carhop coronavirus
ehughes/iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Carhops Are Making a Comeback for Diners After Coronavirus

This dining style was popular more than 50 years ago
carhop coronavirus
ehughes/iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Although some restaurants in certain jurisdictions have reopened, some dining rooms are still closed and most have strict restrictions over coronavirus concerns. People are looking for other ways to enjoy a meal outside of the house though, and in one way or another, COVID-19 may have sent us back in time. How? Carhops are becoming popular again.

How Coronavirus Changed Restaurants and Which Changes Might Stick Around

According to new research from marketing firm Top Agency, Sonic Drive-In has become America’s most preferred fast food destination since mid-March, when coronavirus began to spread. McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Taco Bell took the majority of the remaining states, while Chick-fil-A, Popeye’s and Culver’s had the least traction.

Many other restaurants across the country have adopted carphop service too, including Happy Day’s Family Bistro in Chester County, Philadelphia. Takeout wasn’t paying the bills, so the restaurant opened for drive-in service in May. Owner Mohamed “Mo” Maaty equipped his waitresses with retro satin poodle skirts and they began serving customers carside.

“We service them, give them a fresh, hot meal, and do everything [we used to], except they’ll be sitting in their seat in their own car,” Maaty told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “The problem with takeout is that you get cold food by the time it gets home. Here, in the parking lot, we can modify food and offer refills. Complete service.”

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The restaurateur is also considering a large screen in the parking lot so customers can enjoy a film with their meal. Although drive-in movie theaters have been on the decline since their peak in the 1950s and 1960s, you can still pull up to these vintage drive-in movie theaters today.