPD Group. Like Sweetgreen, Shake Shack will open its first ever drive-thru lane in 2021. And Chipotle, which has been constructing its “Chipotlanes” for a number of years, is planning so as to add much more drive-thru lanes as same-store gross sales at these eating places outpace the remainder of its footprint.
A rendering of Sweetgreen’s drive-thru lane
Sweetgreen’s pilot restaurant is slated to open subsequent winter in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Drive-thru prospects will order their salads and heat bowls forward with Sweetgreen’s cellular app.
Whereas impressed by the pandemic, the vaccine might have already halted the unfold of Covid-19 earlier than the idea’s launch.
However, stated Chief Idea Officer Nic Jammet, “Plenty of our prospects have already got this conduct of utilizing the Sweetgreen app to order forward and are available forward to select it up.”
Even earlier than the worldwide well being disaster, greater than 50% of Sweetgreen transactions have been digital orders, fueling enterprise capital curiosity within the privately held chain. The corporate’s final funding spherical in 2019 valued it at $1.6 billion. Sweetgreen advised The New York Instances that its 2019 revenues topped $300 million. All through the disaster, its digital channels have seen development of greater than 70%.
A rendering of Sweetgreen’s “drive-in” parking spots
Prospects who wish to order from the consolation of their vehicles once they get to the restaurant shall be in a position to take action at devoted parking spots with intercom bins below a solar-paneled overhang, just like the ordering fashion at Sonic Drive-In.
Due to the variations from a conventional drive-thru restaurant, the chain is asking the design a “drive-in.” Prospects who wish to eat their salads on the restaurant can both eat inside their vehicles or at an outside patio space. The restaurant design additionally options exterior home windows that permit drive-thru prospects to see the kitchen and meals preparation space from their vehicles.
In accordance with Jammet, Sweetgreen has been occupied with drive-thru lanes for years, pushed by the thought of constructing wholesome meals simply as handy as burgers and fries. The pilot additionally comes because the chain furthers its enlargement into the suburbs after spending its early years specializing in city markets.
“Positively throughout Covid, our work on this accelerated, and we stated, ‘Now’s our time,'” Jammet stated. “Our prospects’ conduct is shifting much more quickly … and as we transfer into extra of those suburban areas and opening in new cities and new neighborhoods, it simply appeared like one thing we should always actually deal with lastly.”