Kentucky Fried Chicken wants some customers to ditch its drive-thrus and get their food inside the restaurant after ordering on its app.
The fast food chain is the latest restaurant company to launch a new service — KFC Quick Pick-Up — that addresses the growing demand for drive-thrus, which are taking longer to get through.
Wait times at drive-thrus are “at an all-time industry high” KFC said on Tuesday, increasing by about one minute to 6 minutes and 22 seconds.
Quick Pick-Up is being offered at a limited number of KFCs where customers can order on the KFC app or on KFC.com and then park in a “dedicated VIP parking spot” and go inside the restaurant to gather their order at Quick Pick-Up shelf.
Owned by YUM Brands, KFC is hardly alone in tackling clogged drive-thrus, which became even more popular during the pandemic when many restaurants closed their dining rooms and customers did not want to come in contact with others.
McDonald’s partnered with IBM to use artificial intelligence software to take customers’ orders in the drive-thru lane and it also offers customers the option to pre-order a meal on the McDonald’s app and have it delivered to the customers’ car in the restaurant parking lot.
Other restaurants are testing the use of cameras in fast food kitchens to increase the accuracy and speed of a to-go order, as The Post has reported.
Chipotle has some 280 “Chipotlanes” — up from 10 in early 2019 — that take an average of 12 seconds to get through, because customers have already ordered their meals and are simply picking it up, according to restaurant analyst Mark Kalinowski.
“Chick-fil-A’s CEO said that the restaurant loses 30% of their intended drive-thru customers when they see the line is too long,” Kalinlowski added.
“Quick Pick-Up is changing the game by making fast food even more convenient and easy for the busy customers,” KFC’s US president Kevin Hochman said in a statement.
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