KFC has just announced a new format for restaurants aimed at steering customers *away* from the drive-thru, in one of the more bizarre pieces of restaurant news we’ve seen since Covid. The chicken chain recently launched their “Quick Pick-Up” ordering model in the U.S. that encourages diners to place their order ahead of time on their app or website, drive to a KFC location, park in a dedicated pick-up spot, and walk into to grab their food from a self-serve shelf near the register.
While this grab-and-go model isn’t unusual in 2021, what’s somewhat unusual is KFC’s explicit goal in the whole thing: to get people out of their cars. Here’s how it all came to be: after learning via a customer survey that the speed of their drive-thru times decreased by 26 seconds in 2021 to 6 minutes, 30 seconds (and we know how important drive-thru times are for these chains), the company decided it wanted to get people out of those lanes–fast.
Yes, you read that right, KFC actually wants customers to ditch their drive-thru lines and walk inside. In a global health crisis.
“Quick Pick-Up is changing the game by making fast food even more convenient and easy for busy customers," CEO Kevin Hochman said of the new format, and the company even recently launched an advertising campaign to promote it.
KFC is one of the largest restaurant chains internationally, with over 26,000 restaurants in 145 countries. While we appreciate their concern for long wait times, you have to wonder if everyone will be so eager to exit the "safety" of their cars, considering the surge of breakthrough Covid cases the United States currently faces (not to mention the PTSD we all have from a year and a half hiding in our homes).
Additionally, if you've ever used one of these similar pick-up models at chains like Sweetgreen or Chipotle, you know that they can be flawed, as well. If there aren't enough workers dedicated to processing the online orders, the wait times can sometimes far exceed the ones you place in person. Just sayin'!