Tag: United States

Saving Money and Environment in the Drive-Thru Lane

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There’s nothing more classically American than the drive-thru. Today, these havens of greasy fries, delicious burgers, and fast service have spread throughout the globe, with an estimated half million locations worldwide! Drive-thrus are beloved for their cheap food, service that gets you in and out in record time, 24-hours access, and convenient locations near highways, making them the ideal stopping points for road trips.

The rise of the drive-thru has allowed drivers around the world to turn their cars into second homes. After all, many people spend hours commuting in their cars every day, and eating meals from the drive-thru as well. Some studies estimate that the average driver will spend nearly 1800 hours of their lives eating in the car!

Drive-thrus have a long history, almost as long as the automobile itself. Drive-thrus began in the United States as drive-ins in the 1920’s. Drive-ins were restaurants where drivers could park in the lot, and be greeted by “carhops” (taken from hotel bellhops). The carhops would take their orders back to the restaurant, and bring the bags of food out to the lot. Customers would then sit in their cars and eat in the restaurant parking lot. You may still see carhops today if you visit a Sonic restaurant, where they bustle around on rollerskates!

From there, it was a natural evolution for restaurants to install to-go windows for drivers to order from cashiers directly, thus saving the time it took for carhops to travel from the kitchen to the parking lot. The Pig Stand restaurant in Los Angeles, California was one of the first restaurants to adopt the to-go window model in 1931, but the first true drive-thru wasn’t established until 1948. This was the first In N Out location in Baldwin Park, California. This In N Out had a brand-new intercom system (a very snazzy technology in those days) and a lack of seating both inside and out, making it a true drive-thru.

Interestingly enough, the same factors that led to the rise of the drive-thru in the early 20th century are the factors that are still most important to drivers today. However, as there is now such a wide variety of drive-thrus to choose from, franchisees and store owners have to live up to very strict standards in order to ensure customer satisfaction and repeat visitors. Basically, drivers want the easiest and most convenient drive-thru experience possible, and there are a variety of factors that go into achieving this.

A few of the most important factors are outlined below. Drivers want large, easy-to-read menus that make ordering as simple as possible. Most menus feature the more expensive combo meals in the center (in order to entice drivers to spend more!) and cheaper, a la carte options on the sides. Drivers also value food items that are easy to eat on-the-go, orders that are delivered accurately, drive-thru lanes that are easy to access via car, and the fastest service possible.

Take a look at the graphic below to learn which franchises are currently succeeding, and which need to improve. There’s also a variety of fun drive-thru facts you probably didn’t know! More information can be found here.

 

Please include attribution to CarRentals.com with this graphic.

The History of Drive-Thrus

The Future of Energy Sector is in Electricity Availability

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The energy industry is showing steady growth, which, according to experts, will continue in 2019. In the USA, Western Europe and Russia it will reach 3% per year while it will be faster in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The most dynamic markets now are China, India, some African countries. While the United States is becoming the undisputed world leader in oil and gas production, China is reconsidering its role in the energy sector, seeking to “make the sky blue again.” It is China’s transition to a new economic model with the use of clean energy that determines global trends. Solar power plants in many countries are gradually becoming the cheapest source of energy. The future of the energy sector lies in the increase in the availability of electricity for electric cars, mobile solutions and digitalization.

Projections show growth in demand for low-carbon, renewable energy sources and natural gas. Coal consumption by 2040 should fall by 6–7 times, oil – by 2.5 times, gas – by a few percents, and low-carbon energy sources – by 2 times.

In 2010–2016, the share of coal when creating new generation facilities averaged about 65 GWh annually, gas – about 47 GW, nuclear decomposition products – about 3 GW, and renewable sources – almost 130 GW. In 2016–2040, the share of coal should fall to 18 GW, the share of gas should remain the same, the share of atomic decomposition products should double, and the share of renewable sources should reach 160 GW. Of which, solar power should grow the fastest – from about 30 to 73 GW per year. Solar panels are ahead of other types of energy from renewable sources. China, India and the United States are ahead of everyone here, while for Europe the wind remains the most important green energy.

The value of renewable sources is growing in shares to the rest of the energy sector. If in 2015 it was 24% versus 76% for traditional sources, then in 2050 the ratio should roll over: 85% versus 15%. Now the most significant share of green energy consists of various types of hydroelectric power plants, 16% of the total world energy production. By 2050, its share should be 12%, the share of wind – 36%, sun – 22%, gas will remain 10%, and coal – 1%.

Despite the fact that electric cars are conquering the world, the demand for oil continues to grow – though not in the energy sector. The fleet of electric cars is expected to grow to about 50 million units by 2025 and 280 million by the year 2040. The increase in oil consumption is likely to be associated with the petrochemical industry, aviation and shipping, and road freight.

About the author: Melisa Marzett thinks broadly. She keeps track of events working for Star Writer Custom Writings and cherishing a hope to write a book someday, which would blow people`s mind. Meanwhile, she practices yoga, travels, studying drawing, singing, dancing, art of paper folding and playing the piano.

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