Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated trends in the fast food, giving franchises that stayed open a new leg up over their dine-in competition.

Why it matters: Social distancing was a seismic event for customer behavior prompting rapid changes from some American classics.

The big picture: Drive-through and advance ordering have higher margins for restaurants, with a side benefit of luring more customers, the WSJ reports.

  • "Franchisees can reduce labor costs by operating stores without the usual dine-in service."
  • "While urban locations are suffering, suburban stores with drive-through service are seeing massive increase in demand."
  • Starbucks is planning to build more locations in urban areas designed specifically for takeout and advance ordering."

Efficiency plays a big role...

  • Chains are reducing menu options, closing dining rooms and offering better deals.
  • McDonald's has cut 25 seconds off its average drive-through wait time, its CEO said last week.

Between the lines: This is also a moment when other food chains, including grocery stores, are looking to chip away at the power of delivery services.

  • Kroger and Albertsons are among the grocers that are willing to do the shopping for customers, with no fees for pickup.

The bottom line: Necessity and competition have spurred a solid 5 years or more of innovation in about 4 months.

Go deeper

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 10,729,336 — Total deaths: 517,052 — Total recoveries — 5,514,033Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 2,688,246 — Total deaths: 128,104 — Total recoveries: 729,994 — Total tested: 32,827,359Map.
  3. States: Coronavirus cases flat or growing in 48 states — Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Federal government: GOP congressman calls on White House to disband coronavirus task force so that health officials don't undermine Trump.
  5. Politics: How Joe Biden would tackle the pandemic.
  6. Jobs: U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June — 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
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Florida again breaks single-day record for new coronavirus cases

People at Miami Beach on June 30. Photo: Johnny Louis/Getty Images

The Florida Department of Health reported 10,109 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the state's highest single-day increase yet, according to FOX 35 Orlando.

Why it matters: The massive surge in new cases comes just days after the state broke its previous record and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said the government will not reinstate restrictions or again close businesses to prevent the virus' spread.

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Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell indicted and arrested

Epstein and Maxwell in 2005. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The FBI on Thursday arrested Ghislaine Maxwell, a close associate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, on charges linked to Epstein's sex crimes, NBC New York reports.

The big picture: Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire and is expected to appear later in federal court in New York. She is charged with conspiring with Epstein, who died in an apparent suicide in prison last year, to sexually abuse minors. "The six-count indictment in Manhattan federal court alleges that Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14 years old, going back as far as 1994," per NBC.