Because restaurants are offering things like a complicated Cantina Bowl at Taco Bell, which has up to 12 ingredients instead of the couple of things tossed into say, a traditional taco, drive-thru lanes are slowing down.
That means we’re spending more time in line, watching our lives waste away in the pursuit of fast food, reports USA Today, citing a 2013 Drive-Thru Performance Study conducted for QSR Magazine, a trade publication.
The study says McDonald’s, among others, posted slower times for drive-thrus, with an average of 189.5 seconds for an average customer to get through from order to pickup. That’s nine seconds longer than the industry average, says the study.
If customers get impatient enough to give up on the ordeal altogether, it could end up costing businesses: About 60% to 70% of fast-food moneymaking is done at the drive-thru.
Sure, all those new items on the menu seem like a good idea to entice customers — but is it worth it if fast food becomes really slow and complicated?
“The operational pressures to assemble those items are slowing down the drive-thru,” says the editor of QSR.
Another reason the lanes are slow? Customers have this weird insistence on getting the right food. It doesn’t matter if the food is fast, if it’s wrong. To prevent a customer from having to go back to the line to complain and waste everyone’s time, restaurants are moving a little bit slower to make sure the food you ordered is the food you get.
Now hurry up, we’re hungry.
Fast-food drive-thrus are getting slower [USA Today]