Maximizing Space and Profit: Why Modular Drive-Thru Restaurants Are a Smart Investment


As the coronavirus pandemic continues, restaurant sales have been slow to recover. However, some quick-serve restaurants have found a niche and thrived during this difficult time.

One popular strategy is adding drive-thru lanes to existing locations. This allows restaurants to offer delivery, third-party pickup, and mobile orders.

Space Savings

With new technology, food-service companies can do more with less space in their kitchens. For example, advanced ovens are more efficient and can cook meals faster than traditional models. This allows restaurants to shrink their footprints while providing the same high-quality experience.

In addition, constructing Modular Drive thru restaurants can reduce the time it takes to build a restaurant. Unlike traditional buildings, these units are constructed offsite and shipped to the restaurant location in segments. This reduces construction costs and streamlines the process of obtaining building permits.

Additionally, modular drive-thru restaurants use shipping containers, which can be recycled and repurposed. This helps keep perfectly usable materials out of landfills and promotes green sustainability.


With mobile orders and delivery driving demand for quick-service restaurants, designers are looking at ways to shrink dining room footprints, increase outdoor seating, integrate technology in drive-thrus, and offer curbside pickup for customers. Many QSR chains have already rolled out new designs to improve customer experience, including single-lane drive-thrus with dedicated payment and pickup windows.

But many locations that don’t have a drive-thru can’t afford to undergo a significant retrofit to add one. This is why modular drive-thrus are so attractive. They provide a fast track to opening new locations and increasing sales without adding overhead. Additionally, they are expandable to make room for more lanes or a novel idea. The speed and flexibility of modular units make them an ideal solution for quick-service restaurants needing immediate growth or those facing challenges with their existing sites.


Aside from providing convenience to customers, modular drive-thrus can also save a QSR chain money. Because they can be constructed at a factory, they eliminate the need for costly site excavation and other on-site construction projects.

Significant cost savings from this may be realized, which might be invested back into the company. Additionally, the ability to relocate modular structures can help a company expand into areas with higher traffic or a better customer base.

Modular drive-thrus are gaining popularity with QSR chains, but other businesses like banks, pharmacies, and ticket sellers can benefit from the speed and ease these units offer. The fact that they are built offsite and then shipped to the build site, wholly outfitted, streamlines the building permit process. When connected to utilities, these structures can be up and running quickly.

Energy Efficiency

Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) increasingly integrate technology into drive-thrus to speed up order processing and delivery. These innovations help restaurants better serve customers and reduce energy costs.

These innovative designs have gained popularity, with drive-thru orders accounting for about 75 percent of QSR sales. 

Another emerging trend is modular drive-thrus, which can be customized to different lane widths and are built offsite to minimize construction waste and lower carbon footprints. Modular units can also be shipped farther distances than stick-built structures, saving transportation costs.

Increased Profits

While modular structures are less expensive than traditional restaurants, they’re not cheap either. But, a faster construction timeline and reduced operating expenses mean a quicker return on investment.

For QSRs looking to maximize profits, these compact structures can be a smart move. They also offer the flexibility of adding a drive-thru window or expanding an existing one.