Did you know there are drive-through liquor stores? Yet, when my son runs out of diapers five minutes after my husband leaves for work I have to pack up both kids and go to the store. Of course, it’s not that simple.
First I have to fashion a new diaper for the baby out of a size 5 pull-up held in place by a pair of elastic-waist pants, buckle everyone into the car with snacks and drinks because the five minute drive is too long for them to sit quietly without a distraction, locate the required Frozen song on my iPhone so the three-year-old will stop whining, and drive the ¾ of a mile to the nearest Walgreens. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I now have to unbuckle the kids, carry the one-year-old while corralling the three-year-old like a sheepdog, stand in line behind some unpleasantly scented man buying booze at 9:00am, pay for my box of diapers, then start the process all over again of strapping the kids into the car.
Seriously? Drive-through liquor stores? I mean, who are these people who are too lazy to get out of the car to buy beer? Where are they going in such a hurry? Should they even be driving? Surely, there are plenty of moms with young kids who would happily frequent shops that don’t require them to bring the entire marching band with them into the store.
I believe there is a real market for drive-through everything, and here is a list of the top 5 businesses I’d like to see converted.
1. Grocery stores – I’d like to propose that grocery stores offer online shopping for 20-items or fewer, then offer pick-up services where they retrieve the items from the shelf, bag them, and you swing through the drive through and pick them up. They could even limit the items to very basic necessities: bread, milk, diapers, eggs, etc. I’d pay a pretty hefty surcharge just so I could avoid dragging my hungry, crabby and/or wet children through the store.
2. Salons – There are times when my kids are completely happy in the car, watching tv or napping, and I know that as soon as we stop to go anywhere they’re going to wake up and take revenge on the fool who disturbed their peace. I’ve often wished there was something productive I could do while remaining in the car. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pull up to a window, stick your hands out of the car and get a manicure? It would be like a carwash for your hands. The kids get to sit happily in the car and you get pretty French tips. It’s a win-win.
3. Vending machines – We’ve all discussed my Diet Coke addiction, and I’m working on it, but there are days when all I want is a soda. However, once again I’m faced with the decision of whether or not to disturb the kids’ quiet time or just suffer the impending caffeine headache. I usually choose the latter. Before you even suggest it, fountain soda is not the same as a bottle: it’s flat, inconsistently syrupy, and the ice melts in about five minutes to make it watery. Drive-through vending machines would solve this problem. They could function like ATMs and even let you pay with your credit card. Who wouldn’t enjoy access to candy bars right from the comfort of your driver’s seat?
4. Kids’ clothing stores – I don’t know about everyone else, but I never make my kids try clothes on before I buy them. I have a hard enough time getting my three-year-old and one-year-old dressed once a day, let alone three or more times depending on how many items I’m buying. No thanks. Couldn’t some of these stores post their new stock on a menu board like a fast food restaurant and just let people order the colors and sizes they want? Surely they’d save money on rent since they wouldn’t need the space to display all the items. They could just leave them in the boxes they received from the manufacturer and hand them out as needed.
5. The Post Office – Yes, I know there are mailboxes that you can drive up to if you have pre-stamped letters to mail, but who keeps books of stamps in their purses anymore? I can’t remember the last time I mailed a physical letter. I do, however, mail and receive packages on a regular basis. Why do I need to get out of the car, drag my kids into the tiny room with the infinite line and just to fight to keep them from pulling on the velvet ropes separating the dozens of twists in the never-ending queue? Surely, the entire package mailing and pickup process could be achieved through a window.
Obviously, since I’m the woman that’s too lazy to get out of her car to do errands, I’m not the person to champion any of these changes. So, if anyone out there is looking to start a new business and make my life easier in the process, here are a few ideas. You get right on that.
What types of businesses would you like to see converted to drive-through?