On Could 17, actual property group JLL launched its Spring Retail Outlook for Calgary, a report that gives a snapshot of the business rental panorama citywide.
The report famous that whereas downtown leasing exercise has not recovered to pre-pandemic ranges, one market space has: business leases for fast-food eating places, notably within the suburbs of the town.
Grant Kosowan, president of Orange Group Industrial Actual Property, stated that is very true for areas which have drive-throughs.
The urge for food for low-touch eating fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with what Kosowan calls a “difficult” native market, has magnified the extraordinary competitors for drive-ins that he says has existed within the metropolis for many years. .
“It is at all times been very troublesome for quick meals and fast service eating places to safe an area within the Calgary market,” Kosowan stated.
“It is particularly unhealthy in drive-through eventualities… That is fueled the [rental] drive-thrus value in Calgary by way of the roof”.
From a enterprise perspective, Kosowan stated having a drive-thru could make or break a restaurant’s gross sales. However in his 20 years of expertise, he stated the town has restricted its building.
“Attempt to get a number of drive-thrus by way of the Calgary metropolis growth division. You will have a greater likelihood of successful the lottery.”
Kosowan stated it’s because the town council has deemed drive-thrus not in one of the best curiosity of Calgarians, though he admits that is topic to interpretation.
“They need issues that they really feel are acceptable for the Calgary market, whether or not it is bike lanes or this or that or the opposite.”
Christina Gail is the mom of a two-year-old boy who has a bodily incapacity. She stated drive-thrus aren’t only a handy choice; in some circumstances, they’re a lifesaver.
As a mom, Gail stated she at all times chooses to make use of a drive-through as an alternative of waking her younger son up from a nap to go to a restaurant.
He added that the service can be invaluable from a incapacity standpoint.
“I do know a good friend who was in a wheelchair for some time and regardless that he can get out and in of the automotive by himself, to have the ability to try this after which get his wheelchair out and every thing, prefer it’s a hassle,” Gail stated.
Gail stated that whereas she has a number of drive-thrus in her northwest neighborhood, she has observed there are fewer choices within the metropolis’s newer developments, notably within the southeast, the place she usually goes to go to household.
“In the event you’re close to the hospital in Seton or Auburn Bay, the one Tim Hortons there may be the one you must stroll into. If I am going there and I do know I would like a espresso, I will cease by sooner.”
In accordance with a 2018 College of Alberta reportCalgary enacted a partial drive-thrus ban in 2007 by way of the adoption of a brand new land use statute.
In a press release to CBC Information, a spokesperson for the town’s Neighborhood Planning division stated the statute dictates the extent to which drive-thrus are allowed in sure components of the town.
“We now have many enterprise districts the place drive-thru companies are allowed, and we’ve got some enterprise districts the place they aren’t listed as a possible use,” the assertion stated.
“Districts that do not embody drive thrus as a use are usually pedestrian-oriented districts.”
Information despatched to CBC Information by the Neighborhood Planning division reveals just one new drive-thru allow has been issued to this point this yr, down from 12 allow approvals in 2019.
Division supervisor Scott Lockwood stated the town doesn’t have a technique to restrict drive-thru use within the metropolis or in new developments.
“If individuals are seeing much less [drive-thrus]I actually cannot communicate to why that may be.”
Lockwood stated the town tries to restrict the implementation of drive-thrus in areas the place pedestrian accessibility, density and transit are a precedence.
“What we do within the new communities is attempt to discover one of the best locations to place [drive-thrus]. We aren’t going to place a drive-thru in the course of a residential neighborhood. We’re going to have the drive-thru in a spot the place there are different business companies.”
A change in service
The success of drive-thrus evidenced by restaurant gross sales, Kosowan stated, just isn’t in contrast to different methods the pandemic has modified the best way the meals service trade does enterprise.
In accordance with Eating places Canada, an trade advocacy group, meals institutions throughout the nation need to add a number of drive-thru lanes to alleviate bottlenecks, with devoted lanes for supply drivers.
Kris Hans, an teacher at Mount Royal College, stated he thinks the versatile choices fueled by COVID-19 are right here to remain.
“Particularly with the pandemic, I might say that every thing has accelerated by way of modifications,” stated Hans.
“If it weren’t for drive-thru, the pandemic in all probability would have hit eating places even more durable.”
Hans identified that it isn’t simply drive-thrus that has gained new reputation, however different cellular ordering strategies.
“In the event you go to McDonald’s or A&W, or no matter, you may pre-order utilizing the app after which wait at your spot,” Hans stated.
“I believe on the finish of the day, individuals need flexibility.”