Surveys show that the average service time at a McDonald’s drive-thru is longer than three minutes. But is that really “fast” food? Shouldn’t there be some sort of benchmark for fast food franchises in terms of standard food service delivery time?
According to the Miami Herald, McDonald’s is testing a new program at certain South Florida locations that puts the pressure on to get the customer their cheeseburger faster. From now through August 29th, the drive-thru guarantees you’ll get your food in 60 seconds or less. If your meal doesn’t materialize in that time, you’ll get a free lunch at a later date.
Here’s how it works: When you pay for your meal at a participating drive-thru, you’ll receive a timer. When you receive your food, you give the timer back to the McDonald’s employee. The Miami Herald states that this promotion is only valid in the drive-thru Monday through Friday, from noon to 1 p.m.
This may be a partial response to a drive-thru performance study released in September 2013. Apparently, McDonald’s drive-thrus at the time were ranked the slowest they had ever been in the 15 year history of this study.
Editor at industry magazine QSR, Sam Oches, offered CNBC this analysis:
CNBC adds that drive-thrus in 2013 got 9% busier than they’d previously been.
When business needs change, proactive businesses take steps to make those necessary changes. It’s just basic math. With fierce competition for your lunchtime dollar, it makes sense that Mickey D’s is working to streamline operations—and in turn, make themselves a more appealing option to a greater number of customers.
No plans have been announced to expand this program to other areas, but 60 seconds definitely qualifies as “fast” in our book.