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Report: Fast-Food Drive-Thrus are Losing Millions

SeeLevel HX QSR Drive-Thru Study

Fast-food drive-thrus are losing roughly $178 million per 2,000 store locations per year, according to mystery shopping and market research agency SeeLevel HX’s 2019 QSR Drive-Thru Study, conducted in conjunction with QSR magazine.

That’s an estimated $89,000 per store location per year that quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are losing due to increased service times and order inaccuracies.

“The improvements restaurants are making in technology and efficiency are being thwarted to some degree by all of the other things going on – mobile ordering, third-party delivering, on-demand, etc.,” said SeeLevel HX CEO Lisa van Kesteren in an interview with Forbes.

These trends and factors such as menuboard complexity impact fast-food kitchen layouts and drive-thru operations as a whole, resulting in increased service times and order inaccuracies.

Technologies such as pre-sell menuboards and order confirmation boards (OCBs) can support restaurant operators’ efforts to improve drive-thru performance, as the 2019 QSR Drive-Thru Study highlights. According to the study, these innovative menuboards could save QSRs an additional $28,000 per store location, or $56.3 million per 2,000 locations.

“This year’s findings strongly suggest that customer expectations are shifting,” says van Kesteren. “To stay in the game, brands will need to craft messaging that properly sets their customers’ expectations, and then deliver on it.”

For more information or to access the study results, download the 2019 QSR Drive-Thru Study here.