What's lost in the hyper-convenience of drive-thru culture?

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, September 5, 2023 - 10:58am
Updated: Wednesday, September 6, 2023 - 10:09am

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Christina Estes/KJZZ
Pete's owner Kathy Adams had 'Cash Only' painted on the drive thru entrance.

Phoenix is the ultimate drive-thru town. In fact, Arizona was home to the very first McDonald’s drive-thru in 1975 in Sierra Vista.

Now, they are everywhere, from the Starbucks shift to almost all drive-thrus, to the Dutch Bros phenomenon and newfound popularity of Salad & Go, and, of course, there are your fast-food joints, drive-up grocery pick-up and a few, very special drive-thru liquor stores left. The pandemic, of course, kicked all of this into high gear.

And it's understandable. They’re easier, they’re faster, you don’t have to get out of your car in this summer heat — the list goes on. But, we wondered: Is there also something lost in all of this convenience? 

The Show turned to someone who knows a lot about communication — Sarah Tracy, Ph.D., the director of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, . 

She said that there are two parts to communicating: the task at hand and the relationship behind it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Sarah Tracy's name.

Sarah Tracy
Sarah Tracy
Sarah Tracy

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