How Long Are You Willing To Wait at These NoCo Drive Thrus?
A thread on the Fort Collins sub-Reddit goes to town on the wait times across a handful of drive through restaurants, and it got me thinking: what are the average wait times at all these restaurants, and how long are you willing to wait?
Before we get to that, it's worth remembering a gem of a song by Weird Al Yankovic from some years back, called "Trapped In The Drive-Thru." Now, especially, as a married person, boy do I appreciate the lyrics of this nearly 11-minute masterpiece. But I digress. It's worth your time to watch.
People on the Reddit thread start with Taco Bell at College and Prospect, then move off into discussion about many of the other drive thru's in town, including the most controversial of them all: the traffic snarler famous for their chicken and frustration inducing lines, Raising Canes on College Ave, of course.
From Taco Bell on College to Burger King on Timberline, from a few different Taco John's locations to Chik-fil-A and more... the people of Reddit are quick to voice their frustration - or give kudos - where warranted.
So I dove down the internet rabbit hole to find out: just who does have the longest and shortest drive thru wait times? The world wide web delivered, as always.
According to Statista.com, these are the average drive thru wait times, slowest to fastest, in the US as of July, 2021. There's some irony in who is number one, by the way.
10. Chik-fil-A - 9 Minutes, 1 Second
A comment on the Reddit thread that mentions Chik-fil-A correctly points out that a longer wait time might definitely be related to demand, because there's always a lot of people waiting. But to their credit, the people of Chik-fil-A do have the double drive thru line down to a pretty well refined science.
9. Starbucks - 6 Minutes, 49 Seconds
To be fair, it's probably the person in front of you who orders the nonfat, non dairy, sprinkle free, extra chocolate, strawberry syrup mocha frocha latte with extra nonfat, coconut whipped cream and cinnamon with a caramel drizzle that's holding everyone up.
8. Burger King - 5 Minutes, 59 Seconds
It's the flame broiled Whoppers that take the extra seconds, right? Can't rush the flame broiled smokiness.
7. Arby's - 5 Minutes, 47 Seconds
If it wasn't for the curly fries requiring extra curliness and the perfect seasoning, perhaps this one could squeeze under 5 minutes if they really wanted it.
6. Wendy's - 5 Minutes, 41 Seconds
You know what adds the little bit of extra time here? The burgers are square. More square inches to cook through than your typical round burger. Like the more aerodynamic the burger, the less time it takes. You know.
5. McDonald's - 5 Minutes, 11 Seconds
I don't know about you, but I'd be willing to wait an extra minute or two if only they'd add back their all-day breakfast again. I get that it was difficult on the staff to expand the menu like that but come on, that was the kind of thing dreams are made of.
4. Dunkin Donuts - 4 Minutes, 55 Seconds
OK, now we're talking. We're under five minutes here, finally. But we're only talking donuts and coffee, right? I guess you can get the odd breakfast sandwich too, but with the sweet smells of Dunkin coming at you out that window, we can't afford to wait much longer than this.
3. Carl's Jr./Hardee's - 4 Minutes, 46 Seconds
Speaking of breakfast sandwiches... if you've never tried this one, you're missing out.
2. KFC - 4 Minutes, 32 Seconds
This one kind of baffles me, because it's like a legit meal. You've got your chicken - a bucket of it, no less - then all the sides to package, right? Mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, whatever else you like... how do they get that all packaged up and manage to be the second fastest drive thru nationally?
1. Taco Bell - 4 Minutes, 28 Seconds
Oh, the irony. The original post on the Reddit thread started with someone dogging Taco Bell for their wait times, and yet, the joke's on you original poster... because Taco Bell enjoys the number one rank for the shortest drive thru wait times nationally. Just apparently not at College and Prospect in Fort Collins. Quick, someone get Taco Bell corporate to remind them to represent the brand and pick up the pace!