- Modern Market Eatery will open its first drive-thru restaurant for the brand in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Friday, the company said in an email to Restaurant Dive.
- In addition to a drive-thru, the restaurant will offer dine-in and delivery and serve the brand’s full menu, including its winter menu that launched on Nov. 1 with eight new dishes.
- The company owned-unit is the third Modern Market in the Colorado Springs market and is likely to be the first of many drive-thru locations the chain anticipates developing in the future.
Modern Market, which has over 30 units, is aggressively franchising and signed its first franchise deal last year for 41 units across 11 new markets. Rob McColgan, Modern Market co-founder and president, previously told Restaurant Dive that he expects that more than 71 units Modern Market units will be open or under development within six years.
Drive-thru locations are expected to “handle the increasing volume of take-out orders,” McColgan said in a statement. The drive-thru employs a traditional set up with a speaker box, digital menu boards and order confirmation screen, Chris Cheek, chief development officer of Modern Market, said in an email to Restaurant Dive.
This restaurant, located at 3015 New Center Point, Suite 100, is the brand’s third unit to use a double-sided assembly setup that “allows for quicker prep times, meaning guests wait less for their fresh, made-to-order meals,” according to the press release. This assembly model was originally developed in a high-volume restaurant and was so successful that Modern Market decided to incorporate it into more stores.
Because of the use of the double-sided production line and equipment stack, Modern Market didn’t need to adapt its menu for the drive-thru channel since this setup allows for “some of the fastest ticket times in our category,” Cheek said.
“Today, many guests will make restaurant decisions based on convenience. All limited-service restaurants must meet this customer demand,” Cheek said. “In addition, we feel as if a drive-thru gives us yet another point of meaningful differentiation. We don't feel that there is another brand currently that is delivering food of our quality, flavor, and freshness through a drive-thru.
The chain doesn’t plan to include drive-thrus in all its future restaurants, but the results of the drive-thru location will influence how it thinks about sites with room for drive-thrus in the future, Cheek said. He added that its current restaurants are leased and tend to be part of multi-tenant development sites so adding a drive-thru to existing location would not work, and drive-thrus would only be considered for new locations.
The new restaurant also will have a “Mini Market” merchandise area offering diners various locally made products, like Switchback Coffee Roasters coffee, Bibamba Chocolates and Scratch Labs’ sports nutrition products as well as Modern Market hats, mugs and more, the company said.