Drive-Thru, Pick-Up, or Dine-In? What Customers Prefer During the Pandemic

In the restaurant business, our job is to make sure we satisfy the customer and give them what they want. They’re utilizing restaurant services for convenience, so as restaurant employees we need to ensure that we provide the most convenient service possible. 

During the pandemic, people have sought comfort in the service industry and the hospitality it brings due to the fact that a lot has been taken away from us as a collective society. In terms of restaurants, the idea of eating in has been somewhat limited, of course, so restaurants that offer pick-ups and drive-thrus have become a lot more popular. 

The question we want to discuss right now, however, is whether a drive-thru, pick-up, or dining in is the most preferred option. Now, every individual is different, so it’s going to be subjective in the grand scheme, but there will be certain trends due to the pandemic. Let’s go into a little more detail. 


The use of drive-thus has been convenient and popular for a couple of decades now, but since coronavirus restrictions have limited in-restaurant dining, they have become even more popular. 

Simply driving into an establishment, ordering, and taking away the food is a great option for those with limited time, those who are at risk for getting COVID and don’t want to risk eating inside an establishment, and in many other circumstances. 

While it’s not a preference for everyone, it’s still a large part of the restaurant business in both 2020 and 2021. 


Many people will still want to go about their lives as much as they can regardless of the virus. While they’ll do what they can to be responsible and not cause the spread of the virus, they’ll still want to be out of the house and to be among a crowd. 

Staying in for too long can cause people to get very down, so dining-in at a restaurant that has implemented proper social distancing guidelines is a way for people to get out of the house and feel a sense of normalcy. 

While it’s not the most popular choice at the moment, it’s still something that people will flock to once it is safe to do so


Delivery has proven to be by far the most popular option of the three in the past few months due to its convenience and qualities of safe social-distancing. People are able to order food from their favorite restaurants and enjoy it from the comfort of their own home, and restaurants are still supported by their customers.

Many people appreciate food delivered to your doorstep because they do not have to interact with others face to face or even leave their house, and are still able to take advantage of the convenience of restaurant dining. 
Thanks to many restaurants utilizing a mobile ordering app, it has made customer service a lot less of a strain for many. While it’s an entirely subjective debate, delivery will likely be the most popular and most preferred method of restaurant service during the limitations presented by COVID-19.