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Galito’s has opened a flagship drive-thru restaurant in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga – the latest development in its growing partnership with local fuel retail group Global Oil. 

Drive-thru operations have been delivering a high ROI, offering convenience, speed, and the comfort of social distance to consumers using them. The increasing trend for fast foods among emerging economies and brand recognition has also fuelled this market growth, particularly in peri-urban and rural areas. 

Worldwide, restaurant chains are responding to the increasing demand for drive-thru services, with most major quick service restaurants reporting that about 70% percent of their business comes through the drive-thru window, making it a significant revenue generator for QSR brands. 

SA’s homegrown success and growing global brand Galito’s has been expanding into this market. 

Galito’s CEO and Founder Louis Germishuys says the fast casual segment is changing: “After experiencing rapid growth for years, the fast casual segment is slowly maturing, requiring fast casual restaurants to look for new ways to stay ahead of the competition. 

“We are offering consumers high-quality food but at greater convenience. Think of the parent with young children, who is looking for healthy options for their family but wants the ‘stay-in-the-car convenience’ a drive-thru offers. This is a major opportunity for growth.” 

Galito’s operates across 17 countries, with close on 200 stores – 130 locally and 68 across Africa into Malaysia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, the UAE, India and Canada, so Germishuys has a good idea of the challenges facing franchisees. 

“Our first ever drive-thru was rolled out in Canada in XXX so we have worked out most of the challenges. A drive-thru operation requires a certain type of location, as well as menu options that can be delivered quickly, outdoor signage, proper staff training and technologies to ensure speed of service and customer satisfaction.” 

Galito’s first two drive-thru stores opened in Montana and Hartbeespoort. Their largest drive-thru opened in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg on Beyers Naude Drive during 2020 and several more are planned. 

“Driven by time constraints and demand for convenience, consumer behaviour was starting to shift even before dining room closures and safety concerns forced consumers to change their eating out habits. Ongoing anxiety won’t reverse these trends anytime soon.” 

Germishuys says the drive-thru represents a great opportunity: “Customers who go to a fast food business are looking for speed, convenience, affordability and predictably good food. We deliver on each of these.” 

Based on the available data, we expect many more restaurants and coffee shops to add drive-thru options over the next decade and Galito’s is leading the pack locally. 

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