Fast food drive-thrus can be a lifesaver when you’re in a hurry or just don’t feel like cooking, but did you know there are certain etiquette rules to follow? You might be surprised to learn that some of your behaviors could be considered rude to drive-thru employees.
Here are nine things you should stop doing immediately:
1) Throwing Your Order Back At Employees
If you receive the wrong order, don’t throw it back at an employee. Not only is this disrespectful, but it’s also a safety hazard. Instead, go inside and politely tell them about the mistake. Most restaurants will be happy to correct the error and make sure you get the right order.
2) Not Knowing Your Order
Before you pull up to the speaker, make sure you know what you want to order. The drive-thru line can move quickly, and you don’t want to hold up the line by taking too long to decide. If you have questions about the menu or need a recommendation, it’s best to go inside and speak to an employee. They’ll be happy to help you find something you’ll love.
3) Talking On The Phone
When you pull up to the speaker, give the order taker your undivided attention. Those drive-thru speakers can pick up a lot of background noise, including the sound of you talking to someone else on the phone. This can make it difficult for the employee to take your order correctly. So save the chit-chat for later and focus on placing your order.
4) Changing Your Entire Order At The Window
Once you place your order, the restaurant staff begins preparing it right away. If you decide to change your order at the window, you could cause delays and slow down the line. If you need to make a change, try to do so before you reach the window. And if the change is significant, it’s best to go inside and speak to an employee.
5) Interrupting The Order Taker
When the employee is taking your order, be patient and wait until they finish speaking before adding to your order or correcting a mistake. Interrupting them can cause confusion and make it difficult for them to take your order correctly.
6) Ordering Menu Hacks
You might have seen some creative menu hacks on social media, but it’s important to remember that not all restaurants are equipped to handle them. Some hacks require extra ingredients or preparation time, which can slow down the line and make it more difficult for the restaurant staff to keep up with orders. Stick to the menu items that are already available to avoid causing delays and frustration.
7) Not Turning Down Your Radio
Before you begin placing your order, turn down the volume on your car radio. Those drive-thru speakers pick up a lot of background noise, and if the order taker can’t hear you, they may get your order wrong. So save yourself some time and frustration by turning down the tunes.
8) Having Everyone In The Car Place Separate Orders
If you’re traveling with friends or family, it might be tempting to have each person place their own order. However, this can cause confusion and slow down the line. The speaker is positioned in a certain way, and if someone who isn’t near the speaker tries to place an order, the order taker may not be able to hear them well. So if possible, have one person in the car place the entire order.
9) Leaving Your Windshield Wipers On
On rainy days, it’s important to turn off your windshield wipers when you pull up to the window. Leaving them on can cause water to splash onto the drive-thru workers, which is not only rude, but also a safety hazard. So before you reach the window, turn off your wipers to show some consideration for the employees.
By following these simple etiquette rules, you can make the drive-thru experience smoother for everyone involved. Keep in mind that drive-thru employees are often working under tight deadlines, and any delays or mistakes can cause a chain reaction that affects the entire operation. By being polite, patient, and prepared, you can help ensure that your order is correct and that the drive-thru line keeps moving smoothly.
It’s also worth noting that drive-thru employees are often underpaid and overworked, and they deserve respect and kindness just like anyone else. So next time you hit up a fast food restaurant, remember that a little bit of courtesy can go a long way. Thank the employees for their hard work, be patient if there’s a delay, and try to avoid behaviors that might make their jobs more difficult.