National Drive-Thru Day Date in the current year: July 24, 2024

National Drive-Thru Day National Drive-Thru Day, also spelled National Drive-Through Day, is celebrated annually on July 24. It was created to recognize a type of take-out service offered by the majority of fast-food chains in North America.

A drive-thru or drive-through is a type of take-out service where customers can purchase products without leaving their cars. It is most commonly provided by restaurants, but other businesses such as grocery stores, liquor stores, healthcare facilities, and even banks may also provide drive-through services. Some drive-thru restaurants have two windows, one for placing orders and paying for them and the other for retrieving orders, and some have one window that serves both functions.

Drive-thru emerged in the United States in the first half of the 20th century, when mass-produced cars became widely available. The first restaurant to serve peope in cars was Kirby’s Pig Stand that opened in Dallas, Texas in 1921. It was not a drive-thru, but a drive-in restaurant where patrons parked their cars and were served by waiters called carhops.

The world’s first identified drive-thru restaurant was Red’s Giant Hamburg in Springfield, Missouri. It was established by Sheldon “Red” Chaney in 1947 and soon became a staple on Route 66. However, it is In-N-Out Burger that is credited with popularizing drive-thru in the United States. It was founded in Baldwin Park, California in 1948 by Harry and Esther Snyder. Although the original In-N-Out Burger drive-thru stand has since closed down, the chain still operates, being the oldest surviving drive-thru in the United States.

By the 1970s, drive-in restaurants in the United States had been replaced by drive-thru services. Today, drive-thru service is offered by the majority of fast-food chains, including Arby’s, Bojangles, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Chick-fil-A, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Culver’s, Dairy Queen, Dunkin’ Donuts, Hardee’s, In-N-Out Burger, Jack in the Box, KFC, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, Papa John’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Popeyes, Starbucks, Steak ‘n Shake, Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Whataburger, and others. Since having a car is practically a must in many parts of the United States, drive-thrus are hugely popular.

The origins of National Drive-Thru Day are somewhat murky, but it is believed to have been created by Jack in the Box, an American fast-food chain that was the first major chain to focus on drive-through services and use a two-way intercom system to serve customers. The holiday was celebrated on July 28 from 2002 to 2005 and have been observed on July 24 from 2006 onward.

There are many ways to celebrate National Drive-Thru Day. You can take a ride and stop by the drive-thru at your favorite fast-food restaurant, diner or coffee shop, try a new drive-through, look out for National Drive-Thru Day deals and promotions, shop at a drive-through grocery store, visit the replica of the original In-N-Out burger stand in Baldwin Park to take photos, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalDriveThruDay and #NationalDriveThroughDay.

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National Drive-Thru Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, drive-through, drive-thru