Fast-casual restaurant concept Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has broken ground on a new site set to host the brand’s newest restaurant prototype. Located in Salina, Kansas, this prototype is its first model without a dining room, hosting a double drive-thru and a walk-up ordering station.
Demand for Drive-Thru
For the restaurant industry, drive-thrus have always been the ultimate in convenience and speed but during the pandemic they were the lifeline for QSRs and fast casual brands. Consumer demand for drive-thru has spurred brands to revisit their store development plans, adding drive-thrus and contactless pickup options to their new designs. Freddy's is joining the list that includes Panera, Shake Shack, Taco Bell Go Mobile restaurants, Burger King's Restaurant of the Future, Starbucks and Chipotle, to name a few.
With more than a dozen restaurants set to open in the first half of this year, Freddy’s has a strong development pipeline on track to open more than 45 restaurants in 2021.
The new prototype offers an additional option for franchisees looking to capitalize on the consumer demand following the pandemic. Drive-thru visits have increased 36% since the early days of the pandemic with 9 out of 10 visiting in the last month, according to Bluedot's research.
Features of the new restaurant design were determined following a thorough brand study on drive-thru operations and guest habits, and include a double drive-thru lane, parking stalls for curbside pickup, a walk-up window, and patio seating. Construction is expected to take place throughout the summer, with a potential opening date in late August.
“As we continue to make such great strides in our franchise development growth, we’re proud that our restaurant design strategy has continued to evolve, allowing us to offer a variety of options to meet the varying needs of our Guests,” said Chris Dull, CEO of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. “This prototype is the latest in a variety of available options and will cater to the growing number of our on-the-go Guests who are mobile-minded and benefit from the ease and convenience of this prototype’s features. This new restaurant design option will fit seamlessly with our existing drive-thru and mobile ordering capabilities.
Among the new openings in 2021 so far, Freddy’s has celebrated new locations in key markets such as Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia. The brand continued its non-traditional expansion with the opening of a location in the Wichita Wind Surge Minor League Baseball stadium. Upcoming openings include El Paso, Texas; Durango, Colorado; Florence, South Carolina; Streetsboro, Ohio; Lexington, Kentucky; Newton, Kansas, and Linden, New Jersey.
Franchise opportunities remain in areas across the U.S.