Guide: Properly Behaving in the Drive-Through

Drive throughs. Listen, we all know what a drive-through is, but it has come to my attention that the vast majority of people do not know how to properly behave in said places. Allow me, as a fast food employee, to give you some advice that won’t end in you being the bane of some poor McDonald’s worker’s existence. Now a small little disclaimer, I know that everyone is going to be different and the environment of each place is going to be different. This is going to be specifically for Mcdonald’s because that’s where I work and that’s going to be where I know the most from personal experience. I am also aware that several people will read this and decide to go there and do the exact opposite of what I say to be joking, and you know what, you can go right on ahead, I simply can’t guarantee that your experience there will be to the best of our abilities.

Ok, so first off, right off the bat, when you pull up to the little lane mic thingy, do not yell ‘Hello’ and be loud and obnoxious. I can guarantee you that will only cause the person on the other end of the mic to ignore you. Like straight up, they will not respond, they will leave you in silence for as long as they are feasibly able to. On the off chance that they aren’t going to be mildly petty and they do respond to you, they aren’t going to be polite. A good majority of our workers have most likely been there for a couple of hours already and let me tell you, the hours exposed to the smell of those fryers get to your brain. These workers are tired, they’re impatient, they just want to go home. Please, these workers try their best, don’t come in, and immediately act like an annoyance.

The Next thing that I’d like to mention is when you’re ordering your food. If you can see that we are busy and you have been waiting in that drive-through line for a long time, you better know what you want when you come to the window. Please, none of us want to wait for you to hold up the line because you have no idea what you want. It’s McDonald’s. That menu has been the same since the dawn of time. If you’ve been waiting in that line for at least 5 minutes because we’re busy, don’t hold up our line. You’ve had so much time to think it over, you should know what you want. I will concede to the point that children can be hard to order for, they’re indecisive and they may not know what they want when they get up there. That is the only situation where “Can I have a second?” is an appropriate thing to say. All you need to do is let us know that your child doesn’t know what they want and suddenly they’ll be a lot more understanding for you.

On the topic of waiting in the drive-through line, I feel the need to inform you all to not complain about the wait time of the drive-through. Do not pull up to the microphone, do not pull up to our windows all peeved yelling “I’vE bEeN wAiTiNg FoR hAlF aN hOuR-” No you haven’t. That’s first, no you have not. We may be slow some days, but never will anyone wait a full 30 minutes in that drive-through. You also don’t have to tell us that we’re slow. We are painfully aware that we are not moving as quickly as we’d like. I don’t know if any of y’all have noticed but practically every store in this state is understaffed. McDonald’s is probably the worst one when it comes to that, to the point where our hiring requirements have been “Have a pulse”. We are understaffed, we are exhausted, and we are in no mood to listen to your complaints. Go ahead, and complain to the manager about how slow we are, they aren’t going to do anything, they can’t do anything. We are doing our absolute best, we are trying, but yelling at us and complaining to us will not make us move faster. Go to a different location if you don’t like our speeds, but I can’t tell you the result will be any different.

The final point that I would like to bring up is more of a pet peeve than anything. Tell me the size of your meal before you give me the food. Don’t say “I want a number 3” and then pause for a long time before adding, “Large.” Our default for anything is going to be medium, that is the go-to, so don’t get annoyed with us when it’s already a medium and you wanted a large. Put the size in front of the meal. A large number 3. A large drink, like that. Another little thing, it doesn’t hurt to look at our menu. The digital menu will tell you whether something is unavailable or not. Do not pull up to our drive-through and order ice cream when there is a sign there telling you there is none. You have no right to get mad at us if you didn’t have the foresight to read a sign written big enough for a blind person to see it.

Thank you kindly for reading through my vent about customer service. Please, I ask in the most polite way that I possibly can that you at least take note of a couple of these. Some people work at fast food places and they are just as tired as you are. Please, I’m begging, at least try to understand that.