Ketchup Please! Customer Desires and Drive-Thrus

by Tara Trask | Consumer Insights on December 8, 2010

in Quick Service Restaurants

It seems that every time I order via the drive-thru from certain fast food restaurants, I never get what I order.  I also have had rude attendants, incorrect change, and worst of all – they forget to include ketchup packets!  But, my biggest pet peeve is that fast food restaurants have forgotten what the drive-thru is all about – speed and convenience.

The good news is that drive-thrus are hearing the roar of it customer’s complaints.  QSR reports that brands are getting back to the basics of what their customers desire – faster service, more accurate order fulfillment, better technology, and more personable employees.  Order conformation boards as well as quality headsets for the attendants have increased ordering accuracy.   According to QSR’s Drive-Thru Experience Study, price confirmation and order verification stand as the most popular improvements often tied to POS-connected digital signage.

74 respondents to the study also say that the reason for choosing a drive-thru is because they are in a hurry.  The majority of respondents stated the reason for making a drive-thru experience the best is the speed-wait-time of drive-thru service.  84 respondents stated that accuracy of order is very important.

While I have had some bad experiences, I have also had some great experiences with drive-thrus.  I enjoy when an attendant asks how I am doing today or smiles.  I love when they take a quick second to double check the order before they hand it out the window.  While speed and convenience is one of my desires when I go to a drive-thru, the real key to my heart is not forgetting ketchup packets!


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