Speed of service

In today's time-pressured society, speed of service becomes very important. No one likes standing in line or waiting long, whether at the supermarket, retail store or restaurant. When we want service, we want it NOW.

No one takes this more seriously than the fast food restaurant industry. Fast service not only makes a difference in which fast food restaurants people choose when they're on the run, it also makes a big difference in profitability. Being able to serve just 5% more customers at the busy noon lunch time can increase overall profitability by 3%, with no additional labor or capital investment. Fast food restaurants understand that which gets measured gets attention, so they constantly monitor speed of service and work to improve it.

The chart below shows drive-thru service times (from order to delivery of food) for five of the larger fast food chains for both 2000 and 2004. Note that times are tracked to the hundredth of a second.

These five chains have improved drive-thru times on average by 7% since 2000.

  2000 2004
McDonald's 169.88 152.52
Wendy's 141.73 124.69
Burger King 178.20 173.19
Hardee's 172.76 196.93
Taco Bell 192.69 148.16
Average Time 171.05 159.10

Wendy's, with the fastest service among all fast food chains, has reduced its time to a record-breaking 2 minutes and 5 seconds.

Maybe this seems unrelated to the location-based entertainment (LBE) industry. It isn't. It's highly related. The speed of service guests experience at fast food restaurants and other location-based businesses establishes expectation levels for speed of service everywhere. If service at an LBE is slow, whether for food service, at the redemption counter, or elsewhere, as perceived by guests (perception is reality to the guests), then it is much less likely the LBE will be at the top of your guests' list of places to return to, especially if they have a short time slot available in their schedule.