A feature from the inside of a drive-thru restaurant, looking at what they have done to improve the speed and accuracy of orders.

In a feature in Bloomberg Businessweek – Taco Bell and the Golden Age of Drive-Thru, contributor Karl Taro Greenfeld gets some first-hand experience in a Taco Bell drive-thru and finds that it’s harder than it looks. He examines the smart innovations and procedures present in modern-day drive-thru restaurants that make them more efficient and accurate.

Through the mid and late ’90s, Taco Bell designed and implemented the kitchen and drive-thru operation it still uses today. It eventually got its speed and accuracy to where it consistently beat the 3-minute, 30-second target per order, even during peak. Taco Bell does this while serving a wider range of menu items, and more complicated food, than the hamburger chains. The program was so successful that in 2009 the brand was the first to finish in the top five in QSR magazine’s Drive-Thru Performance Study in both speed and accuracy, averaging 164 seconds per vehicle with an accuracy rate of 93.1 percent.

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