National Drive-Thru Day is recognized on July 24th of each year to celebrate the convenience of refilling day-to-day necessities while staying in the comfort of our vehicles. Drive-thrus are not only popular in restaurants but serve customers at coffee shops, banks, pharmacies, and liquor stores. Since the pandemic, drive-thrus have increased in popularity, allowing customers to avoid contact with restaurant employees and other patrons. Here are some facts about drive-thru service over the years.


History of the Drive-Thru

The City Center Bank in Syracuse, New York was the first establishment to introduce the drive-thru concept. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until about 20 years later that the idea reached restaurants. In 1947, Red’s Giant Hamburg in Springfield, Missouri opened the first restaurant drive-thru. This restaurant was recently revamped and is still a loved location for many to visit in Missouri for its history and yummy menu. Red’s menu now includes root beer floats!

It wasn’t until Jack-in-the-Box opened its first drive-thru restaurant in 1951 that the idea reached popularity among other chain restaurants and establishments. Believe it or not, McDonald’s did not open their first drive-thru until 1971.


Fun Facts

  • The early afternoon is the best time to go to a drive-thru for friendly and quick service.
  • 70% of sales come from the drive-thru at fast food restaurants.
  • Chick-Fil-A provides the highest order accuracy, sitting at 94%.
  • In the 80s, cars designs adapted to incorporate the drive-thru lifestyle, including cupholders and glove compartments.
  • In some states, you can get married in a drive-thru chapel.

Before You Go…

Here are some helpful tips by Tastemade to ensure you use the proper etiquette when driving through the drive-thru!


How to Celebrate Drive-Thru Day

  • Try a new drive-thru and share your experience on social media with the hashtag #NationalDriveThruDay.
  • Search for drive-thru deals. Many restaurants offer specials to celebrate!



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