How Long Do You Spend in a Drive-Thru?

Since the beginning of drive-thru operations in the 1970s, the drive-thru concept has become a widespread phenomenon in the fast-food industry. Have you ever thought about how much time you spend in a drive-thru? The average drive-thru wait time is about 4 min and 50 seconds, which is about 30 seconds less than the average wait time in 2019. However, according to a recent study, the fastest average drive-thru wait time was completed by….. KFC with a record time at 4 min and 43 seconds. Although consumers wait a little longer to munch on their food, it may not point to lousy service. Due to the high demand for better quality fast food, restaurants like McDonalds or Denny’s have invested more in improving the quality of their food. Here’s how your restaurant can create a smooth drive-thru experience for every customer.

Consumers have become concerned with the speed of fast-food service and the accuracy of their order. In order to decrease the service time in a drive-thru and improve accuracy in every order, restaurants have taken crucial measures to achieve both demands. For example, Chic-Fil-A has turned to the capabilities of technology to cut service time. Chic-Fil-A team members take drive-thru orders outside of the restaurant with iPads compatible with the computer system in the kitchen. This system allowed Chic-Fil-A to improve service time and ensures that every order is placed with intent and accuracy. Although, the drive-thru was made for quick convenient food service, the quality of the order and the food has to provide satisfaction to the customer. New technological innovations are emerging in the drive-thru concept, which draws consumers to the luxury of having their food served to them in the comfort of their car and promptly.

An important concept to keep in mind when considering adding a drive-thru is efficiency. The pandemic has shifted the popularity of drive-thru lanes because consumers have the safety and comfort of their cars. As the service of a drive-thru has become a necessity, one way that many restaurants have improved the efficiency of drive-thru service is by trimming their menu and turning to digital menu boards. By improving the simplicity of the menu, restaurants have been able to cut down the overall service time by 12.3 seconds. This creates an efficient drive-thru process because customers don’t have to feel overwhelmed by a complex menu, and the restaurant kitchen can focus on the quality of each order. Efficiency should always be a priority for the drive-thru process to ensure the best service.


In Summary

As the demand for the drive-thru service has increased, it is vital to assess the overall service’s speed and efficiency. Although the convenience of quick service is essential, it is also key to guarantee that every order is accurate, and customers will have the best experience. Next time you think about how long you are in a drive-thru, make sure to take into consideration the speed, quality of the service, and the satisfaction that the food provides. SCGWest provides insight into the technological advancements of drive-thru service and the simplicity of the process. We make development SIMPLE and are experts in the retail/restaurant world of commercial real estate.

References: CNBC & Mike Lin CRE

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