America's 10 Favorite Drive-Thru Restaurants Have Been Revealed

It's official—the top 10 drive-thrus in the U.S. have been named—with Chick-Fil-A taking the crown as the country's favorite.

The home of the original chicken sandwich, the fast-food restaurant scored higher than all the 17 limited-service companies analyzed, except on menu item availability. It was followed by Arby's and Culver's in second and third places respectively.

The study was conducted by FoodserviceResults and was published by QCR Magazine and used a range of participants to ensure that the respondent base was reflective of the U.S. drive-thru market. Just over 1,000 consumers completed the survey created by FoodserviceResults who had visited a drive-thru at least once in the previous 30 days.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many restaurants across the country have fallen on hard times due to financial decline from lockdown restrictions. However, the concept of drive-thrus has meant that some have managed to continue operating and provide Americans with the food they well and truly love.

The following drive-thrus made the top 10—is your favorite there?

10. Burger King

Perhaps a surprise to some to see this further down the list? Customers scored the chain 87 percent (average) in overall experience. The company fell down on cleanliness and sanitation, according to respondents, scoring 79 percent. In terms of menu item availability and quality of the menu items ordered, the fast-food drive-thru performed just higher than its overall score with 88 percent in both categories.

Getty Images Burger King Drive-Thru Maryland
A Burger King restaurant displays a sign reading 'Open for Drive Thru and Takeout Only' amid the coronavirus outbreak on March 18, 2020 in Mount Airy, Maryland. This chain ranked lowest in the top 10 published by QSR Magazine. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

9. Dairy Queen

With an overall experience score of 89 percent, this drive-thru technically ties with two other chains. However, like Burger King, the drive-thru didn't perform well when it came to cleanliness and sanitation, scoring 82 percent.

It performed well in the speed of service and quality of menu items ordered categories, scoring 89 percent.

Getty Images Dairy Queen
A Dairy Queen store is shown October 10, 2014 in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. This chain ranked ninth in the top 10 drive-thrus. Win McNamee/Getty Images

8. Hardee's / Carl's

Just cruising past Dairy Queen, this chain scored 89 percent for overall experience but performed better than its competitor for cleanliness and sanitation. It also scored 90 percent for order accuracy and 89 percent for menu item availability.

Getty Images Hardee's Drive-Thru
A Hardee's Monster Thickburger is shown at a restaurant in Columbus, Georgia on November 17, 2004. Customers across the U.S. ranked this drive-thru eighth favorite. Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

7. Starbucks

Another brand that many might have assumed would do better in the charts, the coffee house chain did perform better then the former two overall with 93 percent for order accuracy, 91 percent for quality of menu items ordered and 90 percent for friendliness of staff and cleanliness and sanitation.

Its lower scores included speed of service and menu item availability with scored 87 percent and 88 percent respectively, bringing down its average.

Getty Images Starbucks
A view outside a Starbucks coffee store on July 16, 2020 in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Some might be surprised that this brand didn't perform as well as others in the rankings. Johnny Louis/Getty Images

6. Wendy's

Another chain marked down for cleanliness and sanitation (84 percent), this fast-food chain scored 90 percent for overall experience. Performing well on speed of service, quality of menu items ordered and order accuracy, the other category that let down the company's average was the friendliness of the staff (86 percent).

Perhaps the teams at this chain should take pointers from the company's Twitter feed, which is known for its humorous and friendly posts.

Getty Images Wendy's
A customer orders from the drive-up menu at a Wendy's restaurant January 30, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois. The chain didn't perform well in staff friendliness which affected its ranking. Scott Olson/Getty Images

5. Dunkin' Donuts

Another 90 percent overall experience scorer, this coffee house chain was let down by menu item availability (87 percent) and order accuracy (87 percent). Not scoring above 89 in other categories, it seems that the company's tight average range is what moved it into the top five.

Getty Images Dunkin'
A Dunkin' Donuts shop is boarded up as preparations are underway for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, September 7, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dunkin' didn't make the top three favorite drive-thrus. Michele Eve Sandberg/AFP via Getty Images

4. Panera Bread

With the majority of its scores sitting over 90 percent, this chain has done well at keeping its customers happy. Overall experience sits at 91 percent, with customers happy with cleanliness and sanitation (93 percent) and friendliness of staff (92 percent).

However, its speed of service let the side down, scoring 89 percent in customer satisfaction.

Getty Images Panera Bread
A Panera Bread sign is seen at the Walt Whitman Mall on March 26, 2020 in Huntington Station, New York. The chain scored well on cleanliness and sanitation. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

3. Culver's

A high scorer for speed of service (91 percent), this fast-food chain performs well overall. Its lowest score is for cleanliness and sanitation (88 percent), closely followed by menu item availability and order accuracy.

2. Arby's

A strong performer in the majority of categories, this chain is let down—like the other chains in the top 10—by cleanliness and sanitation (82 percent) and friendliness of staff (87 percent).

However, customers were highly satisfied with menu item availability (93 percent), the quality of the menu items order (92 percent), the accuracy of their orders (91 percent) and the speed of service (91 percent).

Getty Images Arby's
General view of Arby's Restaurant on January 25, 2018 in Dawsonville, Georgia. Scoring second place in the rankings, this chain performed well on menu item availability. Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Arby's

1. Chick-Fil-A

The champion of the drive-thrus performs well in every category, with nothing slipping below 90 percent. Its highest scorer was for order accuracy (95 percent), followed by the friendliness of staff (94 percent), speed of service and cleanliness and sanitation and overall experience (all 93 percent).

Its lowest score of 92 percent customer satisfaction was in the menu item availability category.

Getty Images Chick-Fil-A
An exterior view of Chick-fil-A during the coronavirus pandemic on May 12, 2020 in New York City. COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 292,000 lives with over 4.3 million infections reported. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

For the full list of America's top drive-thrus and their scores, see below:

America's Favorite Drive-Thrus Ranked

BRANDOVERALL EXPERIENCESPEED OF SERVICEFRIENDLINESS OF STAFFCLEANLINESS AND SANITATIONMENU ITEM AVAILABILITYQUALITY OF MENU ITEMS ORDEREDORDER ACCURACY
Chick-fil-A93939493929495
Arby's91918782939291
Culver's91919088899089
Panera Bread91899293919291
Dunkin'90898988878887
Wendy's90908684909190
Starbucks89879090889193
Hardee's/Carl's Jr.89888684898790
Dairy Queen89898782888992
Burger King87868276888888
Checkers/Rally's86867678868984
Taco Bell86868583888488
Jack in the Box84848481888484
Bojangles83858176858989
McDonald's83858281848584
KFC82818279838483
Popeyes80808078828585