Longest Wait in a Fast Food DT Line

Just curious how long anyone else has ever waited in a drive-thru line for a mystery shop. I had a new personal record today with a half hour wait from the time I entered the line until I received my food at JITB. I had no choice but to stick it out, but it's amazing to me how many others will stay in a line for that long!

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

I had an Arby's that was more than 30 minutes. the POS system went down and I was stuck in line. They could take payment, but they couldn't ring in orders. At tleast it was as shop and I got paid.

In N Out usually has long lines that can take 15-20 minutes. I am amazed at the pure laziness of people who don't want to get out and walk inside to save 10 minutes. I get that a handicapped person or mom with small kids doesn't want to fight the hassle of getting out of the car, but there are plenty of able bodied people that will sit in that line rather than park and get out.

I wonder if the length of wait in the drive-thru has gone down at In N Out due to the rise in gas prices as some people might be more price-sensitive and would rather shut it off and go inside now.
My closest In and Out is in the same parking lot with Costco. The gas line at Costco has taken over the entire road where the long In and Out line used to block the road! Not sure what In and Out people are doing.
My not so long but expensive wait in line was at the airport parking lot on a job where they paid a flat fee. The car in front of me was there for 10 minutes quibbling with the attendant and put me into a second hour that actually cost me $7 extra. Most of those lines unfortunately you cannot back up and leave once someone is behind you. b
I had a JiTB that was 30 minutes in line once. It was a location that always had a slight problem, but never that bad. Having done the fast food gig before, I was sympathetic to the employees, although of course I reported the times accurately. But I tried to be encouraging to them when I reached the window. Those jobs suck.

(Speaking of which, I'm reading a fabulous book: "On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane" by Emily Guendelsberger. Salon blurbed it as "'Nickel and Dimed' for the Amazon age" and that's exactly right. The author worked an Amazon "fulfillment center" (i.e. an Amazon torture warehouse) during Christmas peak, a call center, and a McDonald's. It's fascinating and horrifying.)
I had one drive thru shop that lasted over 20 minutes, because one car kept changing their order, asking questions, staring at the menu boards....than at the pick up window, gave part of the order back because they changed their mind again.
@pegleg2000 wrote:

Raising Cane's over 30 minutes.

Been in the Raising Cane's line too in southern CA. It was busy, I will give them that. Impossible line to get out of. Everyone pulls close to the car in front so the line isn't out on the street of a super busy street.
49 minutes. On an assignment when McDonald's was still being shopped. Honestly, though, in the last 10 years, drive thru lines have become so slow, in general, I just don't even bother. Too frustrating. If you make good time getting through the line, feeling good and lucky, the pickup person tells you to pull over and wait. That's a guaranteed extra 20 minutes right there.

And all the gas that people waste! Where's all that concern about the environment?

sestrahelena
42 minutes at a USPS line in the Newark, NJ area. I almost walked out and cancelled the assignment, however it was a heavily bonused shop, I really needed to mail my package and I figured what’s the worst that could happen? I get to the counter and they are cash only. Luckily someone in line behind me had cash and I Venmo’d them the money.
What makes me mad is people who order from the back seat or who order from the passenger side. If you want talk so bad or order so bad, then come inside and order or drive your own car next time.

Also people who add stuff when they get to the window (Like extra sauces or a whole new meal).. I bet half the time they don't make times because of people like this..
It wasn't a dt, but I once waited 30 minutes at Sonic. They were crazy busy, the drive thru line was out of the parking lot and most of the stalls were taken.

A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.
I think as far as mystery shopping goes my drive-through waits have been very short, I think i had one go to almost 10 minutes. But that doesn't really translate to the late night doordashing Drive-through lines. Once all the other restaurants close at about 9 or 10 o'clock (22:00), McDonald's and Taco Bell drive-through lines get really super long, I have waited with my son at McDonald's for 35 minutes just to pick up a doordash.

Ya know what.. I forgot about Freddies.. I was in the drive through line for 45 minutes AFTER I ordered, and a very long time before that, waiting to get to the speaker. It was a brand new store. I just wanted to see what they had. I saw the shops for them in different cities, after the fact, not at the one I went to. But once I got in the line I couldn’t get out because people seem to need to hug your bumpers in the drive-through. I'm a little claustrophobic, and I was feeling overwhelmed before it was all over, I won't make that mistake again.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2022 02:47AM by Morledzep.
There is one particular JitB that always takes about 20-27 minutes for the drive thru. I stopped shopping them. That’s not a winner. There’s another one on the route that takes less than 2 minutes every single time. Scary fast. They totally know I’m the guy. They hit all the marks. “Here is your blah blah blah. Would you like cream or sugar? Would you like any condiments? Would you like your receipt. Have a wonderful day!” *excessive eye contact* Their spot is impeccably clean. But you can’t make the food perfect in 2 minutes.
During the pandemic, I had a few Raising Cane's drive thru shops that took a little over 30 minutes. A good portion of the wait would be spent before reaching the speaker. This was surprising to me at first, because prior to covid I had always been really impressed by how quickly I was able to get through the drive thru and receive my food at Raising Cane's. I'm sure part of it was being short-staffed and also having everyone funneled into the drive thru instead of having walk-in/dine-in as an option.

