8 Polite Habits That Fast Food Employees Secretly Dislike
Making a fast-food faux pas is no fun! Here's a look at the most common friendly mistakes—and what to do instead.
Waiting at the Drive-Thru Window
Employees will sometimes ask you pull to the side or into a parking spot. It’s because most fast-food chains time employees to see how quickly they serve customers. If you’re asked to pull ahead, it’s because that timer is ticking!
You might think it makes things easier to park and wait at the window instead, but they want to keep cars moving. This is how McDonald’s drive-thrus are changing this year.
Not Correcting a Mistake in the Order
Be as clear as possible when ordering so nothing gets lost in translation. The employee will repeat your order back to you, or you’ll be able to see it on a screen, so make sure everything is correct. It’s harder to fix once you get up to the window. This is especially important when you’re requesting a special order or something from the secret menu.
Handing Over Extra Money
Your total is $17, so you give the cashier a $20 and two $1 bills, expecting a $5 in return. It makes things easier on your wallet so you’re not carrying around extra bills, but it’s not always easy for fast food employees to add in that they’ve taken in extra cash—especially if they’re in a hurry. Bet you didn’t know these secrets about In-N-Out.
Creating “Clean Up” Trays or Baskets
It’s rude to leave bags and wrappers at your table when you’re eating at a fast-food restaurant. But separate the wrappers from the baskets and only throw away the actual trash.
Ordering for the Whole Office
Sure, you’re bringing in big business, but when you order lunch for 10 at a fast food drive-thru, it slows the whole line down. Instead, order inside the restaurant or better yet, call in an order in advance. Find the most popular regional fast-food spot in your state.
Waiting at the Register for Condiments
If you’re at a fast food spot that has packets of ketchup or hot sauce, ask for them up front instead of standing near the register once you’ve already received your order. This keeps the line moving for everyone else and the employee behind the register won’t have to leave his or her station. See what fast-food chain is America’s favorite restaurant.
Paying With TONS of Change
You might think you’re doing the cashier a favor, but you probably aren’t. Paying in change can leave your register worker fumbling to count or give you change back, holding up the line. If you absolutely must, make it as easy as possible (using only quarters, for example) and not an assortment of change.
Checking Your Drive-Thru Order
Don’t check your order at the window! Pull into a nearby parking spot to make sure you have everything you need. If something ends up being wrong with your food, however, it’s always OK to speak up. Don’t miss our list of the best new fast-food items this year!