Want to Get Your McDonald's Order at Record Speed? You'll Need to Go to Kansas
Fast-food drive-thrus are essential for consumers who are short on time and want something quick and convenient to munch on, but not all drive-thrus are created equal in terms of speed. A 2022 drive-thru study conducted by QSR, for example, found that KFC had the fastest average drive-thru times out of the biggest fast-food chains in America, while Chick-fil-A had the longest drive-thru times. For any McDonald's fans looking to experience the fast-food giant's absolute fastest drive-thru in the world, look no further than a Kansas location that reportedly just secured the coveted title.
On May 11, the McDonald's at 2002 W. Central Ave. in El Dorado broke an unofficial world record for the most customers served at a drive-thru in one hour, according to reports from local media. The location served a whopping 356 people in just 60 minutes, equal to about one customer every 10 seconds.
Bob Lane, who runs McDonald's franchisee Lane Enterprises and the El Dorado restaurant, told KWCH that his employees came up with the idea to try to break the world record about six months ago because their drive-thru was already speedy, to begin with. They researched records for the most drive-thru customers served in an hour, and 300 was the best they could find. Multiple searches did not uncover any official world records for the most drive-thru customers served in one hour, so the record that Lane's restaurant wanted to beat seems to be an informal one.
Additionally, the El Dorado McDonald's world record only seems to take other McDonald's drive-thrus into account, rather than drive-thrus from all fast-food chains. Lane Enterprises created a special Facebook page for the event said they were trying to break the "world record for the most cars in a McDonald's drive-thru." If the restaurant had been trying to break the world record for the most customers served at any drive-thru, not just McDonald's drive-thrus, its 356 customers would not have put it into first place. A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Lake Boone, N.C., reportedly served 474 customers in one hour back in 2020, according to local news outlet the North State Journal.
Regardless, moving 356 people through a drive-thru in 60 minutes is no small feat. Lane Enterprises used the special Facebook page to spread the word about the event ahead of time and call in reinforcements. The local community turned up in droves on May 11, and the McDonald's employees pushed hard to serve as many customers as possible during the short time.
"They worked really hard," Lane told KWCH. "They organized and planned really hard and the crew delivered and the customers delivered," Lane said.
This massive support from customers didn't go unrewarded. According to the Facebook page, the first 300 customers who went through the drive-thru during the hour received a free t-shirt commemorating the event. The restaurant also sold $1 breakfast burritos all morning and planned to do a drawing giving away five cards for a free value meal every week for a year.
In other McDonald's news, the chain recently brought back its popular Spicy Chicken McNuggets and launched its first new McFlurry flavor of the year. Customers can also count on seeing some major upgrades to McDonald's signature burgers this year, including softer toasted buns, perfectly melted cheese, and onions cooked directly on beef patties.