A London restaurant is revolutionising what it means to be a Drive-Thru, offering a full in-car dining service in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Specialising in stellar Pakistani cuisine, Spice Village in Croydon is offering customers a full restaurant experience from their own front seat. If your idea of a Drive-Thru only involves burgers and soggy chips, prepare to have your mind blown.
Drive-Thru curry changes the game for restaurants
The coronavirus pandemic has posed challenges for all restaurants.
Earlier in the year, for instance, many were in full emergency planning mode as a result of changing government policy on when their doors could open. This situation forced Spice Village to think outside the box.
The solution was an ingenious one. In March this year, the restaurant opened its car park to hungry customers, allowing them to book one-hour time slots.
Using specially designed trays, staff then provide a full meal, including drinks, served straight through the window. The result is an unorthodox service that could be a blueprint for post-pandemic dining.
Even though the concept only launched out of necessity, the so-called "Drive in Dine" is a smash-hit with customers.
Speaking with My London, 39-year-old business owner Suleman Raza revealed: "The response from customers has been amazing... We’ve had non-stop calls coming in from people trying to make reservations."
In fact, the idea is so popular that the restaurant still runs the service even after opening its doors again. The business promotes weekly Drive in Dine events on its Instagram, for which booking is absolutely essential.
As well as delicious food, customers also get great entertainment in the form of DJs, musicians, and comedians.
Drive-Thrus grow in popularity
Although Spice Village's approach is pretty trail-blazing, they aren't the only business taking a swing at the traditional drive-thru model.
Earlier this month, McDonald's revealed plans to replace human drive-thru staff with artificial intelligence. The business is planning to run several test restaurants in Chicago, using technology that is apparently 80% accurate and can handle 85% of orders.
Equally unusual was last weekend's wine drive-thru pop-up in Shoreditch. Serving London's first non-alcoholic canned wine, the pop-up proved that there are plenty of people open to the idea of an unconventional drive-thru.
If these successes and the Spice Village model are anything to go by, drive-thrus could be at an exciting crossroads.