Drive-thru orders take longer, are less accurate this year compared to 2020, study finds

National News

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Drive-thru orders not only took longer on average in 2021 than 2020, but were also more likely to be wrong, according to a study.

The study was conducted by SeeLevel HX, a research company that works with a “panel of more than half a million mystery shoppers” to evaluate businesses.

The SeeLevel HX study compared speed of service, accuracy, customer service, and food quality at 1,492 drive-thrus across the United States between July and early August. There were 10 brands included in the study:

  • Arby’s
  • Burger King
  • Carl’s Jr
  • Chick-fil-a
  • Dunkin
  • Hardee’s
  • KFC
  • McDonald’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Wendy’s

The study found that on average, speed of service at drive-thrus got 25.59 seconds slower when compared to 2020. 51 percent of the people in the study said the speed of service was about what was expected, while 30 percent said it was faster than expected and 19 percent said it was slower than expected.

The study also found that 15 percent of orders were inaccurate, which is up from 13 percent in 2020. Out of the 10 brands in the study, Chick-fil-a was found to be the most accurate, followed by Taco Bell at second, and a three-way tie for third between Arby’s, Burger King, and Carl’s Jr. Chick-fil-a also ranked first for main entrée rating in 2021.

The study found that friendliness continues to decline. 73 percent of participants rated the service as friendly compared to 76 percent in 2020 and 79 percent in 2019.

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