History of Drive-Thru Restaurants

written by Benjamin Wafula 3rd December 2014


Setting up a drive-thru is an exceptional venture and it is amazing that KFC has been able to pull it off, becoming the pioneer of such a venture in Kenya.

The concept was inaugurated in the United States in the 1930’s by Jordan Martin and has since spread to other countries. The first recorded use of a bank using a drive-up window teller was the Grand National Bank of St Louis, Missouri in 1930 though it only allowed customers to make deposits and not withdrawals.

The First Drive-Thru 

The idea gave rise to drive-thru restaurants which was taken up by Sheldon “Red” Chaney, the operator of Red’s Giant Hamburg in Springfield, Missouri who set up the first restaurant in 1947 allowing customers to purchase food without parking their cars.

In this system, orders are generally placed using a microphone and picked up in person at the window thus eliminating the hassle of parking or finding sitting space in the restaurant.

How a drive-thru works (KFC)

There are glaring differences between drive-through and drive-ins with the former involving cars creating a line and move in one direction whereas drive-ins allow cars to park next to each other, the food brought to the window by a server and the customer can eat remain in the parked car and eat.

With over 211,000 drive-thrus in the United States by 2012 (the number could have risen) it is clear that its ability to save time and ensure efficient has made the venture so popular in several parts of the world.

Try KFC on Mombasa Road  

The new KFC drive-thru and sit down outlet is located along Mombasa Road after the Airtel Building and Tile & Carpet at the Total Petrol Station.

So next time you are driving on Mombasa road, be sure to drive through KFC and enjoy what is on offer.

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