Saturday, February 24, 2024

McDonald’s Drive-Thru is it Fast Enough


McDonald’s is selling lots of fresh food through their drive-thru for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.  In terms of drive-through speed, McDonald’s has been a major player in the fast-food industry. According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA Based Foodservice Solutions®, when it come to speed of drive-thru service they need to do better.

Let’s take a look at how their drive-through performance compares to some of their competitors:

1.       Taco Bell: Known for its speedy service, Taco Bell’s average drive-through time was 268 seconds1

2.       KFC: KFC also performed well, with an average drive-through time of 311 seconds1.

3.       Burger King: Burger King’s drive-through speed was slightly slower, with an average time of around 311 seconds2.

4.       Subway: Subway experienced a rise in foot traffic and had an average drive-through time of around 18% slower than McDonald’s2.

Interestingly, McDonald’s saw a decrease in year-over-year foot traffic in late 2022, but they have since rebounded. In Q1 2023, McDonald’s experienced a 28% increase in year-over-year foot traffic, indicating that customers are returning to their quick service restaurant (QSR) locations. Additionally, McDonald’s has been experimenting with automation, unveiling fully automated designs in some locations. Other chains like Taco Bell and Wingstop are also incorporating technology to enhance customer experiences and streamline operations2.

Overall, while McDonald’s drive-through speed is competitive, it’s essential to consider the broader trends in the fast-food industry. As consumers increasingly value convenience and affordability, all top QSR chains are striving to provide efficient service to meet customer expectations.

Fast food drive-thru times have been a topic of concern for many consumers. Despite the convenience of drive-thru’s, there are several common complaints:


1.       Efforts to Improve Efficiency:

o    Fast food chains are actively working to make drive-thru’s more efficient. Some are adding extra lanes, while others are implementing innovative solutions.

o    Wendy’s is going all in by adding a dedicated pick-up window and parking for delivery drivers, moving them out of the drive-thru line. They’re also introducing mobile parking and shelving for easy order pick-ups1.

2.       Consumer Preferences for Automation:

o    Approximately 70% of drive-thru customers express a desire for more automation.

o    The top three automation preferences are:

§  A.I. voice assistants

§  Personalized menus

§  Smartphone apps.

3.       Time-Saving Tip for Consumers:

If you find yourself wasting time in drive-thru lanes, consider ordering via a mobile app. Not only can it substantially reduce waiting time, but there are often exclusive deals available only through the app.

Think about this, while drive-thru’s remain popular, addressing wait times and embracing technology can enhance the overall experience for fast food diners.

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869

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