CHAMPAIGN, Ill.—Jimmy John’s has opened its first drive-thru only location, located in Bartow, Florida, according to a news release. The drive-thru restaurant design is new for the company and is a digital-forward approach that promotes mobile order pickup. The concept builds upon Jimmy John’s new brand identity, which launched last year, according to the company.
The drive-thru restaurant features dual-sided pickup windows, with one lane designated for online and mobile orders, and customers have the option to pick up their mobile and online orders at carryout lockers. Jimmy John's partnered with ChangeUp for the design and rebrand of the store.
“Jimmy John’s has always been at the forefront of the industry, particularly when it comes to listening to our customers,” said Andrew Bello, vice president of design and architecture at Inspire Brands, Jimmy John’s’ parent company. “This new drive-thru only model represents our continued commitment to evolve with our customers and serve the best, freshest sandwiches with speed and efficiency.”
In December, Panera Bread opened a new restaurant with two drive-thru lanes—one lane specifically for the brand’s Rapid Pick-Up service.
Drive-thrus are increasing among convenience stores, as customers are preferring the service. In January 2021, Wawa opened its first stand-alone drive-thru experiment in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, with a single-lane drive-thru offering Wawa’s breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Last March, 7-Eleven opened a Laredo Taco Company drive-thru restaurant at its 7-Eleven Evolution Store in Dallas. (Learn more about 7-Eleven’s Evolution stores’ food- and beverage-forward experience in the 2021 Ideas 2 Go video and this week’s Convenience Matters podcast episode.)
NACS Magazine dove into this topic in the article “Pass Through” and “Pandemic Pushes Design Rethink.” In the U.K., convenience and forecourt retailers are considering new business models to bring customers back into the store, and drive-thru and delivery are quickly emerging as the strongest contenders.