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There’s no doubt that our world increasingly prioritizes convenience, even as demand for higher-quality products rises. Just look at the proliferation of mobile platforms and press-of-a-button services leading to revolutions in industries as far-flung as dry cleaning and home security, baby monitoring and banking.
Of course, this is great news for quick-service restaurants, an industry that practically invented services on the go. The need for speed and convenience is right in operators’ wheelhouses—particularly as it relates to the drive thru. And brands are prepared to capitalize on drive-thru success more than ever before.
Just five or six years after a recession-era trend toward quality made “drive thru” all but a dirty word, the world is once again remembering the beauty of the outdoor lane. Even Chipotle, that grand pooh-bah of fast casual that previously swore off drive thru as being too emblematic of pedestrian fast food, reported that it plans to open its first drive-thru location this fall in Ohio.
So how are the leading operators doing when it comes to meeting drive-thru demand? How does performance stack up among the industry’s biggest chains? This year, we once again teamed up with SeeLevel HX to research drive-thru performance essentials—speed of service, order accuracy, customer service, and more—among 11 quick-service chains and four fast casuals.
Flip through to find out how the major brands performed, and learn how the head operations professionals at seven of the nation’s biggest chains are preparing their drive thrus for the future.