Best Fast Food Drive-Thrus

By Doug Norrie | Published

Best And Fastest Fast Food Drive-Thrus

When it comes to fast food drive-thrus, speed is typically the ruling factor. We don’t want to sit in the car for any longer than necessary and getting that food quickly is the most important thing. From that standpoint, it’s important to know which fast food chains have the most expedited service. 

QRS Magazine and Statista have ranked the fastest fast food drive-thrus to consider the next time you want a speedy bite to eat. Let’s take a look at the rankings. 

5. McDonald’s - 5:11

When you’ve been in the fast food game as long as McDonald’s, you would hope that the drive-thru piece had been optimized and basically perfected at this point. That looks very much to be the case where the Golden Arches are concerned.

They come in fifth on the list and have tried to innovate this part of their service. Digital displays and order-ahead capabilities make the experience quicker. overall this a solid experience. 

4. Dunkin Donuts - 4:55

When you specialize in coffee and donuts, one would hope that the fast food drive-thru experience would be very (very!) quick. That ends up being the case with Dunkin’ Donuts which ranks fourth overall on this list. The menu board is large and easy to read with the options not being anywhere close to overwhelming. 

Plus, the staff is generally friendly and has an expedited process to ensure that things move smoothly. Again, the baseline menu does help here, but Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t mess around with a good thing.

3. Carl’s Jr/ Hardees - 4:46

A somewhat surprising addition to this fast food drive-thru list only because this is a smaller chain that some of the others. But the combination of Carl’s Jr. and Hardees rings in at number three overall. They have a larger menu, but the readouts are easy to take in when pulling up to make an order.

And it’s been reported recently that they will join the growing trend of fast food chains deploying artificial intelligence into their overall customer experience. 

2. KFC - 4:32

KFC has been in the game a long time and over the years has refined the drive-thru process to be among the best out there. Even though a couple of years ago they were pushing customers inside to complete orders on the app, they still have one of the fastest drive-thru experiences.

Because their menu is time-honored and repeatable, it does make the whole process a bit quicker than some of the others. And they continue to make strides in this arena. 

1. Taco Bell - 4:28

Taco Bell tops the list of fastest fast food drive-thru chains, coming in at four seconds quicker than KFC and more than 30 seconds faster than some of the other chains on this list. The drive-thrus are designed with efficiency in mind and the menu lends itself to the chain turning orders around very quickly.

Heck, they even started pushing the envelope in the last couple of years with the first two-story drive-thru opening that lowered orders into cars. Taco Bell takes the fastest drive-thru prize.