'Gourmet' Grub Slowing Down Drive-Thrus
You want a 12-ingredient menu item, you'll have to wait for that
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2013 9:31 AM CDT
A Carl's Jr. employee gives a customer change through a drive-thru window in San Diego on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.   (AP Photo/Sam Hodgson)

(Newser) – As fast food menu items get increasingly "gourmet"—or at least complex—drive-thru windows are getting slower, according to a report from a fast-food industry trade publication. The QSR Magazine annual study also found that McDonald's had its worst year yet, with customers waiting an average of 189.5 seconds between ordering their food and picking it up. The industry average is about nine seconds shorter than that, USA Today reports. If you're really in a hurry, Wendy's had the best average: 133.6 seconds.

"The operational pressures to assemble [complicated premium] items are slowing down the drive-thru," says the QSR editor. (Taco Bell told the magazine its new Cantina Bell bowls can have as many as 12 ingredients; we're not sure what the other seven are.) Plus, the editor adds, some companies are purposely slowing down the drive-thru process so orders can be double-checked for accuracy, since customers would rather wait a few more seconds than drive away without their Doritos Locos Taco. Amusingly, drive-thru order accuracy was 87.2% this year, compared to 88.8% last year.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Oct 9, 2013 5:56 PM CDT
Are you friggin kidding me? I get more ire out of this article implying you can get gourmet foods from a place like Taco Hell. That's like fine dining at the sewer lagoon with fish caught out of it and fried on sight and served. Now the fish may be fine but its the idea. Now I will admit the fajitas from Bueno are fine but still not gourmet. I have thought about opening up a drive through for fine dining such as Chateaubriand, Croque Monsieur, and bananas foster, etc. It would be served through the window. How about a fine Porterhouse through the window? Why can't it be done?
Oct 1, 2013 2:13 PM CDT
It takes time to get just the right mix of grease, corn syrup, and salt.
Oct 1, 2013 12:07 PM CDT
Why don't you get your fat asses out of the car and walk inside?