The next time you’re hungry but need something quick, you might want to think about which fast food restaurant has the fastest drive-thru. 

A new study has put together a list and suprisingly Chick-fil-A is not at the top. 

Intouch Insight released its 2023 Drive-Thru Study

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Researchers looked at more than 1,490 drive-thrus at popular chains across the country between June and July 2023. They measured speed of service, accuracy, suggestive selling, food quality, and the level of satisfaction. 

Who has the fastest drive-thru?

In general, researchers found that average time drivers spent at a drive-thru decreased by 29 seconds with shorter wait times being the biggest factor. Wait times decreased by 25 seconds, but researchers believe that’s due to fewer cars in the drive-thru. 

The restaurants with the fastest drive-thru (ranked in order) are:

  1. Taco Bell
  2. KFC
  3. Carl’s Jr.
  4. Arby’s
  5. Dunkin’

The restaurants with the fastest service times are:

  1. Taco Bell
  2. Wendy’s
  3. KFC
  4. Dunkin’
  5. Carl’s Jr.

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Which restaurants is most accurate with customer orders?

When it comes to accuracy, researchers are looking how many customers receive the correct order. In general, there was a slight 1% increase in accuracy over the year. 

The restaurants with the most accuracy are:

  1. Chick-fil-A
  2. Burger King
  3. McDonald’s
  4. /5. KFC and Wendy’s are tied

Which restaurants has the most satisfaction?

Researches note while there was a 1% increase in customer satisfaction over the past year, 1 in 10 customers were left unsatisfied with their experience. 

The restaurants with the most satisfaction are:

  1. Chick-fil-A
  2. Taco Bell
  3. Arby’s
  4. Wendy’s
  5. Carl’s Jr.

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According to FOX News, the drive-thru has its origins tied to a chain of restaurants called the Pig Stand, which is credited with opening the first drive-in restaurant in Texas in 1921, according to History.com. Customers would park and a carhop would serve burgers and fries directly to their cars. A Los Angeles location of Pig Stand eventually offered the option of bagging up meals for takeout starting in 1931, laying the foundation for what later became the drive-thru.

Red’s Giant Hamburg in Missouri opened what is generally considered to be the first true drive-thru in 1947, Money.com reports. A year later, In-N Out Burger opened a drive-thru that used a state-of-the-art (at the time) two-way speaker box.

Then, in 1951, Jack in the Box opened in San Diego as a drive-thru only restaurant, coinciding with the growing popularity of car culture in America.

The popularity of the drive-thru has since had a huge impact on the fast-food industry, and not just in how the parking lots were designed. Restaurants that wanted to cater to the car crowd began to focus on easy-to-eat foods like burgers and bone-free pieces of chicken. French fries also became popular, albeit without any messy toppings, per History.com.

But drive-thrus didn’t just change how people ate — it affected the design of the automobile itself. Before drive-thrus, cars were rarely designed or manufactured with cup holders. By the 1980s, the feature was considered a must-have in every car.

Read more of the study here. This story was reported from Los Angeles.