Fast Food Drive-Thru Customers Want More than Speed

Fast food drive-thru customers want more than just speed

The 2019 QSR Drive-Thru Study results indicate that customers want more than speed when it comes to the drive-thru, as Forbes Senior Contributor Alicia Kelso points out in her article covering the benchmark in drive-thru performance.

We know when you’re at the drive-thru that speed is everything, but so is making sure you have an accurate meal and making sure we add in our hospitality. We are exploring ways that technology can enhance the experience so employees can be freed up to better engage our guests. By having that face-to-face ordering, a person can confirm the order.Khalilah Cooper, Chick-fil-A’s director of service and hospitality

As Alicia Kelso and the study both show, Chick-fil-A had the slowest drive-thru times when compared to some of the largest quick-service restaurants (QSRs) in the industry. Yet people still come back for more of this popular fast-food chain.

In fact, the study shows that more than 35% of Chick-fil-A’s restaurants have six or more vehicles in line at the drive-thru at any given time. Why?

A couple of possibilities showcased in the QSR Drive-Thru Study, conducted by SeeLevel HX, in conjunction with QSR Magazine, include order accuracy (Chick-fil-A’s order accuracy was 94%, compared to second-in-line Burger King’s 90%) and friendliness (Chick-fil-A came out on top with 65% of consumers considering the fast-food chain “very friendly”).

Accuracy is a significant component as to whether or not people choose to visit a restaurant. There are only so many times I’ll be willing to turn around and come back if I don’t get what I ordered. That’s also additional sales lost for the brand itself. It’s just a bad impression overall.Ken Lundin, SeeLevel HX chief sales officer

While the speed of service in a restaurant’s drive-thru is still very important, this mystery shopping report suggests that drive-thru essentials are shifting with changes in technologies and innovations. Other key factors impacting drive-thru performance include menuboard complexity, consumer trends like third-party delivery, on-demand and mobile ordering.

Read the full article on why speed of service isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to a fast-food chain’s drive-thru performance.

Download the 2019 QSR Drive-Thru Study insights here.