The healthy-food chain hopes to enchantment to the suburban crowd.
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The chain, identified for its heat grain bowls and $12 salads, introduced that the pilot restaurant might be supported by “tech-enabled ordering and progressive design.” There might be a regular drive-thru lane, a drive-in space the place you’ll be able to order in your automobile (like Sonic), and a devoted lane for in-app ordering.
Sweetgreen’s determination is a part of an general pattern of quick-service restaurants (QSRs) adapting to the Covid and post-Covid world. With so many workplaces closed and fewer in-store dining accessible, QSRs want new methods to entice the lunch crowd to eat at their shops.
Sweetgreen additionally needs to enchantment to the suburban crowd. The chain, which launched in Washington, D.C. in 2007, began as an city lunch hub for millennials on the lookout for a little bit wholesome and handy grub. However now it is increasing to the burbs, the place individuals drive automobiles — not scooters — to get round. And suburbanites simply love their drive-ins. Drive-thru orders grew by 24 p.c throughout the restaurant business in October, according to The NPD Group.
Sweetgreen can also be hoping to money in on one other QSR pattern — the disappearing salad. Throughout the pandemic, eating places comparable to McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Subway had to cut down their menu items to make service clean. The primary casualty has been gadgets like salads, which might decelerate the kitchen. Enter Sweetgreen, which makes quick salads an meeting line science.
The drive-thru mannequin should not be a lot of a stretch for Sweetgreen prospects. They already make 50 p.c of their orders by means of the app. As an alternative of driving up and asking for fries and a shake, they’re going to ask for a pesto candy potatoes and a hibiscus iced tea.