District Restaurant News | Fall 2020

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Dunkin’ was among quick-service chains that delivered quick wait times and high satisfaction scores. Photo by Dunkin’ Brands.

“Consumer behavior has changed, so brands must continue to innovate around contactless—it’s not just a short term trend, it is here to stay,” noted Rakuten Ready. Among QSRs, Chipotle’s 1:54 time was the best last year and also this year. Chipotle also delivered some of the highest CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) scores—not surprising for a chain that has invested heavily in the digital experience. Chick-fil-A almost fell from grace, with a wait time three-fold longer than last year’s. Yet this chicken QSR has such high customer loyalty and brand recognition that it was able to maintain a high score. Customers were certainly forgiving of the longer wait times; in fact, Rakuten Ready was quick to point out that the sharp increase in demand for Chick-fil-A’s products may have contributed to these times. Rakuten Ready, which is a company that provides app-based solutions for order-ahead 32 District Restaurant News

pickup, identified Starbucks, Domino’s, Dunkin’ and Taco Bell as additional chains that were able to deliver short wait times and high customer satisfaction scores. Considering that the annual growth rate for demand for order-head pickup was 35 percent last year and increased to nearly 60 percent this year, it’s clear that the COVID-19 health crisis has multiplied the demand for order-ahead pickup. It’s a “tidal wave of demand,” suggests the report—one that is unlikely to dissipate. Among casual-dining restaurant chains (to which Panera Bread has now been added), TGIF posted the best wait time at 3:09. While it beat Panera’s time, it did not overcome the high customer satisfaction score Panera posted. Applebees and Buffalo Wild Wings were additional restaurant chains included by Rakuten Ready in this category.