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Pizza drive-thrus are having a moment: Here are 4 you should know about

From Pizza Hut to Slice Factory, pizza is the unlikely segment is entering the post-pandemic drive-thru boom

Though the tech-forward drive-thru has become a critical part of the restaurant industry’s post-pandemic off-premises focus, we’ve mostly seen quick-service restaurants in the burger, fried chicken, and taco categories build up their drive-thrus. But what about pizza? As a made-to-order item that usually takes longer to make than burgers or chicken sandwiches, pizza is not the obvious choice for a drive-thru lane. Plus, is the drive-thru window even wide enough for a pizza box?

But after Pizza Hut launched the Hut Lane two years ago — a drive-thru lane dedicated to contactless curbside pickup for online orders — pizza drive-thrus have slowly become more common.

As more restaurants implement drive-thrus, and as drive-thrus grow to include multiple lanes for different types of service, this is likely putting even more pressure on restaurant real estate. Despite that, consumer demand for drive-thru ease has not abetted.

However, it’s not all good news for pizza drive-thrus. Fly Pie Pizza in Henderson, Nev. — a drive-thru eatertainment pizzeria that allowed customers to drive through a tunnel that emulated a pizza oven before getting their pie in just a few minutes — shut down last year after just one year in business in June 2022, citing economic concerns, according to the brand’s Instagram post. 7Pie — a drive-thru pizza pickup concept that opened in Houston last fall —appears to have closed all seven locations temporarily, according to both Yelp and its website.

Here are details on four pizza drive-thrus we’re keeping our eye on around the country:

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