They Really FU At The Drive Thru

One of the lines that I always remember in Lethal Weapon 2 is when Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) tells Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) that “They f*** you at the drive through.” It turns out that Pesci was right in his assessment of fast food experiences. According to a new report from QSR Magazine, here’s how often fast food restaurants give customers what they ordered in a drive through.Drive through

My take: First of all, congrats to Chick-fil-A which actually came out on top of QSR’s overall analysis. The fast food restaurant made a mistake in less than 1 out of 25 customer orders. The big burger chains, McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s, got it wrong for about 1 in 10 customers while KFC, Checkers, and Popeyes messed up about 1 in 7 orders.

I can’t imagine running any business where 1 out of 10 of my customers (or more) didn’t get what they ordered. That’s terrible! Any company should, at a minimum, consistently give customers what they pay for. It doesn’t take any customer research to realize that this is an incredibly important (and broken)  moment of truth.

The bottom line: Check what’s in your bag before you drive away.

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

2 thoughts on “They Really FU At The Drive Thru”

  1. It would be interesting to map these quality metrics against the other 2 “big” service metrics: speed and price. Although I’m not too impressed with 1 in 7 chances of getting the right order, the trade-off between quality and cost/price may be acceptable to certain customers. In such a case, perhaps Popeye’s _is_ making a logical business decision.

  2. Andrew: That’s a fair point; business decisions are based on trade-offs. But I would find it hard to believe that any algorithm would be optimized with 1 out of 7 customers not getting what they ordered and paid for.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.