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Drive-Thru and Hours of Operation
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selowitch
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Jun 11, 2009, 08:15 PM
 
How come so many websites for chains like Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme have Store Locators on their websites, but don't indicate whether that location is 24-hour or whether it has a drive-through? Isn't that useful information for a consumer to be able to get without having to call the store or visit first?
     
Andy8
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Jun 11, 2009, 09:45 PM
 
I love living in a place where drive-through fast food does not exist and never will.
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 11, 2009, 10:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
I love living in a place where drive-through fast food does not exist and never will.
Good. You and your smug remarks can stay there where I don't have to deal with you.
     
Cipher13
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Jun 12, 2009, 12:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by selowitch View Post
How come so many websites for chains like Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme have Store Locators on their websites, but don't indicate whether that location is 24-hour or whether it has a drive-through? Isn't that useful information for a consumer to be able to get without having to call the store or visit first?
Wow, you'd actually change your destination if, upon arrival, you had to get out of the car?
     
turtle777
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Jun 12, 2009, 01:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cipher13 View Post
Wow, you'd actually change your destination if, upon arrival, you had to get out of the car?
I think you're drawing the wrong conclusions about the significance of drive-throughs.

Most 24 hr fast food joints in the US ONLY serve drive-through at night (and are closed for walk-ins).

So, in a sense, drive-through could indicate that there's a 24 hr operation.

-t
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 12, 2009, 07:51 AM
 
All I'm saying is it would be helpful info for websites to provide and I find it strange that they don't. My main interest in this is that there are very few drive-thru places in my town of Rockville, MD and I drive around with a wriggly two-year-old a lot and sometimes I like to stop for coffee without having to get out of the car (e.g., when she's napping in the back seat).

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Jun 12, 2009, 08:09 AM
 
I find that the corporate site will lead to the local site, and the local site states the hours -- for all the places I've ever tried.
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Jun 12, 2009, 08:14 AM
 
My wife lived in Rockville, Maryland when we met.

When I moved to Maryland I was shocked to discover that their selection of 24-hour dining locations was pathetic when compared to the choices in Missouri.

Maryland/DC is supposed to be more progressive and a larger urban area, yet for every 10 choices for late night dinging in St. Louis, there was 1 in Maryland.

It was weird.

The liquor laws suck there too.

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Jun 12, 2009, 11:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
My wife lived in Rockville, Maryland when we met.

When I moved to Maryland I was shocked to discover that their selection of 24-hour dining locations was pathetic when compared to the choices in Missouri.

Maryland/DC is supposed to be more progressive and a larger urban area, yet for every 10 choices for late night dinging in St. Louis, there was 1 in Maryland.

It was weird.

The liquor laws suck there too.
It may have something to do with the level of crime.
     
torsoboy
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Jun 12, 2009, 11:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cipher13 View Post
Wow, you'd actually change your destination if, upon arrival, you had to get out of the car?
I would. At a fast food joint It's all about convenience, and if it's not convenient, then why go there? I rarely go to fast food places, and when I do go, it is usually when I am on a long trip somewhere and would rather just get my food and continue on my way.

I agree that those couple of things should be included on the corporate site. Most fast food locations don't have their own website.
     
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Jun 12, 2009, 11:24 AM
 
do people really check the web to see when a fast food place is open?

yes, hours would be useful, but i suspect they're a little more dynamic than store LOCATIONS- i'd imagine the managers of the websites would rather be incomplete than wrong about store details. that's a lot of information to maintain.
     
torsoboy
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Jun 12, 2009, 12:20 PM
 
If I was sitting at home in the middle of the night, it would be useful to have the information on-hand instead of driving out and finding the place closed.

I think it would be a useful addition.
     
Monserati
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Jun 12, 2009, 12:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
Maryland/DC is supposed to be more progressive and a larger urban area, yet for every 10 choices for late night dinging in St. Louis, there was 1 in Maryland. It was weird.
I know what you mean! I live near there and it's tough to find late night places that are open. Think it's b/c these places have a lot of 9-5 people, so maybe it wouldn't be busy enough to support a 24/h operation?
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 13, 2009, 08:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Monserati View Post
I know what you mean! I live near there and it's tough to find late night places that are open. Think it's b/c these places have a lot of 9-5 people, so maybe it wouldn't be busy enough to support a 24/h operation?
As much as I like Montgomery County (MD), it is true that the late-night options for dining and conveniences are much fewer than I would have expected when I moved here. Oh, well. It's still a really nice place and great for kids (we have two)!
     
