P.F. Changs’s China Bistro — better known as simply P.F. Chang’s — is joining other major restaurant brands in opening express locations of their full-service restaurants that focus on takeout and delivery orders. The chain plans to open the first of multiple P.F. Chang’s To Go locations in Chicago in February, according to an article from the Chicago Sun-Times.
The first location is set to open February 3, following the closure of a 20-year-old traditional P.F. Chang’s location in the same area. That closure, which happened January 14, is said to be one of the main catalysts for the chain choosing to open an express location, according to the Sun-Times.
Chris Demery, P.F. Chang’s senior vice president of off-premises dining, told the paper that customers “want their food faster and more readily available than ever before” and that “the business of eating off-site is growing at two to three times the pace of the business of eating in restaurants.”
P.F. Chang’s To Go will offer guests roughly 80 percent of the usual menu items found in traditional sit-down locations of P.F. Chang’s. Customers will be able to order delivery via both the P.F. Chang’s app as well as those of third-party services including Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, and Grubhub.
P.F. Chang’s is just the latest of many brands offering slimmed down, off-premises-focused versions of their traditional sit-down restaurants. Fast-casual chain IHOP unveiled a sister chain for express orders called Flip’d in 2019. Restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and Famous Dave’s have also launched their own quick-service concepts.
Even quick-service chains, where fast order fulfillment is a core part of the business model, are experimenting with ways to make the express concept even speedier. Shake Shack opened a NYC location with minimal seating and separate entrances for delivery and takeout orders. Starbucks is testing off-premises-focused locations in China and New York. KFC is trying to expedite the drive-thru, and those are just a few names on the steadily lengthening list. With off-premises ordering expected to drive the bulk of restaurant sales for the next decade (at least), that list is going to keep growing.
For its part, P.F. Chang’s has To Go locations planned for NYC, Washington, D.C., and Houston, in addition to more stores in Chicago.