You have seen it in Vancouver~long lines of vehicles in the drive-in lanes at McDonald’s in Kerrisdale when there’s no one inside the quick serve restaurant. You may have wondered why there were so many people idling in a queue, and just assumed it was an anomaly. But apparently it is not, and as News 1130’s Monica Gul reports Dr. Sylvain Charlebois who is the director of Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University is studying this phenomena. Dr. Charlebois has called it “the fake commute”.
It does make sense in that Tim Hortons and McDonalds have been reporting a doubling or tripling of business at some drive-in locations, and the locations that expected a 30 percent drop in revenue quickly gained ground. Sadly the drive-in quick service chains have been able to adapt well to the pandemic and will emerge with healthy profit margins unlike the independent retailers and restaurants that are not set up for quick serve window accessed meals.
There is a psychological reason that people are leaving home to pick up a coffee whether by foot, bike or vehicle. As Dr. Charlebois notes, people don’t just get up in the morning and sit to work at the home office station, and leaving to get coffee elsewhere creates a regularity and a “commute” to the home office.
“Which means that even though people aren’t necessarily going to work, physically, or going to some place, people are still basically driving around or busing around to get their morning fix…A lot of people are struggling to physically distance themselves from their work.
If they’re working from home, it’s very difficult to create that physical division between your personal life and professional life.”
Dr. Charlebois thinks this trend will intensify in the winter months as people set up a regularity and pattern to their work day, and that includes a cup of coffee from somewhere else than the home office.
You can hear some of the research in this YouTube video belo