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Jun 13, 2009, 08:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
If I was sitting at home in the middle of the night, it would be useful to have the information on-hand instead of driving out and finding the place closed.

I think it would be a useful addition.
Woah. Talk about culture shock.
If I'm sitting at home in the middle of the night and get peckish, I go to the fridge or freezer, pull out some crap of some description and cook it. Like I just did, in fact - took me eight minutes start to finish.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 13, 2009, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Woah. Talk about culture shock.
If I'm sitting at home in the middle of the night and get peckish, I go to the fridge or freezer, pull out some crap of some description and cook it. Like I just did, in fact - took me eight minutes start to finish.
Mmmmm. Cooked crap. Sounds great. Not.
     
Doofy
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Jun 13, 2009, 08:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by selowitch View Post
Mmmmm. Cooked crap. Sounds great. Not.
Actually, it was awesome. And I'm 100% sure that the bloke on the nightshift didn't spit in it.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 13, 2009, 08:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Actually, it was awesome. And I'm 100% sure that the bloke on the nightshift didn't spit in it.
You're right that a homecooked meal is superior to anything you can get as a convenience. But all I'm looking for here is a cup of coffee while driving.
     
Doofy
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Jun 13, 2009, 08:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by selowitch View Post
But all I'm looking for here is a cup of coffee while driving.
That I understand.
I don't understand sitting in your own house in the middle of the night and then purposefully getting in the car to go get a coffee/food.
Not unless the serving wench at the destination establishment is severely hot, anyways.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 13, 2009, 08:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I don't understand sitting in your own house in the middle of the night and then purposefully getting in the car to go get a coffee/food.
Not unless the serving wench at the destination establishment is severely hot, anyways.
Well, consider the social aspect. The food at Denny's for example, is substandard, but there's something really fun about meeting a few friends there at 2am for some mozzarella sticks and freezing-cold cokes.
     
Doofy
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Jun 13, 2009, 09:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by selowitch View Post
Well, consider the social aspect. The food at Denny's for example, is substandard, but there's something really fun about meeting a few friends there at 2am for some mozzarella sticks and freezing-cold cokes.
So, this serving wench at Denny's... ...is she hot?
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
Eug
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Jun 13, 2009, 09:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
I love living in a place where drive-through fast food does not exist and never will.
I live in a place where drive-through fast food does exist and I hate it.

I was involved in a series of neighbourhood rezoning meetings and one of the repeated requests by nearly everyone was to have no places with drive-throughs be allowed.
     
moonmonkey
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Jun 14, 2009, 03:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
I love living in a place where drive-through fast food does not exist and never will.
Yes but we do have 6 McDonalds per square mile on the island.
     
Andy8
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Jun 14, 2009, 11:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by moonmonkey View Post
Yes but we do have 6 McDonalds per square mile on the island.
Indeed, and half are open 24/7.
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 14, 2009, 12:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I live in a place where drive-through fast food does exist and I hate it.

I was involved in a series of neighbourhood rezoning meetings and one of the repeated requests by nearly everyone was to have no places with drive-throughs be allowed.
What objection do residents have to drive-throughs? Do they make too much noise or do they increase traffic and pollution?
     
Eug
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Jun 14, 2009, 03:14 PM
 
They want to reduce store front parking and pavement, and want to bring store fronts closer to the sidewalk, with bigger more pedestrian friendly sidewalks. Drive-throughs do not necessarily increase foot traffic, just car traffic, in an area that currently zoned as retail/commercial that will be changing to more mixed use including retail/commercial and some residential (condos). Yeah, drive-throughs increase noise immediately adjacent to them and pollution, but they are also simply fugly.

They want the streetscape to look more like the second picture, not the first picture:

Old:



In the above picture, note how far the sidewalk is from the actual stores for example.

New:



Overhead view, old vs. new:



There would be some street parking, but additional parking would move to the rear or underground.



So, having a burger shop like McDonald's or a coffee shop is no problem, but there would be no drive-through fast food joints or drive-through banks.
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 14, 2009, 04:50 PM
 
^ Eug, this is really interesting! It's not unlike the revitalization program underway for the Rockville Pike in, not surprisingly, Rockville, Maryland. Where are your photos from? I find the growing movement to more pedestrian-friendly urban areas to be quite fascinating. It certainly improves quality-of-life.
     
