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Restaurant Drive-Thru Construction in Higher Demand in 2020

You may find yourself searching for used concrete forms for sale and other supplies if you’ve been recently hired to do a construction job for a restaurant company. Restaurant construction is seeing an increase in projects, which is good news for construction firms and contractors who need backlog during the pandemic. Here is how drive-thrus are putting construction crews to work and are helping restaurants to survive.

The demand for drive-thrus

Every industry within the economy, including the construction industry has taken a hit from the coronavirus. Restaurant businesses have especially felt the impact. Many restaurants that had a dine-in only option have had to temporarily close or shut down altogether. According to Dodge Data & Analytics, food and beverage construction work have seen a 27 percent decrease this year through July.

However, there are some restaurant chains that have seen major activity resulting in higher profits and an increasing demand in service. COVID-19 has caused many restaurants to adjust the way they provide service. Many have been forced to make curbside pickup and takeout options available to stay in compliance with local health department orders to keep the spread of the virus to a minimum. Those with drive-thru lanes are looking for ways to run this service more efficiently.

Dodge Data & Analytics also reports that restaurant chains that have drive-thru lanes have seen more business. Chipotle profits were up 70 percent in July; Chick-fil-A also saw a 30 percent increase, and Starbucks 7 percent. McDonald’s saw almost 90 percent of its business during the second quarter come from its drive-thru service. Seeing this demand is causing these restaurants and their competitors to add drive-thru lanes or make them more productive.

Helping restaurants to survive

Before the pandemic, local municipalities kept new construction for drive-thrus at a minimum after getting complaints from residents about noise levels and slower traffic. Now, local governments are more likely to change their mind about drive-thru construction if they want to help local businesses survive during coronavirus.

Major restaurant chains are either adding on to their buildings to make room for drive-thrus or are making plans to build their first-ever drive-thru lanes. Those that want to survive during the pandemic should consult design companies as drive-thrus, curbside pickup, and takeout are now necessary to make it during this time of economic uncertainty.

The new essential

SCGWest Development, a design-build firm in California, sees drive-thrus becoming the distinguishing factor in making or breaking financing for food and beverage construction. The managing partner at SCGWest Development, Kyle Gorman, said that drive-thrus are presently seen as COVID-19 proof, and lenders are saying there is a freeze on new lending for projects that do not have plans for drive-thrus, take away options, or delivery service.

“Financing is tied directly to the lender’s view of how each business will perform,” Gorman said. “Drive-thrus and to-go restaurant concepts are currently viewed as less risky. Those are the ones that are getting funded.” Ultimately, restaurants must have a drive-thru lane in their proposed design for new construction, or they will not get the money from lenders. Drive-thrus are becoming a new essential element for restaurants.

A lasting impact

COVID-19 will likely cause a longer-lasting effect than we realize as many businesses have to rethink their strategies for service to survive today and for years to come. This is probably not the end of drive-thru construction.

Overall, seeing the increase in restaurant construction demand presents a hopeful sign, not just for restaurants, but for construction. Construction firm leaders and contractors are looking forward to securing new jobs.

Your trusted supplier

Whether your next project is for a drive-thru or a new building altogether, Forming America is here for your supply material needs. Contact us today to buy used concrete forms, used plywood, or formwork accessories.

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