MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WATN) – A Memphis funeral home is offering a different service from its competitors. You can drive up, say your final goodbyes to your loved ones, and you don’t even have to get out the car.
Ryan Bernard, owner of R. Bernard funeral home, says he got the idea from a funeral home in California. His main goal is to make it more convenient for families who are already dealing with losing a loved one.
Bernard wants his funeral home to stand out from the rest, so his family business is offering drive-thru services.
“Say a family has a visitation from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.. We would put their loved one in the drive-thru viewing area say around 1 p.m. and they will have a drive-thru viewing from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.,” says Bernard.
The service is free for customers with funeral packages, and so far four families have tried it out.
“We’ve been getting rave reviews. We’ve had people actually just pull up to the drive-thru with curiosity. They didn’t even know the person who passed.”
The viewing would be only during visitation hours and Bernard says he has security on his property to make sure things go smoothly
“Some people, they don’t want to deal with the hassle, the chaos of a large funeral; parking, especially with inclement weather, so that was an extra convenience for those.” But not all people who live in this community are sold on the idea.
“Why would you even do that though?” asked Orange Mound resident Myron Baker. “Death is, at certain places they say you should celebrate death. But at the same time that’s something that is private for the family, so if you have a drive-thru window that show that, really you just promoting a business”
Bernard says it’s all about options. He’s even offering live stream funeral services for families out of town who can’t make it.
As far as his drive-thru idea, he hasn’t received any complaints from the families who have sued it. “They loved it. They loved it, yes”