Millennials in Charlotte are obsessed with the fast food chain Cookout.
Before expanding to Georgia and Virginia, Cookout was a North Carolina staple and quickly became ingrained into the North Carolina fast food aficionado culture. Thousands of teenagers and college students line up to approach the window with their friends in hopes of curing the fast food munchies.
On weekends, the nightlife crowd looks for something solid to sit on their stomach after a night of partying.
For those who aren’t hip, here are the five reasons Cookout’s drive thru will be slam packed with millennials at 3am on a Saturday morning.
(1) It’s affordable.
For about $5, you can get a tray which includes a sandwich, 2 sides, and a drink. For just $1 extra, you can substitute your drink for a milkshake in which you can mix and match any of their 30+ flavors and toppings.
If there is anything millennials appreciate, it is affordable food. Many millennial are students or recent graduates, which means money can be tight sometimes. Even if money isn’t tight, who doesn’t like saving money while getting delicious food?
(2) It’s actually good.
“Affordable” isn’t enough by itself to make millennials obsessed with anything. Ramen noodles are very affordable, but are only eaten out of necessity. People aren’t lining up around the block for 30 cent noodles at 2am for a reason. The true secret to Cookout is that it’s really good in addition to its affordable price tag.
True Cookout connoisseurs understand how to utilize the different sandwich styles (i.e. Cookout Style, Cheddar Style, Out West Style, etc) in order to optimize their Cookout experience. Another plus is that the burgers taste like real burgers, and the chicken sandwiches are actually real chicken breasts.
(3) Seems like it never closes.
Cookout actually does close, but I’ve never witnessed it. They’ve always been open past that 3am mark if people are still ordering food. Staying open late is beyond clutch for restaurants if they really want to reach the millennial crowd – a group that is free from bedtimes and spends a good amount of time up through the night.
(4) The sides could be a meal by themselves.
Where else can you get a chicken wrap, quesadilla, corndog, or chicken nuggets as a SIDE item? Cookout is not only delicious and affordable, it is extremely filling! Finishing a Cookout tray is actually an accomplishment. There have been times when I have saved one of my sides for a snack later in the day.
(5) Cookout is an experience.
With the exception of a few dine-in’s, Cookout is primarily a drive thru restaurant. You have to go through the drive through in a car full of your closest friends or walk up to the window and eat outside on the picnic tables like at an authentic cookout.
Cookout is almost the country club for millennials. With so many options and being open in the wee hours of the night, millennials oftentimes make memories over $5 trays of fast food. I can’t go into detail… you just have to make a run with your friends at 2am and see for yourself.
If you’re a parent, now you understand the Cookout cup on your kitchen table that randomly appears in the morning. If you’ve never had Cookout, hopefully you’re already dressed and grabbing your keys to go experience it for yourself. Cookout has become a cultural staple of the millennial experience, and I hope you all join the frenzy!