Cookout’s innovative two lane drive-thru is great when you’re in a hurry

We normally do not feature stories about major chain restaurants, but here is a tip for everyone in Middle Georgia when you are in a hurry and want to pick something up at Cookout on Eisenhower. If you confused by Cookout’s two lane drive-thru system at this store, you are not alone. At first glance, it may not make sense, but it is your key for a quicker trip to the fast food chain.

Normally, most people queue up in the lane closest to the building (labeled “Lane 1”) like a normal drive-thru, which is expected since that is what we normally see. However, unlike two-lane drive-thru’s at restaurants like Checker’s or Chick-fil-a, the extra lane (labeled “Lane 2”) does not diverge to the other side of the building or merge back together, it stays adjacent to the inner lane.  It is not immediately clear how you pay and get your food.

Eisenhower Cookout Drive-thru
If you use the exterior lane, “lane 2”, you can often bypass a backup in “lane 1”. Simply make a sharp left at the end of the lane when it is clear, while drivers in the inner lane drive straight ahead and make a wider left.

Well, the trick is that the building has two pickup windows on the far back corner which service the two lanes separately. Those in lane 1 simple pull forward and make a wide left to stay outside of the pickup window for lane 2. Lane 2 makes a sharp left after yielding to traffic in lane 1. This means that you don’t have to awkwardly lean over the passenger side to use the extra lane, both lanes get driver’s side service.

For those in the know, this can greatly shorten the wait time one has because many patrons seem hesitant to use the exterior lane. Often, a line of five to six cars may be in lane 1 while lane 2 is empty. The next time you want a quick bite for lunch, use this knowledge to your advantage and reduce your wait time.

 

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