When most people think of going to the drive-thru the first thing that comes to mind is when you're in a hurry for dinner and stop by for some fast food. But now there are actually a number of different businesses that are offering drive-thru so that you can get what you need quickly without even getting out of your car. While you may not be able to get your beauty products or buy your groceries this way (yet) you can do your banking, get a prescription filled or even get alcohol.
The first drive-thru window is said to have come in 1928 and was actually not for a food establishment. It was part of City Center Bank in St Louis. There are many companies that claim that they had the first food drive-thru. The most famous of these seems to be In-n-Out Burger, which opened its first drive-thru window in 1948. Other restaurants that claim they were the first include Maid-Rite and Jack in the Box.
While drive-thrus were quite commonplace in America by the end of the 1960s, it took a little longer for them to cross the pond into Europe. The first drive-through there was at a McDonalds in Dublin, Ireland and opened in 1985. Now, even there you will find places where you can get tacos to coffee. In Las Vegas you will find a wedding chapel that is a drive-thru and there are some funeral homes even have this service for loved ones who are coming to view a body.
Though the majority of drive-thrus are still meant to only serve those that are in cars, there are those that are attempting to offer the service to some greener methods of transportation. If you get around the city using a bicycle rather than a car than you may find that there are a few windows that are designed to serve you. Some restaurants that want to still serve customers after the main dining room is closed are now offering a walk-up window where you can still be served as a pedestrian. But, due to safety regulations and insurance, a person on a bike or walking usually can't be served at a standard window.
While you may think that drive-thrus are just increasing to the laziness of modern society there are definitely some benefits in a world where we all seem to be living more hectic lives. While you will not find the quality of food that you can get from a fine dining establishment and can only use it for certain services, this seems to be a technology that is not going anywhere soon.