Here's why you might want to skip Chick-fil-A's drive-thru

Chick-fil-A is well-known for its impeccable customer service, super immaculate restaurants, and delicious food, but it's possible you've noticed that their drive-thru service is a little… slow. Recent polls have shown that, while Chick-fil-A is tops in the cleanest restaurant department, their drive-thrus are the actually the slowest in the industry (via Fox News). 

The first survey, conducted by Business Insider, tasked around 3,000 respondents with naming the cleanest restaurant in the U.S. Chick-fil-A came out at the very tip top, with a cool 55 percent of those who had visited the popular chicken eatery within the last six months noting it was the cleanest restaurant in all the land. Other contenders for the top spot were In-N-Out and Starbucks, while some of the biggest restaurant chains in the U.S., such as Subway, Burger King, and McDonald's, didn't even come within a millimeter of the top eight. The survey noted that fewer than 10 percent of people who had darkened those particular doorsteps would rate them as the cleanest in the industry. 

While this is good news for Chick-fil-A, the second bit of news here does it no favors. QSR conducted a study on fast food drive-thru times, and while they found that drive-thru wait times increased over the last year in general, Chick-fil-A got the worst result here with an average speed of service seconds at 322.98 — an enormous gap from the front-runner (Dunkin') who clocked in with an average speed of 216.75 seconds, which is around 3.5 minutes (and in case you're wondering, 322.98 seconds is around 5 minutes and 23 seconds). The second-longest drive-thru wait average, McDonald's, was still quite a ways below Chick-fil-A at 284.05 seconds — a difference of over 38 seconds.

What is Chick-fil-A doing to improve drive-thru times?

While some Chick-fil-A locations have made moves to combat this long wait time, including positioning team members with iPads that enable them to take orders in the car line and take payment quicker than if the customer had waited until they approach the speaker, it's not enough of a difference to noticeably improve wait time, possibly due to the restaurants ever-increasing popularity.

That means they're continually looking for ways to speed up their drive-thru service. "We are embracing technology to both provide a better experience for guests and to help take tasks off restaurant team members so they can devote more time to hospitality for our customers," says Khalilah Cooper, director of service and hospitality for Chick-fil-A.

So, if you're in a huge hurry, it might be best to get your Chick-fil-A fix another day (or simply run inside), although if you're cool with waiting 5 minutes (or more), then it's nice to know that your food will be coming out of the cleanest restaurant in town.