McDonald's Hamburgers drive-thru in Hyannis. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
McDonald's Drive-Thrus Were Created With The Military In Mind
By Nico Danilovich
Even though McDonald's started as a drive-in, it didn't adopt drive-thrus until reasonably late in the game. While it may be hard to imagine a McDonald's without a drive-thru, this was once a reality, and the story behind the eventual change is something even the biggest Mickey-D's fans might not know.
As drive-thrus increase speed and efficiency while further developing profit, McDonald's eventually installed them in their restaurants, but there's more to it than just that. In Sierra Vista, Arizona, one McDonald's location was losing business because it was located by the Fort Huachuca Army Base, which required that soldiers in uniform remain inside their vehicles while off base.
McDonald's hastily made its Sierra Vista location the first drive-thru site in 1975 and was highly effective at luring new business. Within a handful of years, over half of all McDonald's locations followed suit, and while the original Sierra Vista building was torn down, the new McDonald's bears a plaque commemorating its contribution to Mickey D's history.