When you need to grab a meal in a pinch, few options are faster than the drive-thru lane. But as fast food connoisseurs know, not all chains are created equal.
If you’re in a hurry, stay away from Chick-fil-A. The fried chicken chain has the slowest average drive-thru experience at 8 minutes and 29 seconds. The fastest, on the other hand, was KFC, which got customers in and out in an average of 5 minutes and 2 seconds.
That’s according to the 22nd annual Drive-Thru Study from QSR and Intouch Insights, which assessed the 10 top fast food franchises in categories including service, speed and accuracy by analyzing 1,500 orders.
In addition to the top chicken slingers, the survey also assessed hundreds of orders from the drive-thru windows of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Dunkin’, Arby’s, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants.
Top-10 drive-thrus from fastest to slowest
- KFC (302.6 seconds)
- Taco Bell (317.7 seconds)
- Hardee’s (322.6 seconds)
- Dunkin’ (328.1 seconds)
- Carl’s Jr. (346.5 seconds)
- Arby’s (356.8 seconds)
- Burger King (362.7 seconds)
- McDonald’s (410.6 seconds)
- Wendy’s (430.7 seconds)
- Chick-fil-A (509.1 seconds)
Despite Chick-fil-A’s poor showing in the speed portion of the study, the chain tied with Carl’s Jr. to score the highest in customer satisfaction with their drive-thru experience, which takes into account staff friendliness as well as customer expectations about how quickly they expect to receive their food.
Both chains received 95% satisfaction ratings, compared to 85% for McDonald’s and 82% for Wendy’s, which ranked second-to-last and last, respectively.
The Drive-Thru Report also surveyed customers on the accuracy of each restaurant in completing their order.
McDonald’s and Arby’s tied for the top spot, with each receiving a top score of 89%.
Burger King’s 87% accuracy was good enough for second place, while Wendy’s 79% had it last.
Across restaurant chains, the most likely variable to get messed up in the ordering process was the drink, with beverages making up 34% of the mistakes in inaccurate orders.
The main entrée, on the other hand, was incorrect in 25% of mistaken orders, while 16% of wrong orders had an incorrect side.
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