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1 big thing: Lines, lines, lines
It's not just you: The lines at fast food drive-throughs have gotten much slower.
The big picture: Customers want fresher food with more customization, and restaurants are struggling to keep up.
- The average wait time at chain drive-throughs is now 3 minutes and 54 seconds, up from 3 minutes and 10 seconds in 2003, per industry trade pub QSR.
- “We’ve almost quit doing fast food because they are not fast food any more,” stay-at-home mom Michelle Hancock told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Recruiter Ramonda Coleman on how she handles a long line: “I go to the next shortest line place.”
By the numbers: Here's the average wait time for a fast food drive-through in 2018, compiled by QSR...
- Burger King 3:13
- Dunkin' Donuts 3:20
- KFC 3:38
- Wendy's 3:48
- Taco Bell 3:57
- Arby's 3:58
- Carl's Jr. 4:13
- Hardee's 4:16
- Chick-fil-A 4:21
- McDonald's 4:33
Flashback: Wendy's average wait time in 2003 was less than 2 minutes.
What's next: The chains are hustling to get ahead of this trend.
- McDonald's paid $300 million for sales assistant software Dynamic Yield to better personalize its menus.
- The CaliBurger chain is installing a robotic fry cook: "Flippy ... which will be installed in up to 10 of CaliBurger's 50 locations, can turn patties on a grill and clean it."
- And Yum Brands bought a 3% stake in GrubHub in 2018.
The bottom line: The days of simple orders, kept warm under heat lamps, feel long past. But the question of whether customers will adjust their patience in response seems less certain.
Bonus: Pic du jour
Tiger Woods and caddie Joe LaCava on the 13th during a practice round ahead of The Masters.
2. What you missed
- An IED outside Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan killed 3 U.S. service members and 1 contractor while wounding 3 others, NATO said today.
- Actress Felicity Huffman, 12 other parents and the former head coach of men's tennis at the University of Texas have agreed to plead guilty after being charged in a college admissions scheme. Read Huffman's apology.
- U.S. Secret Service director Randolph "Tex" Alles will be leaving his post, as CNN first reported.
- The Chinese woman charged with illegally entering Mar-a-lago last month was found with 9 USB drives, 5 SIM cards and a signal detector.
- The Trump administration has designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization. Details.
3. 1 powerful thing
In an essay for The Players Tribune, Kyle Korver of the Utah Jazz confesses his shortcomings on race and describes awakening to his privilege.
- "There’s an elephant in the room that I’ve been thinking about a lot over these last few weeks."
- "It’s the fact that, demographically, if we’re being honest: I have more in common with the fans in the crowd at your average NBA game than I have with the players on the court."
- "[I]’ve really started to recognize the role those demographics play in my privilege."
- "How can I — as a white man, part of this systemic problem — become part of the solution when it comes to racism in my workplace? In my community? In this country?"