20th Century Phenomenon - Drive-In

In the 20th century, the triumph of Drive-In was part of the USA’s modernism trend. Cinemas, laundries, fast food services and even churches became a form of this boom. Today, the Drive-In concept has been given a new look while retaining its values.

Drive-In generated incredible demand, but it was used most in the fast food and cinema industry. Watching cinema was a unifying and collective experience, creating a peculiar mix of private and public space.

Open-air cinemas provided huge snack and drink stands as well as the possibility to order food. In addition, going to Drive-In was another activity you could experience with your new vehicle. A visit to a cinema or restaurant in a suburban parking lot also became a perfect dating scenario.

Although the golden age of Drive-In cinema only came with the end of World War II, it began to develop earlier in the restaurant and service sector.

 

"Drive-In" a century ago

Drive-In sector has an interesting history that dates back further than well-known McDonald's (1954). The format of such a restaurant was first initiated and made popular in 1921 by the Texas food chain "Pig Stand".

Its owner, Jesse G. Kirby, an ambitious and active man, believed that people who travel in new and beautiful cars would prefer to enjoy a meal there as well. The first cafe of its kind was opened on the road connecting Dallas and Fort Worth. As early as 1924, there were ten such outlets in Dallas, selling at least 50,000 burgers and sandwiches each week.

In the "Pig Stand" restaurants waiters or "carhops" (as they were then called) greeted customers and accepted orders when cars approached the restaurant. These waiters were usually young people who became a significant part of the Drive-In restaurant culture. The service staff brought the orders to the trays, which were attached to the car window. The most frequently chosen meals were burgers and potatoes. The process was quite simple - order, wait for food and enjoy a meal in the restaurant parking lot, and then continue the way.

This drive-in model not only made it easier for the driver to order food, but also benefited businesses. Namely, restaurant owners were able to employ fewer waiters, instead making a profit by employing only a few chefs in the kitchen and young people. As the demand for faster and more efficient service grew, the drive-in waiter position became more competitive, and various trends developed, such as the use of roller skates in customer service and competition between waiters.

Although initially only guys were hired as waiters in these restaurants, after 1930 this profession became in demand among both genders. Almost every restaurant had girls in short uniforms and roller skates, especially in Texas and California. Significantly, just after the release of George Lucas's American Graffiti in 1973, the portrayal of the image of a female waitress in Drive-In restaurants has become a phenomenon.

Over time, cars became more accessible to families, so the service became more and more popular. The desire to serve quickly and efficiently grew along with the desire to enjoy a meal on the go.

The concept of "Drive-In" was like a great expression of American passions, where speed, efficiency and sometimes laziness went hand in hand. Later, these eateries became "Drive-Through" places, which we still find nowadays.

 

Current development

Now, more than ever, there is an opportunity to give a second chance to Drive-In restaurants. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our habits, so it is now much safer and easier to stay in a small circle of people, avoiding crowds. Drive-In provides this opportunity without losing the feeling of visiting a restaurant.

Getify is a new app that allows to order food on the go without queues and waiting and receive it directly from the chef. The only app that helps the restaurant stay in direct contact with the customer. Sense of presence and convenience are provided without losing quality. This is a service that can be used not only by fast food places, but also by those who care that the food does not lose its quality during delivery.

New mobile application, wide range and availability anywhere in Latvia. Getify will allow to feel the charm and convenience of Drive-In for any gourmand.