- Reservation platform Resy will host an event called The Resy Drive Thru, presented by American Express Gold Card, on Oct. 15 and Oct. 16 at The Hollywood Palladium that will feature several Los Angeles chefs and restaurants, according to a press release.
- Upon entering the park, cars are assigned a designated waiter who will guide them from "restaurant" to "restaurant," represented by tents that are socially distanced from one another. A 10-course meal will be served to guests through their car windows.
- Resy and American Express said they created the event as a way to provide customers access to "sought-after restaurants and chefs," as well as a way to support restaurant partners seeking new revenue channels as indoor dining remains off limits in the Los Angeles market. This appears to be the first collaborative, fine dining drive-thru meal to arise from the pandemic, and if the idea proves successful, it seems the model could be applied to other cities.
This upscale "drive-thru" concept appears to hold plenty of potential, since the concept is catering to a number of concurrent COVID-19 dining trends. For starters, drive-thru usage is up significantly as consumers seek a safe channel to retrieve their food and as operators look to provide access with limited or no dine-in capacity. According to The NPD Group, drive-thru visits increased by 26% in the April, May and June quarter.
Second, the event is ensuring safety, as the restaurant tents are spread apart with food delivered in single-use containers on trays that each car gets to keep, Fast Company reports. Event personnel will be tested for COVID-19 prior to the event, will have their temperatures checked before entering and will wear masks, face shields and gloves. Sixty-four percent of diners say that seeing employees take COVID-19 safety precautions and wearing personal protective equipment are key factors as restaurants open for on-premise service, according to a Toast survey.
Finally, diners miss restaurant experiences, and this event is a creative method to delivery an evening of fine dining in a safe and exciting way. Even if this idea is a success and expands, it won't likely replace the dine-in experience in a post-COVID environment, especially since socializing is one of the dining elements consumers miss most.
The experience costs $95 per person, which can be purchased in groups of up to four in a vehicle. Featured chefs will offer dishes created for the event that can be easily eaten in a car, according to Fast Company, which could lend an air of exclusivity to the event and warm up consumers to the idea of paying fine dining prices for a "drive-thru."
The Resy Drive Thru isn't the only initiative from the company aimed at supporting restaurants, either. Resy announced a number of special events "to adapt experiential programming for the remainder of 2020 in light of the current dining landscape." For example, Resy's "The Classics Remix" is an October takeout series that features top chefs across eight cities who will "take over their choice of iconic restaurant institution for the weekend and create packages that represent a remix on that place's famous dishes."