Sweetgreen Will Open a Drive-Thru Restaurant in 2021

With many offices closed, Sweetgreen must find a new way to lure in the lunch crowd

Sweetgreen is arguably the most upscale of the pay-$15-for-a-huge-salad-because-you-forgot-to-pack-lunch places, and like the rest of those types of restaurants, it has been hit by the fact that a lot of workers aren’t going into the office anymore. In order to appeal to a broader array of customers, the company announced that it will be opening a drive-in concept in Highlands Ranch, Colorado in early 2021. Per the press release, it will be an “updated, healthy version of the traditional drive-thru but supported by tech-enabled ordering and innovative design.” So, presumably there will be a better intercom than at most drive-thrus.

The new restaurant will feature both a drive-thru lane, a drive-in area with in-car ordering, and a separate lane for those who’ve ordered via the app. Sweetgreen has attempted multiple ordering options in the name of convenience before, such as with its experimental “3.0” location in New York City, which Eater NY’s Ryan Sutton said “channeled about as much tech-centric mindfulness and simplicity as Penn Station after a power outage.” But Sweetgreen says it’s ready to “meet customers where they are,” which is presumably in pajamas and desperate for roughage.

And in other news…

  • McDonald’s franchisees voted to cut “non-essential” meetings with corporate, in a protest over new fees and costs. [BI]
  • Oreo has introduced 65 new flavors since 2012, and must be stopped. [NYTimes]
  • According to the NLRB, Nestle fired a worker at a Wisconsin frozen pizza plant for reporting an act of racism. [Fooddive]
  • After many have fallen ill or been compelled to work while sick, farmworkers are organizing for their rights in the Central Valley. [Mother Jones]
  • Starbucks is suspending its “happy hour” promotions as COVID-19 cases rise. [CNN]
  • Another report reveals awful working conditions at meat processing plants. [Modern Farmer]
  • Restaurant owners and workers say the bipartisan stimulus deal isn’t doing enough to save restaurants and bars, and are fighting for the RESTAURANTS Act instead of more PPP loans. [NBC]
  • Holiday shopping and dining has dipped this year. [NPR]
  • Who else thought this?:

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