Drive-Through Parking

In my drive-through piece a while back, I speculated the numbers about drive-throughs somehow being environmentally superior to parking lots might be off for a number of reasons, including the idea that some drivers use the drive through and then park. In any case, I came across this curious sign that seems to connote just that behavior, rather paradoxically.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 at 10:10 am and is filed under Parking, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Drive-Through Parking”

  1. Jason Stokes Says:

    Typically this is for people who have ordered either large orders or a long lead time product (like chicken nuggets late at night), and need to wait for an employee to come deliver to their car. It’s not for “eat-in” drive through visitors.

  2. MikeOnBike Says:

    It looks ironic, but that’s where they send you to wait if your order is taking too long, so they can serve the next customer in line. Sort of like the “take-out only” parking spaces at fancier restaurants.

  3. Paul Johnson Says:

    What Mike said. If your order is going to take more than a few seconds, they ask you to pull to the side and stop your engine. Sonic Drive-In has a variation on this, if your order finishes before the guy ahead of you, a carhop brings it out to you while you’re still in line, allowing you to pull out and leave with your food before you even reach the window (assuming you didn’t stop too close to the guy ahead of you).

  4. Rob Says:

    Yes. When I was a kid the drive-thru at the local McDonalds was pretty terrible. Since they often didn’t have the food ready when people ordered it, they told drivers to go park, and then a kid would run outside with the order a few minutes later.

  5. Tom Vanderbilt Says:

    Thanks for the clarification — though certainly most of those drivers leave their cars idling as they await their food, putting yet another strike against the drive-through in the “drive through versus parking lot” debate (such as it is).

  6. Thomas Kent Says:

    I use those parking spaces to make sure they got my order RIGHT! If not, I take it back inside.

  7. CTD Says:

    OK… the popularity of drive-up service is plain, it’s so ‘good’ for so many people that they have to provide overflow parking for it. How about this — more counter space for more orders taken INSIDE, and we the people get off our collective ‘oversized irregulars’ and walk in to get our junk food? With the attendant health issues, we do we continue to pander to the worst contributors? “Oh — too INCONVENIENT to walk in a building 20 feet away to poison yourself? We’ll let you DRIVE up to the window, and if too many of your fellows want that, too, we’ll deliver it to YOUR window!” It’s like cockroaches coming out to pick up the poison we spread for them; even THEY’RE too smart for that….

  8. bike LA Says:

    I can’t understand the popularity of drive-thru fast food. By my observation it seems that when I walk into the counter to order, the same cars are still waiting at the drive in when I leave.

  9. Mark Lawrence - SpotHero Says:

    I wonder how much use this parking spot actually gets a day. It would be interesting numbers. Cost of that extra parking spot vs number of orders someone has to sit there. Counterproductive though as the number of uses of that spot increases would make it seem that the McDonalds’ efficiency is decreasing.

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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

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