Oct. 8, 2012 -- intro:
Magic mirror on the wall, who's the fastest fast-food joint of them all?
Wendy's takes the crown with an average 129.75 seconds, according to Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Magazine's annual Drive-Thru Performance Study of six national fast-food chains and one rotating brand. This year, that brand was Del Taco. Burger King came in seventh, barely hanging onto its crown with 201.33 seconds.
By averaging the times during 318 visits to Wendy's, QSR Magazine found that Wendy's was 20 seconds faster than second-place Taco Bell.
However, speed may not be everything. One commenter on the QSR Magazine website stated, "I will take freshness and quality over speed every time!"
The magazine and Insula Research conducted the survey by visiting each restaurant between 203 to 362 times.
The fast-food industry doesn't exactly have an equivalent to the computer chip industry's Moore's law, which predicted in the 1970s that processing power would double every two years. Complex menus have contributed to a plateau in drive-thru speed for the last seven or eight years, the magazine states.
A statement from Burger King noted that it "prides itself on providing excellent products and great service to all of our guests."
"As part of our HAVE IT YOUR WAY promise, we offer great-tasting products that are fresh and made-to-order for each guest; from flame-grilled hamburgers to smoothies and frappés," Burger King said. "The level of customization may delay the drive-thru experience."
QSR's other ratings included order accuracy, favorable exterior, condition of landscaping, speaker clarity and customer service. Here is its ranking of restaurants by average service times:
quicklist:category: 129.75 secondstitle: Wendy's text:
quicklist:category: 149.69 secondstitle: Taco Bell text:
quicklist:category: 171.61 secondstitle: Bojangles' text:
quicklist:category: 175.94 secondstitle: Krystal text:
quicklist: category: 188.83 secondstitle: McDonald's text:
quicklist: category:190.06 seconds title: Chick-fil-A text:
quicklist: category: 201.33 secondstitle: Burger King text: