COVID changed how customers view drive-thru speed of service for multiple reasons.
One, a significant number of guests flocked to the off-premises channel for social distancing purposes and the added layer of convenience, causing wait times to shoot up. And two, it’s important to note that a number of fast-food brands have wrestled with labor shortages throughout the pandemic, also lengthening one’s stay in the drive-thru.
According to a study from FoodserviceResults, which involved surveys from 1,010 drive-thru consumers in July, guests say they are willing to spend a max of 13 minutes in a drive-thru. That’s the same as last year and up one minute from 2020. In actuality, respondents say they typically spend 10 minutes, down from 11 in 2021 and an increase from nine in 2020. Eight minutes is considered the ideal amount of waiting time.
To determine which brands have the fastest drive-thrus, QSR looked at Intouch Insight’s data collection of total service time, or the length it takes for a shopper to order and receive their food. The following slides show the 10 fastest fast-food drive-thrus in America.
*The figures do not take into account the average number of cars each brand sees, a factor that influences speed of service times.
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1. Taco Bell, 221.99 seconds
2. Dunkin’, 238.16 seconds
3. KFC, 239.02 seconds
4. Arby’s, 261.19 seconds
5. Burger King, 266.68 seconds
6. Hardee’s, 272.1 seconds
7. Wendy’s, 275.84 seconds
8. Carl’s Jr., 289.36 seconds
9. McDonald’s, 291.3 seconds
10. Chick-fil-A, 325.47 seconds