More quick-service restaurant visits are happening at night. McDonald’s and Wendy’s reported a surge in late-night sales from the first quarter to the second. At Jack in The Box, 19.2% of second-quarter sales happened between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., compared with 16.1% in the fourth quarter, according to Placer.ai. At Taco Bell, 15.2% of second-quarter sales happened during late-night hours, up from 12.6% in the fourth quarter. At Burger King, late-night hours claimed 5.2% of sales during the second quarter, up from 4.1% in the fourth quarter.
QSRs typically see an increase in late-night visits during the summer, according to Placer.ai and other sources cited in Restaurant Dive. But some chains also attribute the growth to increased spending on late-night advertising, expanded hours and partnerships with delivery services. To accommodate third-party delivery traffic and mobile orders, many are adding lanes and pickup spots for these orders.
Chick-Fil-A plans to add drive-thru lanes dedicated to mobile orders at 300 of its 2,600 restaurants. Del Taco is rolling out a 1,200-square-foot, drive-thru-only concept with cheaper buildout costs than its traditional units. The design — a prototype opened in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in late August — features a walk-up window for placing orders and picking up mobile orders. It also provides pick-up lockers for mobile app orders and third-party delivery service providers, allowing guests and delivery drivers to skip the line. And Taco Bell is testing a design that has a walk-up window for orders from the Taco Bell app and third-party delivery services.