US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Is Drive-Through & Curb-Side Pick-Up the New Normal for Food & Retail?

As the pandemic drags on, there is evidence that at least businesses think that consumer behaviors will be changed for the long run.

First, we’re seeing more quick-service restaurants investing in changes to their facilities to make drive-through and carryout more efficient. Measures include

  • expanded drive-through lanes
  • dedicated parking spaces for picking up online orders
  • on-site pick-up “lock boxes” activated by QR codes or other app functions
  • technology that improves customer communication and enables orders to be produced faster

Second, cities are grappling with what do to about the tension between pick-up lanes, outdoor dining, and the need for parking as customers return to on-site shopping and dining. Early on, cities improvised by removing parking fees and allowing businesses to claim spots in front of their businesses for pick-up zones. The lack of dine-in options plus the rise of delivery services such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub propelled this need. Others converted parking spaces into outdoor dining or shopping areas.

While some cities are keeping these conversions and see them as the future of their business districts, others are converting back to conventional municipal parking spaces. The middle ground seems to be options such as limited time parking spaces dedicated for those picking up orders and parking spaces with free time for 10 to 15 minutes.

For more information about trends and opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s coverage of the packaging industry as well as food and beverage research from sister publisher Packaged Facts, including reports on Food Carryout & Delivery, Food Carryout and Delivery: Special COVID-19 Consumer Insights, Foodservice Single-Use Products, Global Foodservice, Global Foodservice Single-Use Products, and Retail Bags. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.

  Covid-19      Food & Beverage      Packaging