Greggs announces plans to open drive-thrus all over the UK

Greggs has announced plans to open drive-thrus across Britain.

The pastry giant was so pleased with a trial drive-thru at one of its stores in Manchester that it plans to introduce them nationwide.

Greggs opened its first drive-thru in Irlam, Greater Manchester, in June, and it has proved to be a big hit with customers.

The company already has 1,806 in the UK, but soon its customers could be grabbing their food from a window rather than a counter.

Greggs chief executive Roger Whiteside confirmed the plans to go nationwide with drive-thrus to the Newcastle Chronicle.

He said: ‘We are very excited by it – it’s got off to a flying start. It’s been interesting and exciting to see how well customers have taken to it.

‘Customers are very taken by the idea of not having to leave their cars. We wondered if they would be welcoming to do this, and it’s been very positive – I don’t understand why we haven’t done this years ago.

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‘We are actively looking for more sites but we will be competing against others looking for more sites. It’s something that’s become more and more prevalent – you’ve even got coffee shops now involved in drive-thrus.

‘The main factor in how customers decide where to shop is convenience, and this is the most convenient – they don’t even have to leave their cars. And they are getting just the same as they would in the store – breakfasts, coffees and so on – so it seems to be the most natural thing to do.’

‘Drive-thru is something we have shown we can adapt ourselves to without introducing new products. In terms of opportunity, we want to get to 2,000 stores and have 1,806 now, so we will get as many as we can where the costs stack up.’

The announcement comes after sales figures show Greggs had revenues of £453 million in the first half of 2017, an increase of 7.3%.

The firm said sales rose 3.4% in the first half of this year, thanks to a strong customer appetite for salads and breakfast food.

However, pre-tax profits dropped 24% to £19.4 million over the period because of a £8.3 million charge connected to a £100 million restructuring drive.

Mr Whiteside said: ‘The business has traded in line with our plans during the first half of the year.

‘We have made good progress with our strategic plans and remain confident of future prospects although we remain alert to short-term pressures on consumers’ disposable income.

‘Over the year as a whole we expect to deliver results in line with our previous expectations as well as further progress against our strategic plan.’

(Picture: PA)

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