Fast food is slowing down.
Customers are waiting longer than ever to drive away with a quick meal, even at fast food behemoths like McDonald's. The home of the golden arches recently saw its average wait time climb to 189.5 seconds from order to pick-up, which is 9 seconds above the industry average and ranks as the slowest ever for McDonald's, according to the 2013 Drive-Thru Performance Study by QSR magazine.
In an industry where most major companies do between 60 and 70 percent of their business at the drive-thru, even a small increase in wait times can be bad news. HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps talked with Matthew Ong, a retail analyst at Nerd Wallet, about what might be to blame for the longer wait.
"It's because the menus are getting more complicated," Ong said. "As these fast food chains start offering more options -- a lot of those because they're trying to be healthier but they also don't want to eliminate those cult favorites they still have on the menu in general -- the menu has just ballooned."
Ong said a more streamlined collection of offerings is the key to keeping the drive-thru model efficient.
"McDonald's is going to be like many other fast food chains -- they're going to have to face some tough choices on what they want to actually keep on their menu and what they want to get rid of," he said.
This post has been updated to reflect the study originated from QSR magazine.