In the scramble for more off-premise business, a growing number of restaurant chains are looking hard at updated versions of curbside delivery, the takeout service that became a casual-dining staple almost a decade ago.
But Curbside 2.0 is finding nearly as much traction in the quick-service market, where the benefits were once presumed to be deliverable via drive-thrus. That assumption has been upended by Chick-fil-A’s curbside service, which by all accounts has been a hit for the chicken chain.
The amenity is aimed at mothers with small children. Instead of having to herd the youngsters into the store for traditional takeout, or even try to collect and pass along orders from a carful of rambunctious kids, the new service allows mom to place orders via Chick-fil-A’s app, pull up to the restaurant, hit a button that says, “I’m here,” and have the order passed through the driver-side window by a crewmember.
A similar setup figures largely into McDonald’s turnaround plan.
Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A is adopting a new variation, a service called Parent Pay and Park, or, alternatively, Mom’s Valet.
But casual brands aren’t overlooking the opportunity, either. Curbside takeout revamps are underway at several big-name chains.
Here’s a roundup of who’s doing what.