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Jun 14, 2009, 04:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by selowitch View Post
I find the growing movement to more pedestrian-friendly urban areas to be quite fascinating. It certainly improves quality-of-life.
Usually says "fail" all over it, since shoppers then nip out of town to strip malls.
Here, for example, since pedestrianisation took hold the high street has died and out-of-town is king.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 14, 2009, 05:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Usually says "fail" all over it, since shoppers then nip out of town to strip malls.
Here, for example, since pedestrianisation took hold the high street has died and out-of-town is king.
Well, that's discouraging. Surely there have been ongoing success stories in places like Boulder, Colorado and Gaithersburg, Maryland (e.g., the Kentlands), no? Although it's true most people (myself included) like to shop where there is plentiful parking (and the ability to schelp your purchases home again) and prices are low, I'd rather take my kids somewhere where we can walk around, be near some greenery and a body of water, etc. Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland is an interesting blend of these two phenomena. Please pardon the dreadful music in the latter link! And right in my hometown, Rockville's Town Center, while inviting in some ways, is having some troubles, not all of which are related to the recession.

Maybe the answer to provide both experiences and hope that each raises the boat of the other.
( Last edited by selowitch; Jun 14, 2009 at 05:13 PM. )
     
torsoboy
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Jun 14, 2009, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
I love living in a place where drive-through fast food does not exist and never will.
Originally Posted by moonmonkey View Post
Yes but we do have 6 McDonalds per square mile on the island.
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
Indeed, and half are open 24/7.
I don't get it. You live in a place full of 24 hour fast food places and don't mind, but you object to drive-through windows? How does that make any sense? Drive-through windows just make it easier to get your food when you are on a trip or have a load of kids you are taking somewhere.
     
Eug
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Jun 14, 2009, 07:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by selowitch View Post
^ Eug, this is really interesting! It's not unlike the revitalization program underway for the Rockville Pike in, not surprisingly, Rockville, Maryland. Where are your photos from? I find the growing movement to more pedestrian-friendly urban areas to be quite fascinating. It certainly improves quality-of-life.
Toronto. Not in the downtown core, but not the 'burbs either. It's in between. It's considered urban in those areas, but further away than the traditional city core.

The city has identified a bunch of larger streets which have prime real estate but are zoned with the same rules from the 1960s for very specific low density commercial retail type stuff. They're rezoning them to medium density mixed use with residential. Some of the areas that have been rezoned this way get built up with low to medium-rise condos mixed in with some commercial and ground level retail, and some get high-rise construction.


Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Usually says "fail" all over it, since shoppers then nip out of town to strip malls.
Here, for example, since pedestrianisation took hold the high street has died and out-of-town is king.
Sometimes that happens, but the problem is that if you want to drive "out-of-town" it will take you 45 minutes or more from downtown. Not very enticing. I personally usually do not do that. If I do drive somewhere, it will be downtown, the opposite direction that you suggest. It takes me less time to get downtown, and it's far more interesting shopping. The times I go out of town is when I want to get outdoor type stuff, like a BBQ or a tree to plant in the backyard or whatever.

P.S. Some of the plans include revamped plans for transit as well, for dedicated centre lane right-of-ways, to support the increased density.



In areas with lower density, the dedicated transit ROW would be bus only, but with upgradability to light rail. In other areas, light rail is already in the works right from the get-go.

BTW, here is our "high street", called Yonge Street.





It's shopping central (or at least one of the areas), and in fact, is where I'll be buying my MacBook Pro.
( Last edited by Eug; Jun 14, 2009 at 07:38 PM. )
     
Andy8
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Jun 14, 2009, 08:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
I don't get it. You live in a place full of 24 hour fast food places and don't mind, but you object to drive-through windows? How does that make any sense? Drive-through windows just make it easier to get your food when you are on a trip or have a load of kids you are taking somewhere.
You need to visit Hong Kong to see what we are talking about, there is just not enough space for parking cars, let alone even considering space for a drive-through. People here walk or take public transport for their fast food fix here if they want it, even at 3am.
     
Andy8
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Jun 14, 2009, 08:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
So, having a burger shop like McDonald's or a coffee shop is no problem, but there would be no drive-through fast food joints or drive-through banks.
Exactly the issue in Hong Kong, building are built right up too the road or sidewalk.

1900:


2008:
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 14, 2009, 08:39 PM
 
My brother-in-law lives in Toronto and really likes it.
     
Eug
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Jun 14, 2009, 08:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
Exactly the issue in Hong Kong, building are built right up too the road or sidewalk.

