Fast-Food Drive-Thrus Not Living Up to Their Name

Photo by Ministr-84 / Shutterstock.com

Time’s a-ticking — and for far longer than many hungry diners might prefer when they wait in the so-called fast-food drive-thru line.

Fast-food drive-thru windows continue to slow down, according to latest annual survey from QSR magazine. The typical speed of service has slowed to 226.3 seconds. That’s an increase from 221.9 seconds a year ago and 203.3 seconds two years ago.

But the news isn’t all bad. While serving time is getting longer, fast-food restaurants are becoming more accurate in filling orders. Average accuracy rose to 90 percent in this year’s survey. That’s up from 88.8 percent last year, and 87.2 percent two years before.

The study included 11 big fast-food restaurant chains and four fast-casual chains. QSR and SeeLevel HX timed orders and crunched the numbers at more than 1,900 restaurant locations across the U.S. to determine order accuracy and the average drive-thru wait time.

QSR says getting customers through the drive-thru lane as quickly as possible isn’t restaurants’ primary concern. In an interview with CNBC, QSR editor Sam Oches says:

When the restaurants look at the drive-thru, they’re really prioritizing accuracy and the experience over simply getting them out quickly. They recognize that customers are more angry with rude service or inaccurate service, than slower speed of service.

According to the study, these are the top 10 restaurants based on their drive-thru service speed:

  1. Dunkin’ Donuts: 181.03 seconds average wait time
  2. Burger King: 201.18 seconds
  3. KFC: 203.91 seconds
  4. McDonald’s: 208.16 seconds
  5. Taco Bell: 220.11 seconds
  6. Arby’s: 225.31 seconds
  7. Chick-fil-A: 257.64 seconds
  8. Carl’s Jr.: 268.89 seconds
  9. Hardee’s: 273.73 seconds
  10. Starbucks: 299.80 seconds

This is how the restaurants stacked up when their performance is based on order accuracy:

  1. Carl’s Jr.: 96.7 percent accurate
  2. Chick-fil-A: 94.5 percent
  3. Hardee’s: 93 percent
  4. McDonald’s: 92.2 percent
  5. Taco Bell: 91.7 percent
  6. Arby’s: 91.3 percent
  7. Burger King: 90.5 percent
  8. Starbucks: 88.7 percent
  9. Dunkin’ Donuts: 86.9 percent
  10. Wendy’s: 86.9 percent

What do you think of the results? Share your drive-thru comments or experiences below or on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
These Are the 9 Best Benefits of Amazon Prime
These Are the 9 Best Benefits of Amazon Prime

These top-notch perks of an Amazon Prime membership won’t cost you a dime extra.

11 Home Upgrades With the Best Payback in 2020
11 Home Upgrades With the Best Payback in 2020

The home remodeling projects that deliver the best bang for the buck tend to have one thing in common.

Why Is My Pension Killing My Social Security Benefit?
Why Is My Pension Killing My Social Security Benefit?

A reader says the government is penalizing him for having a pension. Is he right?

5 Secrets to Keeping Your Brain Sharp as You Age
5 Secrets to Keeping Your Brain Sharp as You Age

Forget young at heart — science says these tricks will keep you young in mind.

The 3 Worst Money Mistakes You Are Making at the Gas Station
The 3 Worst Money Mistakes You Are Making at the Gas Station

Beware these cash-guzzling missteps when you stop at any gas station.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Social Security Checks Likely to Grow This Much in 2021
Social Security Checks Likely to Grow This Much in 2021

The federal government recently released a key statistic that gives clear insight into what next year’s COLA will be.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on both everyday and occasional purchases.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home
7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home

Tired of possessions weighing you down? Here are seven ways to declutter painlessly and effectively.

This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security
This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security

Both men and women are most likely to start receiving Social Security benefits at this age.

6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s
6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s

We love Trader Joe’s for plenty of reasons. But think twice about this handful of products.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease
Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

One type of food associated with the Mediterranean diet offers especially large benefits.

5 Awesome Places You Can Retire Overseas on $2,000 a Month or Less
5 Awesome Places You Can Retire Overseas on $2,000 a Month or Less

In this week’s podcast: tips on retiring overseas — from someone who’s been helping American expats for decades.

11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet
11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet

It’s scandalously easy to overspend in these areas of your life.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value
9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value

Homeowners, beware these mistakes that can drive away potential buyers.

18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.