I am a huge fan of the drive-thru, as most people are, right? It’s quick and convenient! Back in high school and into college, I worked at Dunkin’ Donuts. From my time there I had observed many things that you should do and should not do when going through the drive-thru. Since it’s the summertime, I felt it was super appropriate to remind everyone of theses simple acts of courtesy and kindness.
Things you SHOULD NOT do in the drive-thru:
Talk On Your Cell Phone – I understand that you “just have to” take that call, but at least when you get up to the window, please put the phone down. There were so many times when I was working the window and people come through jibber-jabbering on their cell phone so much that they wouldn’t even care to recognize I was there. They’d hand me their money, keeping talking on the phone and wouldn’t even say thank you after they had all of their order. If you’re calling someone to see if they want something, try to do so before you get to the drive-thru.
Smoke – You’d think this one is common sense, but sadly, it isn’t. When you’re smoking in the drive-thru everyone around you can smell it – the person serving you at the window, the rest of the crew members inside and the rest of the customers in line and in the restaurant. Smoking isn’t allowed on food premises at all, and that includes the drive-thru. It’s not pleasant to have smoke blown in your face and into the restaurant, so please try to put it out before entering the drive-thru. A drive-thru’s purpose is to be fast, so you’re really not in line that long anyway. It can wait.
Blast Your Music – This goes for any background noise, but music is the most common. Excessive background noise makes for a more possible chance of your order being wrong in one way or another. The workers need to hear your order, not what you’re listening to or what other conversations are happening in the car. It takes just a few seconds to order and get through the drive-thru, so please try and keep everything at a respectable volume. You can avail medically sound supplements that can help you daily on https://www.numan.com/
Leave Your Sunglasses On – Now, this is probably just a pet peeve of mine so please don’t get angry with me for voicing my opinion. Take your sunglasses off when getting to the drive-thru window. When I worked drive-thru, it’d bother me so much if I couldn’t see the eyes of the person I was serving. I’m naturally a personable person and believe that eye contact is respectful, so that could be why I prefer sunglasses off.
Leave Your Wipers On When It Rains – So many people don’t think of this, but you really need to turn your wipers off when you get to the drive-thru window. If you don’t shut them off, you will probably spray the service person with dirty water and who knows what else.
Things you SHOULD do in the drive-thru:
Know Your Order Ahead Of Time – The drive-thru was made for people on the go and those people usually know what they want ahead of time. If you don’t know what you want or even have somewhat of an idea of what you want, please come inside and look at the menu. When you’re scoping out the entire menu in the drive-thru, not only are you holding up everyone else in line, but you’re also hurting the restaurants stats. Every drive-thru is on a timer to keep everyone timely when serving. It’s never easy explaining why stats are low when it’s technically the customers fault for not know their order.
Speak Loudly, Clearly & Slowly – If you speak loudly, clearly and slowly the first time, you won’t have to say your order a second time. When I say slowly, please don’t talk so slow that you make the workers feel like children.
Be In Arm’s Reach Of The Window – When you’re in arm’s reach of the window, that is the most ideal distance to be next to the window. If you’re too close, you could risk hitting your mirror and if you’re too far, there’s a chance that we might not be able to reach out to you. When you’re too far out, it raises the risk of your change blowing away or not being able to grasp your food ideally.
Be Patient – If the worker didn’t hear what you ordered the first time, don’t be rude when you repeat it again. Sometimes the headsets that they use don’t pick everything up for a few different reasons – glitches, the volume inside the store and other things of the like. They want to get your order correct and accurate, so don’t be snippy with them when all they’re trying to do is serve you.
Be Polite – In the end, proper drive-thru etiquette all comes down to politeness. When you’re saying “thank you!” or “have a great day!” that can make the worker’s day! If we forget to give you a straw or a napkin, don’t be rude and say (in a snobby voice) “ummm where’s my straw?” or “are you going to give me a napkin or something?” It is not hard at all to ask kindly, “Oh! May I have a straw and a napkin please?” Or if we accidentally put mocha in instead of caramel, just bring it nicely to our attention, and we’ll make you a new coffee. We want you to be happy with your order!
So whether you’ve been an employee at a drive-thru restaurant or not, I hope this post was able to remind you of the importance of being polite in the drive-thru.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you are or have been a drive-thru worker, I’d love to hear your stories!