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Which Fast-Food Restaurant is the Best at serving Fast Food, Fast?

How do you make your fast-food restaurant choices?

Do you choose the one that is closest to where you are at the time?  The one with a specific menu item?  Lowest prices?  Fastest service?  The one with a specific toy promotion or playland for the kids?

With so many decisions to make when it comes to your fast-food experience, you should be happy that you’re not alone in having frustration in finding the Perfect Fast Food Restaurant in your travels.

Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food
Chew On This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food

And that’s why QSR Magazine has come through with their DRIVE-THRU BENCHMARKS and ranked the major fast-food restaurants on how well they serve their customers.  Why is the drive-thru so important?  Because anywhere from 50-70% of a location’s sales gets passed through that tiny, gas-fumed window.

So yeah, the drive-thru is a pretty important part of the fast-food restaurant industry.  The restaurants reviewed included the six major standbys: McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, Burger King, Krystal, and Taco Bell.  Then, as QSR has done every year they’ve done the survey, they’ve included one regional restaurant for variety — in 2012, they chose Bojangles.

The benchmarks that QSR ranked are fairly standard examples of what the average consumer would consider important in their fast-food experience.  While QSR included a few additional benchmarks in their report (click the link to read more), here are some that we thought most Web Watch readers would be interested in first:

  • Average Service Time – Wendy’s came out on top with the fastest service time.  Worst was Burger King.  (Web Watch doesn’t need a QSR survey to tell us how slow Burger King can be at their drive-thru compared to other fast-food restaurants we frequent.)
  • Order Accuracy – Chick-Fil-A had the highest accuracy, at 97.3%.  Burger King came in last again, with an order accuracy of 83%.
  • Favorable Exterior – while all those surveyed seem to take pride in their outward appearance, Taco Bell bested them all with a 99.7% favorable rating.  That last-place McDonald’s was last with a 98.3% rating should give you an idea of how close everyone was.
  • Visibility of Dumpsters – Not everyone wants to see a dumpster as they drive around the building to get their food.  Bojangles needs to step up their game, as 94.2% of those surveyed had visible dumpsters.  For once, Burger King comes out on top with dumpsters visible only 66.4% of the time.
  • Customer Service – Let’s look at the positives and negatives.  Chick-Fil-A was deemed most pleasant, with 57.4% ranking as “Very Friendly” and only 0.7% ranking as “Rude”.  Web Watch feels bad busting on Burger King again, but they only had 27.4% ranked as “Very Friendly”, and a whopping (no pun intended) 2.8% perceived as being “Rude”.
  • and the every popular butt of many jokes, Speaker Clarity – The best drive thru speaker was at Taco Bell, with 98.4% of their speaker equipment coming through loud and clear.  Krystal’s equipment needs a little work, at 86.2%

So what do you look for in a quality drive-thru, aside from speed of service?  Have you ever gotten screwed over by bad order management?  Let us know in the comments below….