Fastest Drive-Thru

Video Index (with direct links)

0:00 Who has the fastest drive-thru?
2:07 Fancy 10-course drive-thru experience in Los Angeles
2:35 Will Rapid COVID tests save ICSC RECon in 2021?
3:27 My visit to the (outside of) the Amazon Fresh grocery store in Irvine
4:16 Inland Empire housing market is the tightest in the US

Hello Investors!
How long do you think you spend in a drive thru?  A mystery shopping company called SeeLevel HX actually figured out.  They tracked 10 national fast food chains and surveyed them on several metrics, including speed.
The average drive-thru wait time this year is 5 minutes and 57 seconds, longer by 30 seconds as compared to last year Since the pandemic, many chains have been investing in technology and creating new drive-thru models so they can reduce our wait time and serve more customers per hour.
So who’s the fastest?  The award for the fastest average drive thru wait time was KFC, at 4 minutes and 43 seconds.  And the restaurant with the longest wait time in their survey was Chick Fil A, at over 8 minutes.  They didn’t include In-n-Out in this survey, but I bet if they did, they’d be a lot slower than Chick-Fil-A!
What was kind of funny about this survey is that if you look a little deeper into the data, you see that Chick Fil-A ranks the highest for Accuracy, Customer Service, and Taste, while KFC ranks the lowest for Accuracy and Customer Service.

So I guess the conclusion is that if you want your order right, and you want friendly service, and you want it to taste good, then you should be prepared to wait.  If you don’t care if you get what you order, and if you’re willing to deal with a rude employee, then at least you can get your food fast!.

But anyhow, drive-thrus are only going to get more popular going forward, so we should be prepared to either wait longer in line, or eat less fast food and eat more healthy food.

Click here to download the highlights report.

Fancy Drive-Thru Food in Los Angeles

Drive thru dining isn’t just for casual food!  Some enterprising chefs are trying new ideas.  How about fine dining in your car?

The Hollywood Palladium is hosting a 10-course drive through dinner on two nights – October 15 and 16, and the food will be created by some of LA’s top chefs.  Diners will stay in their cars and drive to 10 different stations where they will be served one course at each station.  Tickets are on sale now so click here if you’re interested.

Will Rapid COVID Tests Save ICSC RECon In 2021?

When will we get back to having in-person conferences?  Last week, I reported that Comic Con will take place in Los Angeles in December.  But how about ICSC in Las Vegas next year?

MGM is trying to bring conventions back to Vegas with rapid COVID tests.  These test provide results in 20 minutes, instead of the week it takes for many other tests.

However, last week the Center for Exhibition Industry Research told trade show promoters not to expect in person conventions until late summer or fall of 2021.  That would include ICSC RECon, which traditionally takes place in May.

Through July, Las Vegas saw a 55% drop in visitors as compared with 2019, and of course, convention traffic stopped entirely.  I think a rapid test is something that we need to have access to in order to resume normal life.  Let’s hope this becomes widely available soon.

What Amazon’s Up To This Week

The Amazon Fresh store near me in Irvine is opening soon – their sign went up last week.

It’s in a former Babies R Us store where I used to buy a lot of my kids clothing.  But for the past few weeks, its being used as a fulfillment center for Amazon’s grocery delivery service.  It should be opening soon to the public.  Amazon recently announced a new technology called Amazon One to make shopping at their stores even more seamless, and that’s the use of contactless palm scanners.

You can link your Amazon prime account to your palm, scan when you enter the store, and then shop.  These palm scanners are currently available at two Amazon Go stores in Seattle but may make their way to future stores such as this Fresh store.  Amazon also thinks that these palm scanners have broader use in the future, such as for entrance into sports stadiums, offices, or other gated locations.

IE Residential Market is the Tightest in the US

Let’s take a look at the residential real estate market in the Inland Empire.  The IE remains the market with the greatest negative change vs last year in homes for sale, compared with 50 metro areas around the country.  The supply of homes for sale in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties is 48% below where it was a year ago for the week ending September 26th, according to Zillow.  Overall in the US, listings are down 35% versus last year.
Zillow’s data also shows that median list prices in the IE are up 16% versus last year.  So if you’re thinking about selling your house or investment home in the IE, now’s a great time to do it!

Hope you enjoyed this newsletter.  See you next time!

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Mike Lin, CRE