How the Pandemic has Changed how Fast Food Restaurants Operate

Before the pandemic, it wasn’t rare to see several people dining inside a restaurant or waiting for their food. Unfortunately, because of COVID, customers need to find a new contactless way of ordering and getting their food. This makes drive-throughs at fast-food restaurants the perfect place. With the rise of technology, drive-throughs have already become extremely popular, but the coronavirus has boosted the demand even higher.


McDonald’s is currently getting 90% of its sales in the US from just drive-throughs. To keep up with the demand, businesses are doing all they can to keep up with their customers’ needs. McDonald’s is turning their single-lane drive-throughs into double-lane drive-throughs. KFC is also introducing a lane exclusively for orders from the mobile app.


Another restaurant completely revolutionizing fast food restaurants is Taco Bell. Taco Bell has started making “Taco Bell Go Mobile” locations. These locations feature a dual drive-through and curbside pickups. One of the most significant changes in Taco Bell’s new design is that it will have no dining room and will be exclusive for mobile orders. The removal of the dining room will allow them to make the building 47% smaller, which not only saves space but also money and time. When Taco Bell has a dining room, they need to pay more for the land, air conditioning, lighting, decoration, and they even need to pay someone to clean the room. Without a dining room, Taco Bell does not have to pay for any of that.


A couple of months ago, Taco Bell submitted another new design that could completely change fast food forever. A Taco Bell franchisee says that this location will be ”so different that it has never been constructed anywhere before.” This new Taco Bell Design features a two-story building with a kitchen on the second floor. This building also has no dining room, similar to the “Go Mobile” design, but has four drive-through lanes that go directly under the second floor. One lane will have traditional face-to-face window ordering and will also be used by oversized cars. The other three lanes will be for people who use the mobile app. Customers will be able to drive under the building and have their meal lowered down to them on a dumbwaiter system. Although this design seems strange, it could potentially change the fast-food industry forever. This design could save franchises money and make ordering food more convenient for customers as well.