In a recent development that has irked neighbors and delighted those who use Garland Road as a shortcut to beat traffic, three national chains have decided to offer only drive-thru service at their new restaurants. Chic-Fil-A, Panera Bread Company, and Jimmy John's will not allow patrons to enter the buildings at their new East Dallas locations.
The fervor that has preceded these restaurants' openings on Garland will be tested by this new development. White Rock Lake residents' love for Polynesian sauce, soup and salad combos and obscenely quick sandwiches can only go so far.
District 9 City Councilman, Luke Lawton, whose district contains the three eateries, is completely on board. "The new Garland Road Vision is one that causes no one to leave their vehicle. Ever. Our hope is that places like The Lot, Hypnotic Donuts, and the Smoky Rose will soon shut down table service and move this direction as well."
Neighbors have complained that there are too many options for Garland and South Dallas residents who use the road as a thoroughfare, but this new development flies in the face of their wishes. Leandro Benito, a Forest Hills resident, is not happy. "Who knows who could be using those drive-thrus? Murders? Ethnic people? Vegetarians? Everyone knows that upstanding citizens don't use drive-thrus."
As property values along Garland road increase, neighborhoods have gentrified and residents don't want to feel surrounded by fast food restaurants, which are for poor people, according to neighbors. Unfortunately for this crowd, the roads are public and used by hundreds of thousands of people each week, some of whom live outside the tree lined estates that populate the west side of the lake. Apparently these people, even though they can't afford to pay $300 per square foot for housing, also eat lunch.
Despite these complaints, the restaurants have decided they can reduce overhead and increase revenue by adding more drive-thru windows. They can be outfitted with double-sided windows, and the now superfluous parking lots can be used to line up the added vehicles.
Chic-Fil-A plans on using the tubes from its playscape to deliver extra-large orders in their bulk drive-thru lane, which will open when the restaurant does.
Not everyone is disappointed, though. Textan Dryve, a Garland landscape architect, has many clients up and down Garland road and eats in between jobs. "I love the idea of more drive-thru options. It allows me to be more efficient, which small business owners like me need to be."
Chic-Fil-A franchise owner Wof L. Fryze is excited about the new development. "Lunch tastes better when you eat it while driving out of a bag. This summer, texting and driving will be illegal in Texas, so we want to fill that void and be something with which people can distract themselves from driving," Fryze says. "We hope that our nuggets will be rolling across floorboards up an down Garland road very soon"