These Crazy Photos Show Just How Long Fast-Food Drive-Thru Lines Were Last Year

Here's a bird's-eye view of the fast-food lines in 2020.

Remember how we were cooped up at home for most of last year? Plenty of us took a break by picking up a Big Mac or 10-piece Chicken McNuggets. With fast-food chains turning exclusively to to-go orders for months in 2020, lines at the drive-thru had a few more cars than we were used to.

The photos below show you exactly how long people waited in line to get Chicken McGriddles. Don’t be surprised if you spot someone with a pre-order snack!

Who Had the Longest Drive-Thru Line?

MILL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22: Cars line up at a McDonald's drive-thru on April 22, 2020 in Mill Valley, California. McDonald’s announced plans to offer free Thank You Meals to first responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic between April 22 and May 5. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Justin Sullivan/getty Images

McDonald’s is known for speed, but everyone craving a side of unreasonably delicious McDonald’s fries was definitely waiting awhile. If this gave you some cravings, our McDonald’s copycat recipes taste just like the real thing.

HICKSVILLE, NEW YORK - MAY 02: In this aerial image from a drone, the line for the drive-in window at at Starbucks wraps around the building and on to the main road on May 2, 2020 in Hicksville, New York. Restaurants continue to keep their dining rooms closed and have relied on deliveries and pick up windows due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)Bruce Bennett/getty Images

Starbucks is definitely the place for a caffeine pick-me-up, and people were determined to get their fix during the pandemic. Customization was hard at the drive-thru, though, so we’re definitely happy to step back into Starbucks so we can order off the Starbucks secret menu.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 26: A general view of the Hollywood In-N-Out Burger on Sunset Blvd during the evening dinner rush, where cars will wait up to an hour to receive drive-thru service after the 'Safer at Home' emergency order was issued by L.A. authorities amid the ongoing threat of the coronavirus outbreak on March 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/getty Images

Speaking of secret menus, we’re definitely a fan of In-N-Out’s not-so-secret menu—and clearly, all these people are, too! It’s a relief to be able to get our favorite burger quickly after making copycat recipes all through quarantine.

Should I Still Use the Drive-Thru?

The CDC’s new guidelines have resulted in a lot of changes, including at our favorite eating joints. Starbucks has dropped its mask mandate, but only for people who are fully vaccinated, as have a number of other retailers, restaurants and cafes. If you’re not fully vaccinated yet, you can continue to stick to the drive-thru, get takeout or go in if you’re properly masked up. Here’s how to safely enjoy takeout right now.

If you’re not a fan of the current drive-thru lines either, there are plenty of other options! We recommend contactless delivery for a safe and speedy dinner through any of these food delivery services. No matter which option you choose, it’s important to practice patience and treat your servers with kindness. They’ve been working through a lot to keep us happy and full, and we couldn’t be more grateful!

Feeling Fast Food at Home? Copycat These Fast-Food Recipes!
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Amrita Thakkar
Amrita is an Assistant Digital Editor at Taste of Home. As a writer and amateur photographer, she often ends up applying these skills to her one great love: food. She can usually be found researching global cuisines, at the farmers market, doing yoga, or looking up new places to travel to.