BikePortland

Burgerville: Bikes now welcome in all drive-thrus


Burgerville: Fresh, Local, Sustainable
… and now bike-able!

Chalk it up as another big win for citizen activism.

Portland writer and self-described “family biking evangelist” Sarah Gilbert’s account of being denied service in the drive-thru of a local Burgerville restaurant while on her bicycle (which was then picked up by local media and Twittered all over the place) has led the company to announce a new policy.

The 39 location Burgerville chain announced today that people on bicycles are now allowed to order and pick up food through the drive-thru (which they now also refer to as a “cycle-thru”!). The company — whose major marketing hook is its earth-friendly practices — is billing this as their “latest sustainability innovation”.

According to a press release, the company will announce a formal drive-thru program within the next two weeks. Here’s an excerpt from the release where they specifically credit Ms. Gilbert in making the policy decision:

“Burgerville is creating a chain-wide formalized bike-friendly policy, which was galvanized yesterday in part due to an experience chronicled by Sarah Gilbert, an avid Portland cyclist. Ms. Gilbert attempted to order cheeseburgers at Burgerville’s Southeast 25th Avenue and Powell Boulevard drive-thru and was rebuffed… Ms. Gilbert’s experience helped accelerate our decision to develop a formal bike-friendly program.”

Burgerville says their previous policy was to allow individual managers to decide whether or not to serve people on bikes in drive thrus, but now the policy will be mandated at all their locations.

Here’s Burgerville honcho Jack Graves:

“Opening up our drive-thrus to the large cycling community in our area is a natural for us and is very much in line with our overall values. While we are sorry that Ms. Gilbert was inconvenienced, we appreciate the passion she brought to the issue and her commitment to the environment and our food. We are excited about the positive impact we will be able to make through our new bike policy.”

Burgerville expects that all 39 of its locations will be able to accommodate “cycle-thru” orders within the next two weeks as the company finalizes operational and safety aspects of the program.

Read Sarah Gilbert’s response to the news posted today on her CafeMama blog.

“Cycle-thru” — now that has a very nice ring to it.

We are lucky to have citizens like Sarah Gilbert and locally owned and operated companies like Burgerville that listen and respond to their customers.

Now, I wonder if this will lead to a revolution of opening up drive-thrus at other places like banks, pharmacies, and so on? And, who’s up for organizing a ride to Burgerville cycle-thrus next week?! Seriously.

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