The 2020 QSR® Drive-Thru Study

    The brands that are emerging strongest from the coronavirus pandemic are those with drive thrus. Here’s what that means for the future of the restaurant industry. 

    Chick-fil-A drive thru window
    Chick-fil-A continues to earn high marks from customers. The COVID-19 pandemic didn't change that.
    Introducing an All-New Drive-Thru Study

    We’ve been publishing the QSR® Drive-Thru Study now for 22 years, holding quick-service chains accountable by reporting on their performance in speed of service, order accuracy, and other important metrics critical to drive-thru success. But with much of the industry maximizing their drive-thru performance—and with the broader push toward revolutionary off-premises tools, particularly during the pandemic—it was clear that the Drive-Thru Study needed a refresh.


    That’s why, this year, we’ve partnered with Darren Tristano and his firm FoodserviceResults to explore consumer sentiment toward the drive thru and other off-premises experiences. In the following pages, you’ll find a treasure trove of data exploring everything from which daypart guests prefer to order via drive thru, which technologies they’d like to see implemented in the outdoor lane, and how they’re using devices to engage with brands during the pandemic. And yes, you’ll even find out which brand is best satisfying consumers during this crisis—though something tells me you might already have guessed No. 1.

    WEBINAR: Learn how to elevate the drive-thru experience for guests and employees alike


    2020 QSR drive-thru study Methodology

    The FoodserviceResults team conducted a comprehensive, nationally representative survey of drive-thru consumers in the U.S. using an online survey sample. Participants in the research were screened for frequency of use as well as numerous demographic characteristics in order to ensure that the respondent base was reflective of the U.S. drive-thru market.

    Leveraging insights from numerous industry experts, the finalized survey was completed among 1,007 drive-thru consumers during fieldwork. To ensure a relevant respondent base was achieved, all participants were screened to include those who had at least one drive-thru occasion in the last 30 days. An extensive cross tabulation of the respondent sample data was conducted in order to identify major trends, demographic/behavioral themes, and other nuances in the data.