15 Habits You Need To Drop Before You Pull Into Your Next Drive-Thru

15 Habits You Need To Drop Before You Pull Into Your Next Drive-Thru

Drive-thru etiquette is real.

Having worked in a drive-thru for two years now, I have seen plenty of habits people seem to think are acceptable. I am here to tell you that they are not. Here are 15 things you may be doing that your drive-thru workers sincerely wish you'd stop:

1. Ordering from the passenger’s side.

We cannot hear you. It's as simple as that. Our speaker box picks up the noises that are closest to it, and you are not one of those noises. You can scream your order as loud as you'd like, but at the end of the day you could save yourself, your driver, and your drive-thru worker the pain and simply have the person in the driver's seat order for you.

2. Talking to your steering wheel.

This is similar to the previous issue. When you neglect to turn your head to speak towards the speaker box, your order becomes a concoction of muffled noises. Look up from your phone, turn your body away from your steering wheel, and project your words towards the box. Please.

3. Saying “Hello?” before we get the chance to greet you.

There are exceptions to this rule. If you have been waiting at the speaker box for more than 60 seconds and have yet to hear a thing from the worker, it is perfectly acceptable to kindly grab their attention. Sometimes malfunctions can occur and we never receive the "ding" letting us know you're there, or maybe it was simply human error.

However, if you just pulled up to the box three seconds ago, it is not acceptable to ask for the worker's attention. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes. And it is possible that the drive-thru worker is attending to that and is unable to take your order right away. Please be patient.

4. Using pet names.

Unless we know each other personally, please refrain from calling me sweety, honey, babe, or anything else of the sort. You may be genuinely trying to be kind, but it makes many of us uncomfortable and can come across as demeaning.

5. Neglecting manners.

This one is rather broad. It also seems infantile to have to remind people to use their manners. However, if I didn't see it every day I wouldn't feel a need to write about it. Consider the following phrases:

"I need a..."

"I'm gonna have a..."

"Give me a..."

While they may not seem ill-mannered at the surface level, consider a few alternatives:

"May I please get a..."

"I would like to have a ____ please."

Pleases and thank yous will never go out of style. We just ask that you reconsider your word choice before ordering.

6. Dumping your old drink in the drive-thru lane to make room for your new one.

I will admit my guilt: I did this frequently before becoming a drive-thru worker. It wasn't until I saw just how disgusting it made the drive-thru lane appear that I knew I needed to stop this habit. Unless you are dumping water, your beverage dampens the appearance of the lane, will likely create a foul smell, and will now be the job of a worker to clean later that day.

7. Repeating your entire order when we only asked for clarification on one element of it.

Just because I need you to repeat one modification of your order does not mean I did not hear the rest. Trust that we know how to do our job.

8. Treating us like we are incompetent.

This point is closely related to the previous, but it is more all-encompassing. The stereotype that drive-thru workers are dull, unintelligent low-lifes needs to end. I will be graduating a semester early with my Bachelor's and am using this job to get me through school. I work with a Ph.D., college students and graduates, future nurses, mothers, intellectual thinkers, and many other competent human beings. Treat us as such.

9. Not making eye contact with us at the window.

This is just a general rule of respect. If your avoidance comes from social anxiety, make an effort to connect with us in other ways. However, if you simply neglect to so much as look at the person handing you your items, you are communicating to them that they are not worthy of your attention for whatever reason. We are human beings, not machines.

10. Holding out your payment the second you reach the window.

This may be a silly pet peeve, but I know I am not alone. Holding your form of payment out your car window as you pull up sends a message of impatience, even if that is not your intention. Please wait until we greet you to present your payment to us.

11. Expecting us to be able to break your $100 bill.

While this may not apply to all drive-thrus, it applied to a vast majority. We are not a bank, nor are we a large retailer. At the beginning of a shift, we are given a till with a set amount of change in it that will need to last us. We cannot simply break your large bill and expect to have enough change for future customers. It's not common knowledge, so if you have tried in the past there is no ill-will. However, if the worker politely tells you they cannot accept that form of payment, do not get angry with them. That's just the way it is and your attitude will not change that.

12. Driving away from the speaker box immediately after placing your order.

Once again, this communicates impatience. If you drive away without getting confirmation from the drive-thru worker there is no way to ensure they got your order completely correct.

13. Adding to and/or changing things about your order at the window.

Not only are we expected to deliver exemplary customer service, but we are also on a mission to get our customers in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you order something once you get to the window you are throwing this goal off its tracks. It's acceptable at times, especially if you are polite with your request, but we just ask that you be prepared with your entire, correct order at the speaker box.

14. Smoking in the drive-thru.

I am not judging smokers of any kind. That is your lifestyle choice and I respect that. However, I find it very difficult to believe that you cannot curb your urge to smoke for the few minutes you'll be in the drive-thru. You never know what someone may be allergic to, or what can irritate someone, or simply if someone detests the smell of smoke. Show respect and wait to partake in this activity until you are out of the drive-thru.

