An observational study of consumer use of fast-food restaurant drive-through lanes: implications for menu labelling policy.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE:Some versions of restaurant menu labelling legislation do not require energy information to be posted on menus for drive-through lanes. The present study was designed to quantify the number of customers who purchase fast food through drive-in windows as a means of informing legislative labelling efforts. DESIGN:This was an observational study. SETTING:The study took place at two McDonald's and Burger King restaurants, and single Dairy Queen, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Wendy's restaurants. SUBJECTS:The number of customers entering the chain restaurants and purchasing food via the drive-through lane were recorded. A total of 3549 patrons were observed. RESULTS:The percentage of customers who made their purchases at drive-throughs was fifty-seven. The overall average (57 %) is likely a conservative estimate because some fast-food restaurants have late-night hours when only the drive-throughs are open. CONCLUSIONS:Since nearly six in ten customers purchase food via the drive-through lanes, menu labelling legislation should mandate the inclusion of menu labels on drive-through menu boards to maximise the impact of this public health intervention.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Roberto, CA; Hoffnagle, E; Bragg, MA; Brownell, KD

Published Date

  • November 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1826 - 1828

PubMed ID

  • 20236561

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20236561

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1475-2727

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1368-9800

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s136898001000039x


  • eng