McDonald’s Testing Guaranteed 60-Second Drive-Thru Lunch Service (Sort Of)

Surveys show that the average service time at a McDonald’s drive-thru is longer than three minutes, but some McDonald’s in Florida believe they can cut a chunk of time off of that time — or your next meal is free.

According to the Miami Herald, certain South Florida McDonald’s (it doesn’t list which ones) are guaranteeing that weekday lunch-hour (noon to 1 p.m.) customers will get their order within a minute after paying.

Customers get a timer when they pay at the first window and then trade in that timer at the next window where they get their food. If it’s been longer than 60 seconds, their next meal is free.

However, it’s important to note that the only guarantee is that it will only take 60 seconds between paying and picking up your food. You could still see a substantial wait in line before you pay.

The three-minute average service time for McDonald’s is from QSR Magazine’s annual survey of the fast food drive-thru experience. QSR measures service time as “the time from when the vehicle stops at the order station to when the entire order is received, including change.” So that is going to be slightly longer than the time frame being measured at the Florida McDonald’s.

And like other guarantees where the refund is store credit instead of cash, the hope is that the customer will return and spend more money in addition to the credit.

If anyone in South Florida wants to try the guarantee, it’s apparently going on through Aug. 29.


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  1. Mokona512 says:

    Seems like a very bad idea. Those places are already logging worker performance based on how quickly they handle the drive through.

    The end result is that if you are actually in the store, you can order something simple and wait 10-15 minutes while they serve every new person who comes to the drive thru window.

    The likely end result will be far worst customer service for everyone in the building, more mistakes on orders, worst food (if some locations resort to making certain items in advanced and keeping them in a low temperature oven), or simply making it a useless requirement by adding so many loopholes that no one will ever be able to take advantage of that guarantee unless they are ordering just a soda or something (which is a ripoff, for the price of a small soda at a fast food place, you can buy a 2 liter bottle of soda in a grocery store).

    There will be limitations and loopholes, (if not someone will just order a meal with a few modifiers to ensure that they have to make something specifically for you, and thus not meet the 1 minute timer)

    • Xenotaku says:

      Agreed. This is reminding me of their $.50 burgers they did when I was in high school (about the same time as the Beanie Babies in the Happy Meals). Yeah, the burgers were dirt cheap… because they were all pre-made, and they just handed you the burger(s) out of the warmer. Wanted it made custom? Full price.

      I personally can’t eat burgers if they’re not plain, so things like this always worry me.