Heard on the street: Caching translates into cha-ching for downtown restaurants (with an assist from Mountain Day). Plus: We take a bite out of that fast-food wait-time survey.

Heard on the street: Caching translates into cha-ching for downtown restaurants (with an assist from Mountain Day). Plus: We take a bite out of that fast-food wait-time survey.

The above testimony, from a crew visiting from the east coast of Florida, paid off big for downtown restaurants as well.

We heard about huge crowds at Harvest Moon on Saturday night with a good 30 percent of those on hand representing the visiting geo caching crowd. Rome City Brewing Co. had a great weekend as well, including Thursday night as the geocaching crowd stopped in

Also a plus: Folks in town for Berry College’s Mountain Day festivities. A lot of separate reunions broke off from the main event on campus as well. Also a contributor: Darlington’s homecoming weekend which also included some private parties downtown.

The strong showing comes a week after Schnauzerfest Rome drew more than 600 two-legged guests as well as their four-legged friends. Look for a possible return in October 2020.

Downtown could make it three-in-a-row with Saturday’s Fiddlin’ Fest Between the Rivers, set for noon until 7 p.m.The bluegrass street festival will feature he classical sounds of bluegrass music on two live music stages along with activities along every block of the festival. Broad Street will close to traffic in the 100, 200, 300, 400 blocks around 9 a.m. and reopen at 10 p.m.  More at fiddlinfest.com

Also due on Saturday evening: The Second Annual Oktoberfest, featuring German food, beer and music, at The Vogue. Included: Live Oompah Band and Timothy Reynolds. Tickets are $49 each and include food, two drink tickets, entertainment and a gratuity.

About those fast-food drive-through ratings — ‘not so fast, my friends.’ QSR magazine reports the average wait time in drive-through lines for 10 fast-food restaurants, nine of which do business here. While we don’t have the local numbers on each, we do dispute the national finding. It says Chick-fil-A — on a national level – has the slowest order-to-pickup time at five minutes and 23 seconds with McDonald’s not far behind,  just 10 seconds faster.

We invite QSR to come on down to Rome and Truett’s Chick-fil-A on Shorter Avenue. In recent weeks, we’ve seen the results of lunch hour — the ulimate rush hour — where the drive-through crew and staff at Truett’s helped serves more than 200 orders in 60 minutes. Staffed up and iPads in hand, that’s a lot of business in 60 ticks of the clock.

Also, we dug a little deeper into the QSR study and found stuff that’s not been reported. We wonder why:

  • The “accuracy ratings” for the same 10 restaurants. No. 1 at 94 percent — Chick-fil-A.
  • Customer service: The “Very friendly” rating had Chick-fil-A with 65 percent; nearest competition was Taco Bell at 43 percent.
  • Restaurant survey: More Chick-fil-As surveyed than the others? They visited 183 Chick-fil-A restaurants and 165 each of the other except for 82 Carl’s and 83 Hardee’s (same company and concepts). Why 18 more Chicks?

We realize different stores and different areas will have different paces of service. We still doubt Chick-fil-A was the slowest of 10 reviewed (Dunkin was fastest). Heck, we had dinner at Truett’s Thursday and lunch on Saturday (inside, sitting in the restaurant section) and both were on our table in under five minutes.  QSR


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