Popular Dundee bakery Clark’s say a planned café may now need to become a drive-thru after the pandemic forced a rethink.
The local chain, famed for its 24-hour takeaway in the West End, has already been granted permission for a new store just off the Myrekirk roundabout near Charleston.
But, after seeing a huge drop in footfall over the past year during Covid-19, bosses say the only viable option is to resubmit the plans to include a drive-thru.
Third-generation owner Jonathon Clark says the change was a tough call but hopes the new idea will be approved.
He said: “When we first put in our planning application in 2019 for a Clark’s Bakery on the Fulton Road site, we had no interest at all in looking into a drive–thru.
“We now have a customer that wants it all. They want to be able to buy food from Clark’s, but with the option of security with not having to leaving their car or sofa.
“Parents want to get food for kids without leaving their car, but McDonalds and Burger King seems to be the only drive–thru option available unless your kids love coffee.”
Delivery service saved business during lockdown
Mr Clark said sales at the business’ bakeries have dropped between 30% at the Ann Street 24-hour site and 75% at the Nethergate branch.
He says the business was in danger of going under if not for a new delivery service set-up in partnership with Zippy-D.
The new proposals will still allow customers to walk in and order from a bigger menu.
Mr Clark added: “We were over the moon when we were granted permission, as for the first time we, a local family business, were getting to trade alongside the multi-nationals.
“We spent around £50,000 on architects, planning specialists, transport specialist etc, to get this building built, but then obviously Covid entered everyone’s lives and it all got turned upside down.
“It will now cost Clarks a further £30,000 to change things but it’s what we have to do.
“Clarks needs a business model that can be resilient and adaptable. Having a drive-thru side will help us to stay open and be competitive.”