As dine-in declines, drive-up booms
Drive-up or curbside delivery is becoming ever more popular despite the end of Level 2.5 restrictions on Sunday night.
With the service, customers wait in their cars in front a cafe, restaurant or store and their orders are brought to them by staff.
The number of people dining out has dramatically decreased due to the recent resurgence of the virus, but the number of vehicles lining up outside of restaurants or cafes has jumped, especially during the commuting hours and lunch time. Starbucks has an employee that helps drivers with their parking.
Starting Monday, Lotte Hotel Busan added five more meals that can be picked up in the parking lot. They used to be available only at the hotel restaurant, but the hotel changed the rule as dining in has become more difficult.
CU is beginning its own drive-up service next month, working with the Owin mobility app.
Customers will be able to place an order on the app and designate a CU store for the handoff. Once they reach the destination, an employee will come out with the merchandise.
The customer can set their estimated arrival time.
Other retailers, including Emart and Homeplus, are providing similar services. Homeplus is offering drive-up at 26 of its stores, and Emart is doing the same at its branch in Wangsimni, eastern Seoul.
At Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market, a drive-up service was restarted last week after it was tested in March.
Sliced raw fish, seasoned skate and deep-fried shrimp are just a few of the offerings that can be purchased and picked up curbside. Drive-up customers receive a 20 percent discount.
Drive-up orders have been increasing, and as a result, companies are expanding their capacity to meet demand.
From January through April, the number of drive-up orders at Starbucks jumped 40 percent on year. From Jan. 1 through April 30, sales of drive-up and McDelivery accounted for 54 percent of McDonald’s Korea sales. Around 20 million vehicles visited McDonald’s for drive-up in the first half of the year.
Customers who experienced "delivery and drive-through as a result of Covid-19 are likely to continue the consumption pattern in the future,” said Prof. Seo Yong-gu, who teaches business at Sookmyung Women’s University.
BY JIN MIN-JI, BAE JUNG-WON [email@example.com]