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Carhops have returned to Steak ‘n Shake, as Manager in Training Keegan Talbott brings out food to a car at the South Gilbert Street restaurant in Danville.

DANVILLE — Some social distancing fun for families is also evoking a return to the 1950s to 1980s for customers — Steak ‘n Shake’s return to carhops.

Carhops, waitresses or waiters going car to car bringing food out to customers’ cars, went away with the start of restaurant drive-through windows.

Customers can pull into one of the designated carhop parking spaces (denoted by a 45 RPM record sign). After ordering by phone or app, a server will deliver a tray and attach it to the vehicle window just as they did decades earlier for the drive-in service.

There also are picnic tables at the Danville locations under umbrellas. The tables sit on a Route 66 sign on the ground, which is a nod to the original Steak ‘n Shake location.

Division President Jill Kelm and General Manager Chris Scaggs talked about the carhops this week at the South Gilbert Street Steak ‘n Shake. The two Danville locations are corporate owned.

They said the car hops are here to stay, except in the winter.

It’s safe and fun for families, they said.

“Today’s pandemic world has enabled us to revitalize the Drive-In experience with renewed purpose,” says Steve May, senior vice president, Steak ‘n Shake, in a press release. “Our modern version of the Drive-In not only reinforces those early days with delivery right to your car – but it also fits perfectly into today’s reality, offering our guests a way to enjoy dining out of the house while still protecting their family’s health.”

Founded in 1934 in Normal, Ill., Steak ‘n Shake is known for its steakburgers and milkshakes.

There are more than 500 locations across the U.S. and globally.

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