McDonald's tests 1-minute drive-thru service guarantee

In a test program underway at McDonald's, customers are given timers at the drive-thru—and a promise that their order will be ready within 60 seconds.

The Miami Herald reports that participating McDonald’s in South Florida are trying out a limited-time 60-second guarantee on weekday lunch orders from noon to 1 p.m. now through August 29. Drive-thru customers are handed timers after they’ve paid for their orders, and then the countdown begins. If the food isn’t ready in one minute or less, the customer will receive a lunch item for free on a future McDonald’s visit.

It isn’t hard to imagine why McDonald’s is giving this idea a shot. First and foremost, it’s a way to boost business at lunchtime. While the giants in the fast food world are prominently battling for breakfast customers because more and more Americans are eating out in the morning rather than having cereal at home, lunch remains the marquee meal, attracting 34% of all customer visits. McDonald’s and the rest of the fast food scene must also contend with Chipotle and other players in the fast casual category, which is really the only part of the chain restaurant industry that’s growing.

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