Study Finds That Restaurant Drive-Thru's Are Getting Slower

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According to SeeLevel HX's annual report, restaurant drive-thrus have become slower and far less accurate in 2021.

This study has found that order accuracy in drive-thrus has dropped 2% to 85% from an 87% in 2020. As for total time, being spent in drive-thru lanes, that increased to 382 seconds. That's about 25 more seconds than last year.

SeeLevel HX conducted these studies by sending mystery shoppers to wait in drive-thru lines across 10 chains and approximately 1,492 restaurant locations from July to August to get data for this study. Most of these orders were placed during lunchtime hours.

Due to COVID-19, many restaurants shut down dining rooms, so consumers turned to drive-thrus to get their food. Drive-thrus continue to stay busy, despite many restaurants reopening dining rooms.

In August, drive-thru visits rose an estimated 11% compared to the same time, two years ago. Drive-thrus also accounted for 41% of orders, according to The NPD Group.

According to SeeLevel HX, Chick-fil-A topped this year's list for order accuracy. Chick-fil-A was followed by Taco Bell in second place, while Arby's, Carl's Jr., and Burger King all tying for 3rd place. In 2020, KFC topped the list for order accuracy.

One suggestion that the study mentions to speed up drive-thru times and increase accuracy is for these fast-food restaurants to invest more in technology. Many food chains have outdated technology that does not help in ensuring faster and more accurate orders.

Though more people are flocking to drive-thrus to get their food, many of these fast-food chains are struggling to fill positions inside their restaurants.

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