One of the best conveniences of fast food chains is that they offer consumers the option to go for drive thru. Instead of having to get down the car and order from the counter, those who would like to order and have their food on the road or for eating at home can opt to go for the drive through services instead.
Unfortunately, there has been a decline in the drive thru performance when fast food statistics were reviewed in the recent years. Although statistics measure not only drive thru efficiency but other factors as well such as customer satisfaction, crew efficiency for serving and bussing tables, number or sales, and overall return on investment per quarter or per annum, the drive through statistics have been observed to have a decline and this does not in any way serve fast food chains in a good way.
Fast Food Statistics Concerning Drive Thrus
Good news first, there are top performers when it comes to drive through services and in 2003, the fastest drive thru service was from Wendy’s branches where the top speed for serving orders was only 116 seconds. That same year, the top most accurate drive through was from Chick-fil-A which served the most correct set of orders at 97.3%.
Come 2009, the fast food statistics concerning drive thrus remained the same with Wendy’s still at the top with only 134 seconds and Chick-fil-A still had the best accuracy with a little over 96% of the orders correct for every purchase. In the study done by QSR called the QSR Drive-Thru Performance Study, they focused on several brands to see which one performed best when it comes to speed. However, speed is not the only determining factor since customers also tend to be displeased when they find the wrong burger or wrong side along with their order. Because of this, the accuracy of each order was also tested.
In 2011, the record high of Wendy’s has been set as the benchmark for speed performance but that 2003 figure of 116 seconds has not been beaten. Wendy’s is still the best performer with an average time of only 145 seconds and Taco Bell is in second place with an average of 146 seconds. For the 2011 record holder for the longest time, McDonald’s holds the spot with 184 seconds.
According to Brian Baker who is the president of the Insula Research group, people now tend to be dissatisfied when the service takes longer than 3-4 minutes and being able to stay within that range is deemed acceptable by the consumers. This is why it is essential for fast food places to review their fast food statistics since it affects the consumer’s feedback and patronage of both their products and services.
Other Figures Related to Fast Food Statistics
The fast food industry—with all the producers combined is worth an astounding $299 billion. For every fast food chain, about 60%-70% of the sales they have come from their drive thru services. This is why the best performance from fast food drive thrus should be expected since it helps increase not only their consumer’s satisfaction but their sales as well. And if you’d like to read more on this, click here.
However, in the recent years there has been an observed decline of fast food statistics concerning drive thrus since speed has not improved. Although it stays within the range of about 2-3 minutes for every customer, it should still be the goal of the fast food managers to oversee the speed as well as the accuracy of their crew to guarantee customer satisfaction.
What are the Main Causes of the Not So Fast “Speed” in Fast Food Drive Thrus?
It is known that lately there have been changes in the menu items offered by different fast foods and that these items are usually more complex that others. Some of these are even those which are called limited time offer items which send a horde of people to the counters as well as the drive thrus. Since the new items offered in various fast food chains require more complex preparation or at times more ingredients, it is understandable that there is an expected additional time for finishing the product.
An example of such instance is the fact that some Taco Bell menus have about 12 items and when compared to tacos from Doritos Locos, assembly time would take more for a Taco Bell crew even when all the factors are given at a level playing field for both crew members from the different fast food chains.
Another factor which affects the customer satisfaction and feedback apart from speed is accuracy. For consumers, there is nothing worse than seeing the wrong burger when they get at home, or having paid for a more expensive item when what they ordered was, in fact, a cheaper menu offer. Today’s menus at fast food chains have been affecting the fast food statistics since there are a lot of sides, shakes, drinks, burger variations, and getting them all right—all the time can be quite challenging.
Most of the fast food chain operators and managers are now putting efforts to make their services improved when it comes to speed and accuracy, so that in the future years, a better customer satisfaction rating can be achieved. These fast food places are, after all, dependent on the sales they get from satisfied customers which is why paying attention to them is a must.
Pros and Cons of Drive Thrus for Both Consumers and Producers
According to various studies, having a drive thru option increases the sales of fast food chains since they offer more accessibility to their consumers. Some consumers even prefer drive thrus over falling in line and admit that this is a faster way to get their order. For producers, the increased sales is always welcome which is why despite the decline of about 20 seconds when it comes to speed for their drive thru services, they continuously better themselves to please not just the customers but to have higher sales for them as well.