Niles Culver’s converting to double drive-thru

Published 3:49 pm Monday, March 21, 2022

NILES — One local fast food restaurant is taking the phrase “make it a double” to heart.

The Niles Culver’s, 1420 S. 11th St, is nearing completion on its drive-thru expansion project.

The project, which began Tuesday, March 15, involves creating an additional drive-thru lane, building an island to separate the two lanes, widening the 11th St. entrance to allow access to the second lane and installing a second drive-thru order station on the site.

Wisconsin-based McCON Building Corporation, responsible for the construction of Culver’s in 2019, is handling the project which is expected to be completed Friday.

Owner Katie Rose said the decision was made in order to adapt to an increase in drive-thru customers, which often led to long lines stretching out into S. 11th St.

“Our drive-thru is very busy, especially when COVID started,” she said. “Our sales shifted to mainly drive-thru and online ordering, so you need the space so we’re not having cars going out in the street right. Just having two orders going at once will really help the flow of our business.”

According to Rose, the Culver’s franchise began the transition to double-drive thru’s last year.

“The Mishawaka location got theirs last year,” she said. “Granger’s location opened at the end of last year and they started with the double drive-thru. It definitely seems to be the future in the way that we’re kind of shifting.”

Like many fast-food chains, Culver’s was able to hold serve through the height of the pandemic thanks to its drive-thru and online ordering. 

“We really didn’t take too much of a hit with COVID,” Rose said. “We just had to change how we did things with it. Sales-wise and experience-wise, it’s about the same now as it was [during the restrictions]. With everything getting listed, it has made things easier and our staffing has been great.”