Tray on Trestle Serves at Drive-ln (Sep, 1949)

I’m not really sure how this is any more efficient than having an order window and a pickup counter. Though i’ll bet you’d get a lot less complaints if people had to write them out.

Tray on Trestle Serves at Drive-ln
DINE AT a new drive-in restaurant in Los Angeles and your food will come rolling out on a powered tray and stop at your car window. It’s the world’s first automatic “car-hop” and forerunner of others planned for California. The restaurant employs no car-hops, yet speeds service from 20 to 25 percent while saving 25 percent on labor costs, according to its owners. The patron drives into a stall and comes to a stop headed in toward the kitchen. A trestle extends from the parked car to the service room. A stainless-steel box — the serving tray — travels along the track, powered by a small electric motor. The patron makes his selection from the menu, places his order on the tray and pushes a button. The tray then moves to the service room, where a waitress relays the order to the kitchen. She computes the bill and sends it back to the driver, who returns it with the indicated amount. She makes change if necessary, loads the tray with the order and sends it out to the customer. The average diner stays in the stall only about 20 minutes. The novelty quickly attracted crowds.

  1. Jim Dunn says: July 27, 20078:15 am

    I agree that it’s not really that much more efficient, but I’d drive several furlongs out of the way to eat at a place like this. It’s too cool for words.

  2. jayessell says: July 27, 20079:37 am

    Yes… this is so much better than having attractive young women in short skirts rollerskate to your car and speak with you.

  3. Village Idiot says: August 6, 200712:03 pm

    Whatever works, so long as I never, ever have to get out of my car!

  4. RangerGordon says: March 8, 20084:37 pm

    It was the American Dream of the Atomic Era that we could live our lives without ever having to get out of our cars. (Well, who could blame them? If I had a big, beautiful, muscular, 8-cylinder, solid-steel car like that and if gas was, like, four cents a gallon, I’d never want to get out of it, either.)

    Still … I’d rather receive my hamburger and fries through a transparent pneumatic tube. And the restaurant should be covered by a transparent Plexiglas dome. Trays and trestles are sooo 1886.

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