Most of us consider drive-through windows to be a fact of life. We may even use them on a daily basis, but they weren’t always around. In fact, they didn’t show up on the scene until 1975 and they weren’t something that were used by most people.
The first drive-through was made by McDonald’s in 1975. It wasn’t for use by civilians, however, it was used by active members of the military.
As reported by AZCentral.com, the location of the fast-food window was in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Although the golden arches are often given credit for having that first drive-through window, there were some other smaller restaurants that had take-out windows. David Rich, the franchise owner of the McDonald’s in Arizona took things to the next level when he realized that many military members were not coming in.
The McDonald’s was located just a few miles from a military fort, but the protocol at the base said that the military members should not show up in public in a uniform. That is when Rich came up with the solution to insert a window and have an employee there to handle orders.
In other words, it allowed the people coming to and from the base to get their Big Mac without violating any of the rules of the base. The post commander and his daughter from that military base were even the first customers.
Other drive-up windows were also considered for McDonald’s prior to the time that this one was built in Arizona. There was even one in Oklahoma City that had approval but it didn’t open until a few months after the first window.
That quickly changed, however, because McDonald’s saw the benefit of having a drive-up window. More than 5000 locations had such a window by the end of the 1970s. These days, you would be lucky to find a McDonald’s without a drive-up window.
As far as the restaurant in Sierra Vista is concerned, it was torn down and a new one was built in its place in 1999. The original drive-through was auctioned off, along with other parts of the original restaurant, according to AZCentral.com.