Jimmy John’s adds a new concept to enhance its freaky fast reputation

Jimmy John’s first-ever drive-thru only restaurant, photo provided by Jimmy John's
Jimmy John’s first-ever drive-thru only restaurant, photo provided by Jimmy John's /

When that craving for a fresh sandwich or wrap hits, everyone knows that Jimmy John’s will satisfy that hunger freaky fast. While much should be said about its bread, ingredients and customization, the “fast” component has been a signature of the brand. Never compromising on execution or taste, Jimmy John’s understands that putting food in people’s hands needs to be efficient.

In a recent company announcement, Jimmy John’s unveiled its first ever drive-thru only site. Located in Barlow, Florida, the site changes the conversation on the quick service restaurant concept. Could a drive-thru only concept be the future of the brand?

Over the past several years the restaurant industry has had to learn to adapt to both consumers preferences as well as industry changes. While people disappeared from the tables, delivery and take-out orders increased. Restaurants changed in order to survive. From finding innovative ways to ensure that the food made in the restaurant tastes as good when it arrives via delivery to increasing the incentive to eat at home, there can be less of a need for dine-in tables.

With this new drive-thru only restaurant, Jimmy John’s looks to streamline the food to customer experience based on customer feedback. As Andrew Bello, VP of Design and Architecture at Inspire Brands – the parent company of Jimmy John’s, said “This new drive-thru only model represents our continued commitment to evolve with our customers and serve the best, freshest sandwiches with speed and efficiency.”

According to the company, the new restaurant features a dedicated pick-up lane just for online and mobile orders. Given the increase of online/mobile ordering, this decision streamlines both the customer experience as well as the efficiency for the restaurant. Now, the guest who planned ahead doesn’t have to sit behind the car who is still deciding what to order from the menu. It is a simple design decision that puts the customer first.

While this restaurant is the first, it will be curious to see how customers respond. Efficiency is always a benefit. If the restaurant can prove that its drive-thru only concept is faster than that delivery, it might be worth the customer making their own drive. Sometimes an incentive doesn’t have to come with money back.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see if other restaurants adapt this drive-thru only concept. It could be a part of the solution to many issues that restaurants are facing.