Cumberland Farms Tests Drive-Thru Concept in Massachusetts

BOSTON -- Drive-thrus might not be reserved for just burgers and fries anymore, at least if Cumberland Farms has anything to do with it. The Framingham, Mass.-based chain recently began testing the first drive-thru of its kind for New England at its Kingston store, Boston reported. The company also has plans to add a few more by summer.

"We’re not just in the convenience store business, we’re in the business of providing for the on-the-go customer," Ari Haseotes, president of the Framingham company told the news outlet. "The drive-thru was really just raising the bar yet another level."

Customers visiting the new Cumberland drive-thru can expect to purchase all of the stores 3,000-plus products in the manner familiar with ordering food at any drive-up fast food restaurant. Customers simply pull their car up to a speaker and place their orders and continue to a pick-up window.

Cumberland Farms drive-thru menu will also feature fresh food and beverages, and alerts customers that they can order any other item from the store, the Web site stated.

"If you can put a newspaper in their hands, you’ve already outdone the (quick-serve restaurant) competition," Jeff Lenard, spokeswoman for the National Association of Convenience Stores told However, Lenard points out that most c-stores make their money, apart from gas sales, with in-store purchases, and the challenges with the new drive0thru concept has the potential for slowing down a store's transaction time. "Transaction time is, absolutely, what convenience stores have over any other channel," Lenard added.

As Cumberland Farms rolls out more drive-thrus to its 580 stores, the company will depend on customer acceptance and whether the pilot sites can still serve customers in a matter of minutes, the Web site noted.

"We’ve added some manpower in the store to be able to deliver the same speed of service that customers are accustomed to inside the store," Haseotes stated.

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