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In the News

Business Location and the Marketing Mix | The Race for Space for Drive Throughs

Jim Riley

3rd March 2023

This is a terrific example of the changing patterns of business locations as customers change their buying habits.

The Guardian reports here on the "race for space" among a growing number of businesses wanting to sell using "drive-through" locations.

We are told that in the last 12 months, the UK's 2,256 drive-throughs achieved sales takings of around £2.8bn, down a little from the £3bn in the 12 months of the height of the pandemic when drive-throughs were amongst the few retail food outlets still open.

Always one to manipulate the data to develop application, I work that out at approximately £1.24 million per outlet, or £3,400 per day. That sounds about right.

And there's more data for us to consider. The outlets attracted close to 500m visits a year.

Which means we can calculate average spend per drive-through visit. Takings of £2.8bn, divided by 500 million visits = £5.60 per visit.

Anyway, back to the article!

Read it through and jot down the relative benefits and drawbacks of operating a drive-through compared with a traditional fast-food sales outlet. Spoiler alert - there appear to be many more upsides than downsides.

Which, along with increasing consumer preference for "food on the go" helps explain why demand for new drive-through locations is so strong.

Jim Riley

Jim co-founded tutor2u alongside his twin brother Geoff! Jim is a well-known Business writer and presenter as well as being one of the UK's leading educational technology entrepreneurs.

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