Soon, you might be able to get your Applebee’s from a drive-thru window.
The restaurant chain will be testing a drive-thru pickup window at one location in Texarkana, Texas, Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) reported.
According to the trade publication, customers will be able to order online, on the Applebee’s app or by phone and will be given an estimated time that they will be able to pick up their order.
The window is expected to open early this year.
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“We look forward to assessing the performance of this installation, understanding feedback from our guests and operators, as well as any impact to business performance,” Scott Gladstone, Applebee’s vice president of strategy and development, told NRN. “If positive, we will determine whether pickup windows should be included in our building design packages.”
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According to NRN, the location plans to change its staffing and operations to accommodate the new window, which will be close to the kitchen and could make takeout more efficient.
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“The drive-thru pickup window is one example of how we’re continuously looking to enhance the order and pickup process for our guests,” Gladstone told NRN.
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He added that Applebee’s — which is owned by Dine Brands Global — is “working to develop new and exciting off-premise focused offers.”
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Dine Brands also owns IHOP and while some other restaurants have struggled during the pandemic, the company has seen its stock rise more than 13% year-to-date. Sales have seen an uptick with both chains re-opening more of its restaurant and utilizing online sales and delivery options.
According to its most recent earnings release, Applebee’s same-restaurant sales improved 10 out of 13 weeks through the week ended September 27, 2020, from a decline of 22.3% to an increase of 0.4%, representing a net increase of 22.7%. At IHOP’s same-restaurant sales improved during the same period from a decline of 40.4% to a decline of 23.5%, representing an increase of 16.9%