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drive_thru

Order up: Real estate investors line up to buy drive-throughs

Investors are placing their bets on a new property type: drive-throughs. Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s and other restaurant chains use socially distant strategy to weather Covid-19 crisis.

Restaurants with drive-through lanes are seeing their values increase as the coronavirus pandemic forced social distancing rules and the closure of indoor dining, the Wall Street Journal reported. Chains such as Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s have reported an increase in sales thanks to their drive-through business.

Now, other fast-food spots are getting in the game: Shake Shack, which previously did not have any drive-through eateries, is adding the option to one of its locations in Orlando, Florida.

The increase in demand is driven, in part, by a lack of supply, according to the Journal. Some cities have placed limits on adding drive-through lanes at new projects because of concerns about traffic congestion and air pollution.

But a drive-through lane can increase the value of a property, adding anywhere from 10 to 20 percent to the rent, according to Derek Waltchack, a partner at the real estate firm Shannon Waltchack in Birmingham, Alabama.

Some restaurants with drive-through sites are planning to add lanes at future restaurants. Burger King plans to have triple drive-through lanes at its locations, with one lane reserved for customers who place orders online.

Article by Esther Fung & Heather Haddon @ WSJ

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