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Resurgence in drive-thrus, curbside pickup 'beneficial' for restaurants: Ex-McDonald's USA CEO

Ex-McDonald’s USA CEO: Drive-thrus, curbside pickup here for long haul

Former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi argues while curbside pickup is here for the long haul, diners will still want to eat out and socialize.

Former McDonald's USA President and CEO Ed Rensi discussed the recent resurgence in drive-thru dining on 'Varney & Co.' Tuesday. Rensi argued that it'll be beneficial for restaurants to have an efficient long-term curbside pickup option as more customers turn to contactless dining.

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ED RENSI: We're going to do what we have to do to serve the consumer under these very difficult circumstances with the pandemic. Will it last long-term? One of the things about eating out is socialization. People need to see each other, join together. It's a celebration of life. The drive-thru and eating alone gets pretty old. After a while, drive-thru is very convenient for time-compressed people. 26-35% of the business going through the drive-thru are people that are on the run…


When it comes time for dinner, when it's time for a Sunday brunch, people want to sit down together – have conversation and discuss the events of the day, family business. So I think long term [drive-thrus] are going to exist. I think people will use them, but not to the extent we are today.

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Curbside pickup, I think, is going to be important for a long time because there's a lot of people that are mobility-restricted…can't go out in public because they have some kind of communicable disease or they have some of their immune system issues. So I think that's going to be beneficial. I think restaurants have learned how to do curbside pickup, and done it effectively. So I think that's going to be here to stay…

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