We’ve all gone through that fast food drive thru that has either had the rude person working, had it take entirely too long or…got the order ENTIRELY wrong.
Here are the results in the categories that matter most to us—speed and accuracy (of course), as well as polite service.
Among the 15 fast food chains included in the study, the average drive-thru order was completed in 226 seconds. That’s a little over three minutes, and a four-second increase compared to the results of a similar study conducted one year ago. But some chains were much faster than others.
Getting those latte orders ready to go certainly seems to take a lot of time: A Starbucks’ drive-thru order takes about 300 seconds, on average, the highest of any chain in the study. Only two chains were under the 200-second mark: Dunkin’ Donuts (181 seconds) and overall speed champ Wendy’s (169 seconds).
Most Accurate: Carl’s Jr.
In the QSR study, Carl’s Jr. employees got drive-thru orders correct 96.7% of the time. That was tops among its fast food peers. Chick-fil-A came in second place, with 94.5% accuracy, and the drive-thrus at Arby’s, Burger King, Hardee’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Taco Cabana were all above the 90% accurate industry average as well.
Wendy’s may have the fastest drive-thru, but perhaps speed comes at the cost of accuracy: Its orders were correct a subpar 86.9% of the time. Panera Bread scored lowest of all in terms of accuracy, getting orders completely right at a rate of only 82.6%.
Most Polite: Chick-fil-A
Panera Bread’s drive-thru may not be tops in terms of accuracy, but at least its employees were nice about it. The fast-casual sandwich chain scored very strongly for good service at the drive-thru. The study found that Panera Bread drive-thru workers were above the average for making eye contact with customers, having a pleasant demeanor, smiling, and saying “thank you.”
But Chick-fil-A appears to have the most polite drive-thru employees. The chain had the highest rates overall for drive-thru workers who smile and say “please” and “thank you.”