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Re: Brooklyn Park - General Topics

Posted: February 19th, 2021, 7:04 pm
by Mdcastle
Drive Thru and Take-Out only Taco Bell proposed at 90th and Zane

Image ... Packet.pdf

COVID seems to be accelerating a trend that's started already in quick serve restaurants, even more away from dining rooms and towards drive-thrus than has been done already. Taco Bell does more of it's business indoors than other QSRs, and unlike others they've opened their dining room when allowed. But still they're proposing a new design with no dining room at all, a kitchen on top of a quadruple drive through, with one lane for conventional ordering and payment and three lanes for app pickups. You'll pull into the parking lot and park, check in, and then be directed to drive to one of three lanes. Unlike the Mankato Dunkin', there will be a very small lobby and counter for walk up orders.

Drive thrus and grocery pickup / delivery are already probably by far the safest methods of getting food in a pandemic, and here the app lanes will apparently deliver food down to the vehicle level via dumbwaiter, completely eliminating dangerous person to person contact. I used to go to Chipotle fairly regularly, but now there's no way I can get a burrito without taking a physical risk by entering the store (they don't deliver to my address), so I don't. Newer locations are building "Chipotlane" drive-thrus for app pickups, the company announced that going forward 70% of new locations would have them.

The pandemic will end sometime, but it's woken QSRs up to how expendable their dining room is relative to the space it takes, the work to keep it clean, and creating a hazard making their employees sick whether COVID or the flu or something else. They're probably thinking their could be another pandemic during the life of the structure, and that people may not immediately or never revert to old habits. I've gone to online grocery pickup rather than risk my life entering a grocery store, and I'm never going back to in-person grocery shopping again.

Re: Brooklyn Park - General Topics

Posted: February 19th, 2021, 7:41 pm
by DanPatchToget
1) The pandemic won't be forever.

2) All people need to do is wear a mask, social distance, and try to go to places at off-peak times. Do that and it's less likely for the virus to spread.

3) Not everyone has the money to get food delivered, and for some people (like me) it's just simpler to order food to an actual human rather than dealing with apps. And this is coming from a millennial.

4) We shouldn't be encouraging people to drive more. At least this will have a lobby for walk-up orders, but it's still catering more to cars.

5) Some people prefer eating inside rather than driving/walking/biking back home or where ever before eating. If I'm with friends we eat at the place we're getting food from, not sitting in our cars and then eating.

Seems like people will be using the pandemic as an excuse to cater to motorists even more than we already do, and this Taco Bell is a case in point.

Re: Brooklyn Park - General Topics

Posted: February 19th, 2021, 9:51 pm
by Mdcastle
No, the pandemic won't last forever, and I noted as such in my post. But companies don't want to be caught unprepared with buildings that have no provisions for contactless pickup in case we have another one. And as I noted a lot of people are going to stick with habits they learned.

"Less likely for the virus to spread" is a lot different from "effectively impossible for the virus to spread" like is the case with contactless or contract light options. Obviously some people are willing engage in risky behavior, but personally I'm not going into a public building until I'm vaccinated or have a N95 grade mask.

Point taken about some people like to eat inside, but probably not all Taco Bells will be diningroom-less; Burger King has two new prototypes and one maintains a small dining room. And I was under the impression places like Panera and Chipotle are a lot more fun to eat in at nowadays than fast food.