10 thoughts on “Is drive-thru shopping in our future?”

  1. Some of this is available today. In Ohio (and a few other states), there are convenient stores called “drive throughs”. At these stores, you drive in to them, order your products from the cashier; they load your car and you pay them, then you drive away.

    When I was a kid, they would sell you a cold case of beer–eventually, though, they had to load it in the trunk of your car, not your back seat.

    • I’m in Ohio too, and we’ve had drive-thru beverage stores that have beer & pop, milk, bread, lunchmeat, candy, snacks like pretzels & chips, cigarettes, etc, as long as I can remember, and I can remember back a lot of decades lol.

      You drive in one end, tell the guy what you want, he gathers it up, bags it and puts it in the car, does the transaction, and you drive out the other end. Looks like a long skinny garage with automatic overhead doors at each end, with shelving, coolers and freezers along the walls.

  2. Why would they need cashier’s? Why would it be such an inefficient use of space? Something similar to the Amazon robots that are already working in amazon warehouses could assemble orders very rapidly from a much larger variety of options and easily bring them to a single ‘ drive thru’ lane that could handle transactions much faster than this concept with 1 cashier per lane, per vehicle… that looks like a poorly thought out design with massive unnecessary overhead.

    Also,.that person’s idea of the “future” has people “driving” cars…. why would we even get in a car at all to buy groceries? Order online and a self driving delivery vehicle could bring it to you directly for less than the cost of going yourself.

    • I thought the same things. Plus, is each one of those drive-up stations going to be fully stocked with everything in the store? And cashiers?? Those are already becoming very obsolete where I live. Home Depot, WalMart, grocery stores, have ½ the cashiers they used to and more & more self-checkouts. And McDonalds has virtually eliminated order-takers and cashiers. The only live person to take your order around here is if you use the drive-thru.

      After seeing video of Amazon warehouses, Keith is absolutely correct. You could order online from home, and by the time you drive to the store the robots would already have it all ready to drop into your car.

      If I can get stuff at my door from 2,000 miles away in 2-3 days, including on Sundays now, it oughta be pretty easy to get stuff to me from the bigass grocer 1½ miles away within an hour or so.

  3. Back in the 70’s they had drive through “Beer Barns” down south.

    I pity the Prius/Miata owner if this ever comes to fruition.

    I personally don’t want someone/something picking up fruits and vegetables for me.
    They are not going to care what it looks like and you may get things that are half rotten.

    • It looks to me that you pick out your own fruits and vegetables and I assume just about everything else on those revolving shelves.

  4. Such a waste of real estate, and people are going to leave their cars running in an enclosed space. Human cashiers would need a specially ventilated space, which limits their ability to interact with customers.

    Items are going to be dropped on the ground (ruining inventory) or just pulled (stolen) directly into the car. Stocking the shelves will be a pain because they’re going to have to deliver new stock throughout the “store” instead of just one small area. If there’s a special set of shelves for corresponding “aisles” that we’re accustomed to, there are bound to be collisions or traffic jams.

    It won’t work for big/bulky items or heavy things that people won’t be able to manipulate with one hand from a distance. And what about frozen goods? Doors on these shelves would be hard to work with, especially if you can’t see through the glass because of frost build-up. Freshly cut meats at the deli counter? Probably not.

    No, I don’t see this working on any kind of reasonable scale.

  5. Companies rely heavily on shelf placement (paying for their items to be at eye level, etc.) and what about impulse items? Regarding the former, it would seem to negate competitive labels just for simplicity sake since there can be as many as five labels of corn. That adds up when you consider all the types of things that are at a store. It would seem that the rotating shelf would have to be several stories high to stock as much as a regular store. Either that, or one can spend driving through several aisles which would seem more of a hassle.

    On the plus side, you’ll never get that shopping cart with the wobbly wheel.


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