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Pokeworks to add an order-ahead pickup lane

The fast-casual chain plans to open its first Cruise-Thru lane this spring.
Photo courtesy of Pokeworks

Fast-casual chain Pokeworks is rolling out a new prototype featuring an order-head-pickup drive-thru lane.

Pokeworks is calling it a Cruise-Thru lane. The first one is slated to open in Knoxville, Tenn., this spring, the chain said in a statement. More pickup lanes are scheduled to be built, primarily at new suburban locations.

“This year we’ve seen that safety, comfort and convenience have become the top priority for today’s consumers,” Peter Yang, the chain’s chief development officer and co-founder, said in a statement. “The Cruise-Thru Lane is just one way we’ve leaned into our commitment to innovation and adapting to better serve the needs of our guests.”

The Irving, Calif.-based poke bowl concept has 60 units and first opened in 2015.

Chipotle Mexican Grill with its Chipotlanes was the first major chain to launch an order-ahead pickup drive-thru, and Pokeworks follows that model. Customers place an order on the brand’s app and pick up their orders at the Cruise-Thru Lane.

The rendering for Pokeworks’ new prototype shows drive-up lanes with the Hawaiian words “Aloha” and “Maholo” to designate the mobile pickup areas. The new design also features outdoor seating.

In recent months, a number of restaurant brands—particularly quick-service ones—have debuted new prototypes designed to capitalize on changing consumer preferences amid the pandemic.

Shake Shack is opening its first drive-thru and is adding pickup windows to many of its units. Chipotle recently opened its first Digital Kitchen, which is about half the size of a traditional unit and focuses on delivery and pickup orders.



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