- Kang Foods LLC, an Arby’s franchise group in Northern California, opened a double drive-thru Arby’s unit in Oroville, California on July 15, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive. Kang Foods operates six Arby’s restaurants.
- This unit marks the chain’s first new ground-up restaurant in the region in nearly 40 years.
- Arby’s has deployed a small number of dual drive-thru units since 2020, as the chain and parent company Inspire Brands explore new drive-thru designs and non-traditional formats as a path to expansion.
Arby’s is one of several restaurant brands that has experimented with drive-thru innovation to capture increased off-premise traffic resulting from the pandemic. Jimmy John’s, which is also owned by Inspire Brands, opened a small, drive-thru-only unit with two drive-thru lanes earlier this year. Tim Horton’s also rolled out a drive-thru-only unit in June, and both Taco Bell and Panera have opened mobile-focused, double drive-thru units since 2020.
This latest Arby’s location, however, isn’t a drive-thru-only restaurant. The Oroville unit spans 2,300 square feet, includes 24 indoor seats and 12 patio seats and will be staffed by about 40 workers, according to the press release.
Inspire Brands continues to invest in new drive-thru formats. The company recently designed a modular, drive-thru only unit that can accommodate any of the company’s major QSR brands, Frank Inoa, Inspire’s vice president of design and engineering innovation, told a panel on kitchen innovation at the National Restaurant Association Show in May.
The 900-square-foot model is similar to drive-thru-only restaurant operated by a Jimmy John’s franchisee in Florida, he said. Store models with small footprints and high capacity to process off-premise orders, whether through a traditional drive-thru or mobile-focused lanes, are growing in popularity because they allow chains to expand at a reduced cost.
As of May, Inspire Brands had yet to test an Arby’s without a dining room.