What’s New In Food: The Drive-Thru Ban

A ban on… drive-thrus? Believe it. In an effort to curb emissions and increase safety, the city of Minneapolis has voted to ban construction of any new drive-thru windows. How will this action affect the future of the foodservice industry? And what’s next?

Full Transcript

What’s new in food?

What’s new in food? About a year ago we sat in a drive-thru and talked about the straw ban, and how a science project and a viral video sent the entire food service world into a frenzy as the state of California and others banned plastic straws. And we wondered what would be next. What’s the next thing that might impact the food service world that could be banned? And thanks to the city of Minneapolis, we have our answer.

In August, they passed legislation that said, “Starting now, no new construction on drive-thrus.” That’s right. No more drive-thrus at Starbucks. No more drive-thrus at McDonald’s. No more drive-thrus at pharmacies. No more drive-thrus at any of the places that we currently use drive-thrus.

The reason? They’re trying to limit vehicle emissions, reduce their carbon footprint, and become one of the more progressive cities to really take a stance at this.

Now, a lot of people have already pushed back saying, “What about people with disabilities? What about the elderly? What about, hey, I’m just trying to save time on my morning commute.” That’s all fallen on a bit of deaf ears as the city of Minneapolis has spoken about the fact that they already have pretty tough drive-thru laws, but this is just that next step.

So, when you’re out there in the food service world, and you’re trying to figure out what is our future and where can we go if you’re places like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, or frankly anybody else that has a drive-thru capability, and that’s a massive part of your business, you might start looking at other options for the futures as entire cities are now banning driver-thrus.


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