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World’s first drive-thru only restaurant in Australia

FRCH NELSON designed the project.

November 13, 2019 |
KFC drive-thru only restaurant in Australia

All photos courtesy KFC

As more customers begin to order food through online channels, a new KFC pilot project in Newcastle, Australia looks to create a more efficient operating model to keep up with this change in consumer behavior.

Designed by FRCH NELSON with KFC SOPAC, the drive-thru only KFC features five lanes, two set up for traditional on-the-spot drive-thru orders, and three that allow customers to order and pay for a meal through the brand’s app or website. For online orders, customers drive up to one of the designated lanes and enter a four-digit code generated by the app on a touchscreen. Once the code is entered, the online order is sent to the kitchen where it is freshly prepared.


KFC drive-thru only lanes


The goal of the design was to create a holistic drive-thru experience that leverages architecture, communication, service, and landscape. Without having the benefit of a public-facing interior, FRCH NELSON had to find other opportunities to display and celebrate the KFC brand on the building’s exterior, which leverages natural materials in conjunction with steel and glazing.


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A large halo-lit Colonel Sanders layered atop the building’s wood-clad walls greets guests and the drive thru portal uses bold architecture to create a beacon for the experience. “With traditional restaurants, the building is the experience, but with this new concept it became a fixture – one element supporting the overall experience,” said Marty McCauley, Design Director at FRCH NELSON, in a release. “We had to utilize every exterior touchpoint from the landscaping, to the signage, to the architecture of the drive-thru portal, to create a holistic experience for guests.”


KFC online order wait spots


KFC drive-thru only ordering process for online pick-up


Pick up window

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