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Oxford restaurant opens drive-thru in response to pandemic

The Jam Factory has turned its loading bay into an experience for takeaways as it adjusts to the third lockdown in England.

“Everyone loves a drive thru, right? Whether you’re off on holiday or going on a road trip. People love drive thrus,” said restaurant owner Andrew Norton.  

Like many independent businesses, The Jam Factory, which is an the art centre, restaurant and bar, had to think of ways to stay afloat in the third lockdown, after being closed the last two lockdowns.

“Our customers were loving the fact we were doing takeaways and enjoying that they could click and collect. But a lot of the customers were still very nervous about leaving their homes.  Building a drive thru meant people can very safely get their hands on our fresh and healthy food and drink without leaving their car,” he said. 

The restaurant is open 5 days a week, Wednesday to Sunday.

The business also uses a technology called Creventa which is an online contactless platform which enables customers to order and pay from a QR code.

Owner Andrew Norton came up with the idea on Saturday morning and by Sunday, the handmade drive thru sign was created on Hollybush Row and ready for use.

“As an independent business we have the ability to react and be nimble, so we can respond to an opportunity lot quicker.  With independent businesses at the moment it's important to be thinking on your feet and be creative and it was an idea that came up and allowed us to carry on trading.”

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