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Fries a casualty of social distancing at Broadway Dick’s Drive-In

Customers line up at the Broadway Dick's

Nothing unusual about a line at Dick’s (Image: CHS)

A burger and fries

(Image: Dick’s Drive-In)

“All locations are OPEN today, Thursday, May 14th… Fresh hand cut fries🍟 are available at all locations with the exception of Broadway”

It might be one of the cruelest blows of COVID-19-locked down Seattle mass culture — the small semblance of normality that Dick’s Drive-In is open and serving in the middle of these strange days with burgers, shakes, and fries… with the exception of Broadway.

“Our primary product is a burger and fries are a side,” Jasmine Donovan, president of Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants tells CHS. “It was the way that the kitchen is set up and the way the food flows from production to the window where the customer’s ordering — it was fries that cause the biggest bottleneck and the one thing that we could offer potentially an alternative product for.”

The Broadway exception is not some kind of Trump-era retaliation and is probably not a punishment by god. It’s about architecture.

Dick’s Drive-In on Broadway has temporarily halted fry production because of challenges posed by the location’s unique and narrow floor layout in the 1955-era fast food joint, making it hard for employees to run the fry display and other equipment while socially distancing. Fries are still being offered at all other locations of this Seattle-based fast food institution.

For now, the Broadway Dick’s is offering Tim’s Original Potato Chips in place of the hand cut fries. The temporary menu change comes as the longtime establishment works to implement social distancing guidelines into their smaller store locations. Dick’s initially halted fry production at three locations but has since resumed serving fries at all but the Broadway spot.

“We’ve been there through lots of ups and downs and this is the first time I think we’ve ever had to stop selling a product like this on such a large scale or for such a long time, so I think it does surprise people sometimes and that’s generally when we get the most negative reaction,” Donovan said. “You know some people choose to buy chips, others choose to buy a second cheeseburger and some decide not to eat there at all or go to another location that is serving fries right now like our Queen Anne location just down the hill.”

Donovan has found most customers to be understanding of the menu change but there is plenty of sadness to be found on the internet:

In a way the business model of this Seattle fast food chain, which primarily sells takeaway food and only has in-store seating at its Queen Anne location prior to COVID-19 restrictions, is relatively well set up for business under quarantine, but it has still faced the significant challenge of how to safely prepare fries, one of its staple items, at the Broadway location.

“We haven’t figured out a good way to maintain social distancing inside and outside the restaurant for that matter if we bring fries back, so we’re still working on it,” Donovan said. “We hope to be able to come up with a solution, but in the meantime it’s chips.”


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JayH
JayH
8 months ago

So let’s see if I get this- We can’t serve potatoes fried in oil so instead we serve potatoes fried in oil? Or are they baked? Oh well, grease is grease.

Tony
Tony
8 months ago

They haven’t been selling fries at Dick’s for several weeks good to know you’re on top of the story

fkutony
fkutony
8 months ago
Reply to  Tony

Tony here only cares about the serious news, obvz. I bet you don’t even get off your butt to walk there for your burgers.

Tony
Tony
7 months ago
Reply to  fkutony

Let me guess short little white dude with anger problems?

Tim
Tim
8 months ago

Dick’s hadn’t been selling fries at half it’s locations (in the older “fishbowl” style buildings) since the beginning of APRIL!

“*Special Note: we are serving Tim’s Cascade Potato Chips instead of fries at our Holman Road, Lake City and Broadway locations.” –April 3rd

https://www.facebook.com/DicksDriveIn/posts/10158389066486349

Timschipssuck
Timschipssuck
8 months ago

Like can we get bags of rocks instead? They taste better and are softer than Tim’s.

Blkdog
Blkdog
8 months ago

If workers are healthy ? Why concerned with “ bottleneck “ ?.?

DS
DS
8 months ago
Reply to  Blkdog

Heard of social distancing? It’s required of employers.

Also, healthy people get Covid too.

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
8 months ago
Reply to  Blkdog

People with no symptoms can spread the disease…. until/unless we find that exposure (presence of antibodies) confers long term immunity and have the capacity to actually test people before they go back to work or we develop a vaccine there will be no sure way of telling who is “safe” to be around.

Until then – wear your mask in public….

Eric
Eric
7 months ago
Reply to  Blkdog

They could be asymptomatic.

Shuffles
Shuffles
8 months ago

CHS Covid-19 update: 0 comments
No more fries: 8 comments

Drama
Drama
8 months ago
Reply to  Shuffles

Here’s a dramatization with coffee

Mark MacIntyre
Mark MacIntyre
7 months ago

NO FRIES @ DICKS???!!!! SHIT’S GOT REAL!!!!!!

asteroidalcreme
asteroidalcreme
7 months ago

Dick’s burgers are great. Dick’s fries are complete mushy sh*t! Truly they are not worth a dime.Not missing them at all.

clew
clew
7 months ago

I liked their fries, but I *really* like only doing what they can physically do with distancing. I think I’ll go get those two burgers.