Drive-thru do’s and dont’s: Help us, help you

Cintia Lopez and Cintia Lopez

It starts with a beep, followed by the sound of an engine running with voices mixed in. I push the button on my headset as I walk towards the register and say “Hi, this is Cintia, what can I get for you today?” There a few thing things that can really get me frustrated while working the drive-through window. If people take the time to actually know what they want to order, my day at work is much less frustrating. Here is a short list of things you can do at a drive-through to make the experience easier for everyone.

Have your order ready

Most drive-throughs have two menus set up. If you are behind a car that’s ordering, take a look at the menu and have your order ready. “Can you give me a minute?” is one of the many things that irritate me. As you’re figuring out what your friends want to order, I can hear every single word that is being exchanged between everyone in the car. If your order is incorrect, politely let them know how to fix the problem. Don’t sass us.

Don’t add to your order at the window

When I repeat an order at the window I always dread hearing “Can I add something to my order?” Adding to your order makes it harder on the cooks and the employee helping you. When you ask if it’s OK to add fries to your order, we can’t say no. As we wait for your fries to be made, we get drive-through traffic. If you want a free cup of water, ask as you are getting your change handed back to you. It makes me run around like a maniac trying to bag orders correctly for the customer who has been waiting more than four minutes if you ask to add things once I’m handing you your food.

Don’t try to act funny

If you and your friends get a kick out of giving people a hard time, a drive-through is not the place to do it. In December 2010 it was not a good day for a drive-through employee who got second-degree burns when he got creamed spinach thrown at his face due to a “fire in the hole” prank gone wrong. Ordering Taco Bell at a McDonald’s is only funny because the person trying to make the joke can’t even get the line out without laughing like a hyena. Save the jokes for open-mic night. These simple steps will make your drive-through experience quicker.


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