Who has the Fastest Drive-Thru? Hint – It Ain’t Chick-fil-A
When Americans are hungry we very seldom leave our cars. We love a good, fast, accurate, drive-thru and a recent study has revealed which of the major fast-food restaurants do the best job of getting our orders into our cars faster than all the others.
It will come as no shock to anyone reading this that the winner in the speed category was not Chick-fil-A. But there is a very good reason why Chick-fil-A doesn't win for speed when it comes to feeding America's motor-born hunger. The reason is quite simply this. Chick-fil-A has a lot more customers in the drive-thru than any other restaurant chain does.
According to this particular study, the average amount of time spent in a Chick-fil-A drive-thru is eight minutes and 29 seconds. This includes time spent waiting to place the order and waiting for the order to be filled. Chick-fil-A averages 4.74 cars in the drive-thru the other leading fast food restaurants only average 2.76 cars in line.
And if you're a fan of Chick-fil-A and want the real truth, if you divide the number of cars by the time in the drive-thru Chick-fil-A improves its average drive-through time to one minute and 47 seconds.
Here's the complete report, The 22nd Annual Drive-Thru Study by Intouch Insight in partnership with QSR. Here are some of the highlights of the report. Your average total time in a drive-thru of the restaurants surveyed is about six minutes and 12 seconds.
The study looked at drive-thru operations from Wendy's, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin, McDonald's, Arby's, Taco Bell, KFC, Carl's Jr. and Hardees. The study found the highest volume of traffic in the drive-thru was between 10:30 and 1:30 with the lowest traffic noted during breakfast hours.
According to the study the fast food establishment with the fastest drive-thru, total wait time, was KFC followed by Taco Bell, Hardee's, Dunkin', and then Carl's Jr. Chick-fil-A had been the industry leader for both 2021 and 2022 but didn't make the top five in this year's survey.
When it comes to getting your order right, which is a really big deal since most of us don't bother to check the bag until we get home. The two top restaurants for accuracy in the drive-thru were Arby's and McDonald's. Burger King was third followed by Carl's Jr and then Hardees.
And when it came to getting the order wrong, the item most often messed up in the order was the beverage. About 15% of drive-thru orders are deemed "inaccurate" according to the definitions of the study, in those orders the wrong drink was the culprit about one-third of the time.
When it came to food quality Chick-fil-A ruled the roost with Taco Bell, yeah, Taco Bell was also tied for first. Arby's, Dunkin', and Wendy's all tied for third in that aspect of the study.
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