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Wendy's has the fastest drive-thru in America

wendy's drive thru
Behold: the legendary Wendy’s drive thru. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Hamburger fast-food chain Wendy’s is the fastest drive-thru in America, according to new study by trade publication QSR Magazine.

Wendy’s (WEN) customers can expect an average drive-thru wait of only 169.1 seconds. The next fastest time was at Dunkin’ Donuts (DNKN), posting an average service time of 181.03 seconds.

Customers at burger-chain rival McDonald’s (MCD) can expect to wait 208.16 seconds, while the average time to pick up an order at Burger King’s drive-thru (QSR) is 201.18 seconds.

Coffee-chain Starbucks (SBUX) finished in last place, with an average wait time of 299.8 seconds.

Wendy’s VP Michael Gist tells QSR “the fast service is the result of the company tirelessly tracking line times and optimizing the layout of the kitchens.”

Speed isn’t everything, though. Wendy’s is below average when it comes to getting the orders correct, scoring an 86.9% accuracy rate. The average accuracy rate among the 15 fast-food chains in the study is 90%.

Carl’s Jr. dominated the accuracy category with a 96.7% accuracy rate, followed by Chick-Fil-A in second place with a 94.5% rate. Panera Bread (PNRA) finished the category in last place, with an 82.6% accuracy rate.

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QSR’s study included 1,948 restaurant visits, including 168 visits to Wendy’s.

It’s been a year of mixed performance among the fast-food stocks. Wendy’s shares have fallen 1.5% year-to-date, while McDonald’s shares are off about 3.8%. Burger King’s parent company Restaurant Brands International has climbed more than 11% since January. Starbucks has slipped more than 11%, while Dunkin’ Donuts has jumped more than 19%.


Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance.

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