Pioneered in 1931 by the Texas Pig Stand chain, the Drive Thru restaurant, offers the convenience of being able to order and eat in your car. At least that’s what aficionados tell me.
So when did these uber fast food outlets make an appearance in the UK? Not sure, but the first McDonalds drive thru in Europe, known in the biz as a McDrive, opened in 1985 in Dublin.
Clearly the food has to be fast as you order in one window and drive round the block to collect from another, and if the food isn’t ready, you’ll be directed to a parking bay to wait until the meal is cooked.
For those who like their food packaged and delivered in one fell swoop, the concept of dining a la mode might just wash. But as the drive thru is not as ubiquitous here as it is in the US, finding one of the darn things is far more testing than ordering and eating. It also means the choice of cuisine will be limited to those you can sniff out.
Oddly I can’t find a UK pizza drive thru, maybe that’s because we’re so used to Domino’s scooter delivery.
Whether it’s a good thing to mix the pleasure of driving with that of food is debatable, but if you’re in hurry and you’re hungry I guess any port in a storm is OK. Just make sure you’ve swallowed the burger before stepping on the gas.
Our Top 10 Drive Thru Restaurants (term loosely applied)
The Mercedes Drive Thru, Selfridges (when it was open Sept 2012)
Empire Fish & Chips, Outwood
Harry Ramsden, Gateshead
McDrive, Dublin (not sure whether it’s the original)
McDonalds, Ellesmere Port
Burger King, Hayes