I personally really dislike the drive thru and will almost always choose to walk in to order for carry out if it is available (and not a shop assignment). I don't like idling the car, and I like checking my orders before leaving. I feel bad checking at the drive thru window looking to make sure I have everything since it holds up the people behind me.
@sstsau wrote:

During the pandemic, I had a few Raising Cane's drive thru shops that took a little over 30 minutes. A good portion of the wait would be spent before reaching the speaker. This was surprising to me at first, because prior to covid I had always been really impressed by how quickly I was able to get through the drive thru and receive my food at Raising Cane's. I'm sure part of it was being short-staffed and also having everyone funneled into the drive thru instead of having walk-in/dine-in as an option.

I personally really dislike the drive thru and will almost always choose to walk in to order for carry out if it is available (and not a shop assignment). I don't like idling the car, and I like checking my orders before leaving. I feel bad checking at the drive thru window looking to make sure I have everything since it holds up the people behind me.

I had one Cane’s that took 45 minutes to reach the speaker. I would’ve bailed, but I don’t want to be blacklisted. The line weaved all through a humongous parking lot. It’s just chicken! Funny enough, the same location had a online pickup in your car shop with similar lines that took like 2 minutes. I ordered on my phone. Moved the car. And they popped out immediately. Another time (inside) it was literally like 30 seconds. They probably knew I was the guy.
I remember back in the day I used to shop Whataburger and the drive-thru waits were always 7-8 minutes if nobody was in line. If there was a line, it was longer. I think the longest I ever waited was 35 minutes at a late-night shop when there was a long line.
@Tanischri87 wrote:

@sstsau wrote:

During the pandemic, I had a few Raising Cane's drive thru shops that took a little over 30 minutes. A good portion of the wait would be spent before reaching the speaker. This was surprising to me at first, because prior to covid I had always been really impressed by how quickly I was able to get through the drive thru and receive my food at Raising Cane's. I'm sure part of it was being short-staffed and also having everyone funneled into the drive thru instead of having walk-in/dine-in as an option.

I personally really dislike the drive thru and will almost always choose to walk in to order for carry out if it is available (and not a shop assignment). I don't like idling the car, and I like checking my orders before leaving. I feel bad checking at the drive thru window looking to make sure I have everything since it holds up the people behind me.

I had one Cane’s that took 45 minutes to reach the speaker. I would’ve bailed, but I don’t want to be blacklisted. The line weaved all through a humongous parking lot. It’s just chicken! Funny enough, the same location had a online pickup in your car shop with similar lines that took like 2 minutes. I ordered on my phone. Moved the car. And they popped out immediately. Another time (inside) it was literally like 30 seconds. They probably knew I was the guy.

Like you, there have been a few times where I would have left if it wasn't a shop. I often wonder why people are willing to sit in the drive thru for more than 10 minutes, especially since, like you said, it's just chicken, lol! Their prices have recently gone up quite a bit too, and the portions seem to have shrunk, at least at locations around me, so it wouldn't be worth it to me to visit outside of a shop assignment.
I had one JITB during Covid that always took at least 20 minutes. I started going early in the morning so I could still do the shop and not have to wait so long.
@breathingdeep1 wrote:

I had one JITB during Covid that always took at least 20 minutes. I started going early in the morning so I could still do the shop and not have to wait so long.

JITB really incentivizes breakfast. The taco requirement makes the reimbursement too low.
37 minute wait at Raising Canes and like a previous comment, I didn't want to get blacklisted. I shopped that same location this week and the entire transaction took 57 seconds (thank goodness!)
Just a sidebar: is there some sort of unreported pandemic of cars whose windows don't work? An inordinate amount of time...I seem to be behind people who open their driver side door instead of rolling down the driver side window. Why would someone do this?
Where are you seeing this behavior so frequently? I am in Southern California and shop mostly Orange County, so I don't run across this. I have seen it very infrequently.

@metro25782 wrote:

Just a sidebar: is there some sort of unreported pandemic of cars whose windows don't work? An inordinate amount of time...I seem to be behind people who open their driver side door instead of rolling down the driver side window. Why would someone do this?
@metro25782 wrote:

Just a sidebar: is there some sort of unreported pandemic of cars whose windows don't work? An inordinate amount of time...I seem to be behind people who open their driver side door instead of rolling down the driver side window. Why would someone do this?

Definitely seems to be a thing around here in northern Alabama. Also a lot of people that don't know how wide their car is and are afraid of the edges.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2022 01:07PM by Morledzep.
@metro25782 wrote:

Just a sidebar: is there some sort of unreported pandemic of cars whose windows don't work? An inordinate amount of time...I seem to be behind people who open their driver side door instead of rolling down the driver side window. Why would someone do this?

All the time! Maybe they're afraid to mess up the window tint? There's like zero probability that so many malfuctioning windows exist.

sestrahelena
The drive thru lines at In-n-Out started before the restaurant opened. The food is well worth the wait, especially the animal fries.

@hbbigdaddy wrote:

I had an Arby's that was more than 30 minutes. the POS system went down and I was stuck in line. They could take payment, but they couldn't ring in orders. At least it was as shop and I got paid.

In N Out usually has long lines that can take 15-20 minutes. I am amazed at the pure laziness of people who don't want to get out and walk inside to save 10 minutes. I get that a handicapped person or mom with small kids doesn't want to fight the hassle of getting out of the car, but there are plenty of able bodied people that will sit in that line rather than park and get out.

I wonder if the length of wait in the drive-thru has gone down at In N Out due to the rise in gas prices as some people might be more price-sensitive and would rather shut it off and go inside now.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I wonder if there is a shortage of window motors. Im being serious...


Just a sidebar: is there some sort of unreported pandemic of cars whose windows don't work? An inordinate amount of time...I seem to be behind people who open their driver side door instead of rolling down the driver side window. Why would someone do this?[/quote]
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login