Drive-In Restaurants: A Look Back and a Look Ahead


On the March episode of Technical Foodies, host Delia Sargeant sits down with former OrderMatic President, Paul Crawford for a brief drive down memory lane to the local drive-in restaurant. The two discuss the past, present and future of the drive-in restaurant model with a few laughs along the way.

 

Drive-in restaurants were a staple of American culture in the mid-20th century. Now seemingly faded into the past, drive-ins are mostly seen in American movies like Dazed and Confused and American Graffiti, but you can still find them today.
Sonic is the largest chain with 3,545 locations in the US, but local mom-and-pop drive-ins still exist all over the country and look almost exactly like they did in the 50s -except maybe for the roller skates.

 

As discussed with Tyler in last month’s episode, QSRs are going digital, investing in tech, and taking advantage of partnerships to stay relevant and profitable. So how do drive-ins fit into the equation? Both the big chains like Sonic or Stars and the local favorite mom & pop locations?

Will these fixtures of Americana jump on the tech train? Or stay antiquated to capitalize on nostalgia?

 

Learn more about the current state of drive-ins in the US, what technological innovations are on the forefront, how drive-ins differ from traditional drive-thru QSRs and where the model is headed nest on this month’s episode of Technical Foodies.


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