2008:
I like Hong Kong, but that style is not quite what is planned, as these will be North American semi-residential neighbourhoods.

The idea is to have the buildings set back enough so that the sidewalks are even wider, and wide enough to have street trees planted, and space for patios in some areas. Furthermore, the buildings are staggered so they don't go straight up. Straight up buildings are fine for downtown cores and financial districts, etc. but around here (where land isn't as expensive as Hong Kong) they seem claustrophobic for non-central core residential stuff. So even for mid-rise buildings, they're staggered back, so they don't look so closed in when viewed from the street by pedestrians. Note that specific designs are not forced on the developers, but certain rules have to be followed to meet zoning bylaws:



The style in Taipei I didn't like though. There the buildings are right AT the street, with the second floor overhanging the sidewalk. That's really, really constricting. Those under-the-overhang sidewalks also become scooter parking lots too.



---

Anyways, like I said, I live in an area that is in between urban and suburban. More spacious than pure central urban, but not anywhere near as far as the true suburbs for this city. We are at an area where drive-through fast food joints begin, but aren't as common as in the suburban areas. Having lived in downtown cores of large cities before where is there no space at all for this kind of thing, I never seen the draw of them. I'd much rather stop in the parking lot and get my coffee in person. And in every fast food joint with a drive-through window I've been to in North America, there has always been sufficient parking. If there is no space for parking because land is precious, then you don't have drive-throughs anyway.

I can understand the argument that if you have 2 kids strapped in the back, having a drive-through window makes things easier, but I don't have any kids. Furthermore, the downtowners seem to do fine without the drive-throughs. They walk the pedestrian-friendly streets to get their caffeine jolts.
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 14, 2009, 09:01 PM
 
This is, in all seriousness, why I love MacNN. You ask a fairly ordinary question and you get some really interesting and unexpected responses. Very cool!
     
subego
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Jun 14, 2009, 11:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
BTW, here is our "high street", called Yonge Street.


How similar that is in feel to parts of Chicago freaked me out a little. It's a lot cleaner though. Here's a quick and... ahem... dirty example I pulled off of GIS:

     
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Jun 15, 2009, 05:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
You need to visit Hong Kong to see what we are talking about, there is just not enough space for parking cars, let alone even considering space for a drive-through. People here walk or take public transport for their fast food fix here if they want it, even at 3am.
Yes, and they deliver 24 hours to any address, I ordered on the weekend and the door rang 11 minutes after I put the phone down.
I don't think anyone would use a drive through here, who wants to eat fast food in an Aston Martin anyway?
     
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Jun 15, 2009, 05:55 AM
 
1. That Chicago pic didn't look too dirty but perhaps it's because I'm looking at it on a tiny iPhone screen.

2. Give me an Aston Martin and I'll do some drive thru testing for you. I suspect I'd be happy with the overall experience... with the free AM that is.
     
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Jun 15, 2009, 12:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Usually says "fail" all over it, since shoppers then nip out of town to strip malls.
Here, for example, since pedestrianisation took hold the high street has died and out-of-town is king.
Not when retailers actually think about it and have locations IN town. I was just in Victoria BC, and (as in downtown Toronto), there are a number of shopper-friendly large retail locations right there in town. A very pedestrian-friendly town, I might add. So, for that matter, is Seattle, which has everything but a subway for mass transit. It's all about retailers thinking about the city instead of acreage.

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Jun 15, 2009, 12:07 PM
 
A separate point about the original idea of this thread: I HATE drive-throughs. Why? Because they are constantly filled with fat, lazy people who keep their engines running so they can avoid stepping 50 feet from their parking spot to actually go inside the establishment. They pollute and consume, while providing an enormous traffic congestion problem that often keeps walk-in customers from being able to park and/or walk into the establishment. I think that's a good reason to hate drive-throughs.

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Jun 15, 2009, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cipher13 View Post
Wow, you'd actually change your destination if, upon arrival, you had to get out of the car?
Someone who doesn't travel with a baby in the car.
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Jun 15, 2009, 01:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Usually says "fail" all over it, since shoppers then nip out of town to strip malls.
Here, for example, since pedestrianisation took hold the high street has died and out-of-town is king.
I sort of thought this is what made the mega-malls so popular to start with vs. the urban street shops. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I thought that was the general rule.

(Personally I like the urban street shop idea better, but I'm usually in the minority).
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Jun 15, 2009, 06:25 PM
 
fast food, ugh.
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