In-N-Out Burger is generally considered the pioneer of drive-through window service. This company is believed to be the first establishment that required customers to order and pick up their food at a drive-through window. The original In-N-Out Burger location had neither a parking lot nor an indoor seating area.
In-N-Out Burger's drive-through window concept launched in 1948 alongside a driveway in Baldwin Park, Calif., and it was staffed by five cooks who prepared take-out meals behind panes of glass before delivering them to customers via the drive-through window. Other chains, such as Wendy's and Jack-in-the-Box, followed suit in the 1960s. McDonald's didn't open its first drive-through window until the mid-1970s.