A drive-through (or “drive-thru”) is a type of service that allows a customer to receive service from a store or service-point without leaving the car. It’s convenient and fast, provides an element of privacy, and has the added plus point of customers never having to stand in line. Red’s Giant Hamburg, which opened in 1947 in Missouri, U.S.A., is said to have been the world’s first drive-through restaurant.
In many countries throughout the world, there has been a revival of drive-through services, expanding upon the existing business model of drive-through restaurants that most of us are familiar with. As an example, South Korea has seen a drive-in cinema boom where moviegoers can enjoy their film of choice from the safety and comfort of their own cars, parked in front of a large outdoor screen. In Japan, one bread manufacturing and distribution company saw its percentage of takeaway and drive-through customers rise from 60 percent to 70 percent after the coronavirus hit. The virus is also changing the way that people enjoy the country’s hanami cherry blossom-viewing traditions. Many people have posted pictures on Twitter with the hashtag “drive-thru hanami.” Across the globe, in Germany, the Cologne Bonn Airport parking garage was transformed into a drive-through art gallery, allowing visitors to enjoy artwork without leaving their cars.
In Thailand, in addition to the many food businesses that provide drive-through services, there are also a variety of other businesses that employ the method, including drive-through banking and drive-through postal services. Samitivej Hospital offers drive-through medical services, providing Covid-19 screening, blood collection, and vaccinations.
Drive-through services are a great option during the COVID-19 pandemic era and will likely continue as part of our “new normal.” In addition to our drive-through medical services, Samitivej offers healthcare via telemedicine, utilizing various communication technologies to support a wide variety of health services. We also bring our services right to your doorstep and into the comfort and safety of your own home.
M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, 1997.