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Quick-Service Restaurants Look To Improve Drive-Thru Times With New Systems, Policies

Most consumers are all about convenience and luckily, quick-service restaurants are recognizing that need-state and tailoring their drive-thru systems accordingly.

Not only do we love the food (whether we are willing to admit it or not), we also love the convenience factor of hitting the drive-thru at our favorite quick-service restaurants (QSRs). An expectation we have of these QSRs is that the process—from the initial order time to receiving the food—is completed all within a matter of minutes. 

According to QSR Magazine, customers spent an average of 255 seconds from speaker to order window in 2019; about 20 seconds longer than in 2018. 

Dunkin’ clocked in the fastest drive-thru time at an average of 216.75 seconds; Wendy’s came in with an average of 230.38 seconds; Taco Bell with 240.38 and Carl’s Jr. with 240.51. 

In an attempt to combat long drive-thru times, certain brands are tailoring their operations with new policies and systems to minimize customer presence in line. For example, Dunkin’s “On-the-Go drive-thru lane.” 

“At several of our Dunkin’ NextGen locations, we feature an On-the-go drive-thru lane, which allows guests who order ahead through the Dunkin’ mobile app to bypass the regular drive-thru lane to pick up their orders and get on their way even faster than before,” said Scott Murphy, Chief Operating Officer for Dunkin’ U.S., in the QSR article. 

Arby’s is taking on the challenge a little differently and decided to focus on creating a more efficient production line. 

As fast-casual consumers continue to opt for the convenience factor, it’s safe to say that more brands will be adjusting their drive-thru operations to do just that. 

To read the full article and see other QSR brand’s average drive-thru times, click here