Case Study of the Week: Risks vs Benefits of Drive-thrus

Sep 18, 2023

Restaurant and Food Service

You are the director of operations for Shake-A-Palooza, a chain of quick service restaurants that feature over 25 ingredients that can be combined to make custom milkshakes. Currently there are 100 Shake-A-Palooza locations. All 100 locations feature an order counter with menus featuring available ingredients with a small dining area.

Due to the custom nature of each shake, it takes Shake-A-Palooza employees approximately 3-5 minutes to create each milkshake. If a customer is creating their custom shake at the order counter, 1-2 minutes can be added to the time as customers choose their ingredients.

As executives plan 20 new Shake-A-Palooza locations to open in the next 18-months, they have asked you to consider the benefits and possible consequences of each new location having a drive-thru.

The president of Shake-A-Palooza wants to understand how adding drive-thrus to the 20 new locations could benefit the location, sales and the customers. The president also wants to understand the risks involved in adding the drive-thrus, including wait times and possible customer dissatisfaction.

The president wants you to make suggestions that would lessen any risks and still be competitive.


Randi Bibiano
Competitive Events Specialist

Randi Bibiano is DECA's competitive events specialist. In this role, she conceptualizes and authors role-play scenarios for the collegiate and high school division’s competitive events programs. She also manages DECA's online competitive events and serves as a liaison to volunteer efforts at DECA's educational conferences.

Discussion Questions

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Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:

Hospitality and Tourism

Instructional Area(s):


Performance Indicators:

Explain the concept of competition
Determine factors affecting business risk
Identify factors affecting a business’s profit
Identify factors affecting wait time