Auntie Anne’s moves beyond the mall to open its first drive-thru

America is a drive-thru-crazy nation, yet many of our popular drive-thru orders haven’t been optimized for behind-the-wheel consumption. Burgers and sandwiches were designed to make meals more portable, but that was before the age of the automobile. Burritos should, in theory, be excellent car food, but eating them one-handed causes an uneven application of pressure, resulting in unevenly distributed filling in each bite. Chicken nuggets are arguably the easiest food to eat while driving, but taking your eyes off the road to dunk them in itsy-bitsy cups of dipping sauce is hazardous. You know what’s safe, portable, and won’t eject a steaming spurt of refried beans if you hit a pothole? Hot. Soft. Pretzels. Now, as we enter the Golden age of the drive-thru, Auntie Anne’s has at last realized that the world would be a better place if we could all eat pretzels in our cars.

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The first ever Auntie Anne’s drive-thru has opened in the city of Wylie, Texas, as noted by a press release. It is sharing its 1,200-square-foot space with a Jamba Juice, another seller of products that are relatively safe to consume while operating a moving vehicle. Both concepts share the same parent company, Focus Brands, and though this is the first drive-thru in Auntie Anne’s history, Focus Brands noted that more than 25% of Jamba Juice locations currently have drive-thrus, and the company’s goal is to add a drive-thru to half of all new locations.

“Auntie Anne’s has become synonymous with malls and airports,” said a representative for Focus Brands in the press release, “but for some time we’ve been looking for opportunities to grow outside of those traditional locations to give our guests greater access to a brand they love.”

It’s worth noting that both Cinnabon and Carvel are both in the Focus Brands portfolio, too, and with aggressively drive-thru-focused brand expansions like we’re seeing with Auntie Anne’s and Jamba, it might soon be possible to cruise down the freeway slurping a smoothie and eating Cinnabon sticks dunked in ice cream while wearing half a dozen hot pretzels on each wrist. This the future the Jetsons promised us, and by god, it is beautiful.

Allison Robicelli is a JBFA-nominated food & humor writer, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Need cooking advice? Tweet me @Robicellis.

DISCUSSION

4jimstock
4jim

good plan since malls are soon to be a hazy 80's memory.