7 Drive Thru Canopy Tent Ideas For Your Business

Andrew Dodson /// 03/01/2022

While there’s always been a market for pop-up or quick-deploy drive-thru canopy tents, the COVID-19 pandemic certainly pushed these custom tents to the forefront as medical professionals relied on these solutions for drive-thru testing and vaccine clinics.

Since the pandemic started, our customers have gotten creative (and our production team has thought outside the box!) to come up with a number of drive-thru canopy applications.

Here are some of our favorites:


When hospitals across the country became packed with COVID-19 patients at the height of the pandemic, health system officials needed a quick and safe way to continue testing people for the virus, and later administering vaccines. The easiest way to accomplish this was by using quick-deploy medical tents.

The Delaware National Guard run a mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Dover International Speedway.

A rendering of a medical drive-thru tent.

The tent setups allowed the public to wait in their cars to be tested or receive a vaccine, minimizing the risk of further spreading the virus.

A rendering of a multiple-lane medical drive-thru tent setup.

Our lineup of medical tents included six drive-thru tent configurations, ranging in size from a 13x26 pop-up tent to a 30x45 frame tent (FutureTrac). If healthcare providers needed something more robust, our Traverse City, Michigan-based production team also manufactured custom solutions on the fly.

The Delaware National Guard, for instance, used a combination of 30x30 and 30x45 FutureTrac frame tents for its mobile vaccine clinic at Dover International Speedway.

Our FutureTrac tents are wind rated for 70mph winds, allowing them to be left up for weeks at a time. These drive-thru tents typically allow for an 8-foot clearance, allowing most normal-sized vehicles to easily drive under.

Restaurant Takeout Pickup

A rendering of a Chick-Fil-A drive-thru canopy.

The pandemic forced the restaurant industry to rethink business models from sit-in dining to takeout-only. Some restaurants simply ran orders out to cars when they arrived, while others opted for a more professional setup for curbside pickup.

A rendering of a Chick-Fil-A drive-thru canopy.

If restaurants have the parking lot capacity to handle a lineup of drive-thru takeouts, a 10x20 MONARCHTENT configuration is a solution that allows employees to set up tables and even warming lamps to keep food warm under half of the tent, and then a drive-thru lane for cars. This setup allows minimal contact between people as restaurant workers can drop off takeout orders in the back seat or trunk if desired.

A rendering of a pizza parlor drive-thru canopy.

When properly ballasted, this setup can withstand about 30mph winds. It’s recommended you take down pop-up tents at the end of the day, though.

Drive-thru tents also allow restaurant owners to take their business on the road. If a pizza shop, for example, wants to test out a new market, it could set up a drive-thru tent and advertise a quick way for patrons to drive through and pick up a pizza to go.

Additionally, restaurants could add counters and half-walls to a section of their tent and have a hybrid drive-thru-walk-up setup.

Parking Lot Tent

Mountain Dew gave out free samples through this drive-thru tent at Super Bowl LIV.

In 2020, we hooked up Mountain Dew with a custom MONARCHGABLE tent for those employees to hand out free samples as football fans parked at Super Bowl LIV in 2020. This unique drive-thru tent is a great example of a quick-deploy (or pop-up) drive-thru tent.

This type of setup could be extremely helpful for universities who are hosting anything from a big-time football game to commencement ceremonies and want to easily direct drivers to certain parking lots. A large, branded drive-thru tent can make those parking lots easier to identify.

Additionally, if it’s rainy outside (or really sunny), a drive-thru tent allows for an attendant to stay out of the conditions, and still collect a fee for parking.

Other Drive-Thru Canopy Ideas

You can customize a drive-thru canopy tent for any idea where you want to keep people in their vehicle and need protection from the elements. Here are some additional ideas for inspiration:

Drive-Thru Story Time

During the pandemic, we helped an organization execute a drive-thru story-time tent, where children could roll down their windows and take in the story. Here’s how to run a drive-thru storytime.

Food Pantry Pickup

Food pantry nonprofits work year-round in all sorts of weather. The best setup is a large drive-thru tent that allows those in need to pull in and have volunteers load food into their trunks, in addition to having space for those walking to the food giveaway.

Donation Drop Off

If your nonprofit organization is hosting a donation drop-off, a drive-thru tent is an easy way for volunteers to unload a car’s trunk and stay dry in the event of bad weather.

Car Detailing

Technically, this idea involves investing in a cover for a car to do mobile car detailing. We included it on this list because, well, you need to drive under the tent, and then out of it. Drive-thru… get it? We hear from a lot of car detailers who want to make their business more mobile, but need protection from the elements.

Start Your Drive Thru Canopy Design

Ready to get started? Reach out to a TentCraft product specialist today to start your drive-thru canopy tent project.

About TentCraft

We’re more than just custom pop up tents — TentCraft is a premium fabricator of all things experiential marketing and outdoor advertising. If it combines metal, fabric and print our team of skilled craftsmen can transform any napkin sketch or wild idea into a fully realized project. Serving the biggest brands on the planet as well as your local High School, if you want the perfect blend of quality and American craftsmanship, we’ve got you covered.