Drive Thru Etiquette

or, I can spit in your food

Written by Melissa DeWilde

The world of fast food is no place for a person of any intelligence. It is a mind numbing, tedious and above all, thankless industry. It also feeds many people nearly every day. But as the drive thru replaced the dining room, there has been no replacement for the rules of etiquette. And that's why I'm here, to lay down the law. Because one of you could be an annoying asshole at the drive thru. We've got feelings too, you know.

And we can spit in your food.

The Rules:

1? I can't stress this enough: If you want a combo say you want a combo. I'm unfortunate enough to work at a place whose combo meals don't have numbers, forcing customers to tell us they want a cheeseburger combo instead of a number two. But many of them assume that I can read minds and just say "cheeseburger with a coke" and then wonder where their fries are. Which forces me to say, "You didn't order fries" and them to say, "Yes I did, I ordered a combo" and me to say, "No you didn't" and then, "Well, I meant a combo" and then I kill them.

No, wait. I can't do that.

Rule number one applies to inside orders as well.

2? If you have said that you want a cheeseburger combo or a number two, don't just leave it at that. Tell us what the hell you want to drink.

3? Leave pauses between items. You don't know how long it may take to punch in an order. It's best to go slowly. Especially if you have an annoying accent.

4? On that note, For God's sake, enunciate.

5? Wait for the person taking your order to stop speaking before you start talking. We've got to push a button to talk to you and can't hear anything you're saying while we're talking. So, you saying, "Yes," in the middle of the question, "Will that be all?" won't be heard, prompting us to ask again, and making you all bitchy.

6? After you've placed your order, don't sit next to the speaker rooting around for your money. The sooner your car pulls forward the sooner we can hear properly again.

7? Ask for any condiments you want at the window, unless otherwise specified.

8? Pull your car close enough to the window so we can reach you. It's hard to pass four drinks to a person while leaning three feet out of a one foot opening. Especially if that person isn't willing to meet you halfway.

9? Don't say "with everything." Tell us exactly what you want, or let us put on your sandwich what normally comes on it. A lot of people have a different view of what everything is. Besides, we might have some goat testicles in the kitchen just itching to get on a burger.

10? Above all else, be courteous to the poor people in the drive thru window. They don't want to be there and you don't know the circumstances that lead to them having that job. The person handing you your Extra Cheesy Barbecue Bacon Billy Burger with no tomatoes may just have a degree in advanced mathematics.

And they can spit in your food.