15. Overall, showing complete disrespect toward the person serving you.

If any of these points are news to you, you are not alone. I do not believe that every person who comes through a drive-thru intentionally does things to irritate or disrespect the workers. However, now that you are equipped with this knowledge you can be a better customer, and we can serve you more efficiently and effectively.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplashed

Popular Right Now

Diplomacy and Revolution

Creating A Federation With The Nation’s 19,505 Cities, Towns, and Villages, And Dissolving The 50 States Of The Union; Will Prevent The United States Of America From Balkanizing As Its Empire Declines.

As it has become undeniable under the current administration of Donald Trump, the United States has entered its imperial decline as a global hegemonic force. The economic stability of the US dollar as a global currency is wavering and the military apparatus that spans the globe is starting to grind under its own contradictions as an occupying force. As these contradictions start to buckle under their own weight, the economic collapse and military retraction in the United States hegemony is an undeniable calculation. As this economic collapse occurs, the need to reorient economic priorities will be an imperative. As our global military network and apparatus starts to evolve and retract as an occupying force, it will require a new examination of what it means to provide the security of persons in the 21st-century. These questions will be placed in needed context, as external forces press the rapid advancement of these changes; as well as domestic forces trying to acclimate to this rapid transition. As we saw in the past with the Articles of Confederation in the late 18th century, the priorities of the states and their self interests and loyalty to wealth and power place the Federal Union of the United States under threat of internal instability and external pressures that will lead to an inevitable crisis unseen in the United States since the days of the Civil War. To avoid these destabilizing factors, the wise attempt to reconstruct the Federal structure of the United States must be applied.

To do this, we must recognize that our democracy is rooted in the diplomacy between various republics; forming the federation that established the Union of the United States of America under the pretext of the Constitution. Diplomacy must be re-oriented on the municipal level to deal with the shifts of modern communication and transportation advancement; so as to avoid Balkanization. We must keep in mind that Federalism, a federation, is a structure that offers the means of ensuring a formalized diplomatic structure between communities. The Iroquois Confederacy in which the United States Union was based off of focused on representation via tribes; this localized format must be present in any transitional new system. Coupled with a format of modern technological development, a federation of municipalities is perfectly plausible for the various communities throughout the entire United States thanks to current communication and transportation systems; with evolving transportation and communication systems increasing the feasibility and ease of such a networked systems.

We have (as of 2015 data) 19,505 cities, towns, and villages in the United States. As the American empire declines, the calculation that economic divisions will spark a disunity internally must be avoided at all cost via re-federalizing. It is perfectly plausible to create a federation out of the 19,505 communities using representation of each in a federal congress. We have sports stadiums that can house tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of spectators; it would be perfectly plausible create a federal congress using such scales of construction. It would also ensure management of sub regional, regional, and super-regional networks that are internal mechanisms used for unifying local and federal systems. Not only will this new federal system prevent Balkanization and disunity of the American people, it will also offer the potentiality for economic reconstruction with the emphasis on self sustainability and self-sufficiency for every community. Utilizing social contracts such as a Second Bill of Rights to provide things such as food, water, energy, infrastructure, knowledge, and productive abilities for every community and every individuals. Living up to the motto of the United States E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One; as well as ensuring life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in the 21st-century.

Our present is not the first time that the United States has risked division, as already mentioned the Articles of Confederation brought us to the edge of a complete breakdown of the Union, which was operating as only a mere confederation at the time. The slave master rebellion of 1861 that ignited what became known as the Civil War brought the United States further to the precipice of disunity. But as the Union has shown to withstand not only internal strife and division brought on by economic stratification, we have developed a federal system that has expanded its influence around the globe. As we wise up to the foolishness of attempting to assert hegemony over the peoples of the world; we will start to recognize that the survivability of our own systems will rely on a new unifying effort. One that will require nothing less than the declaration of a new Federation of the Peoples of America; guaranteed under the Declaration of Independence and Constitution that set forth to lay the foundations of the United States today. With the same mentality of transition between the Articles of Confederation to the Federal Constitution, and with the pretext of legal declaration such as the Emancipation Proclamation; we can avoid repeating the same mistakes in the past through federalizing anew. And through a new Federation, finally creating the principles and ideals that we laid out in our past but have yet to live up to in the present; by becoming at true Union of Peoples.

Cover Image Credit: Shutterstock

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Importance Of Empathy

How just meeting new people can make all the difference in your life

Merriam Webster Dictionary describes “empathy” as, “The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”

During such a time with increasing social, political, and societal divide, a better comprehension of empathy would do wonders to lessen this divide.

Attaining a better sense of empathy allows for one to build upon their perspective and have a better understanding of the people around them. While it may sound too cliche or rudimentary, the best way to build a strong sense of empathy is to explore new things and new people.

In high school I was involved with football, the TV show, the art department, the drama department, the spirit club, etc.. In the fall I attended community college, and now I attend the University of Southern California. I have been able to surround myself with people of different passions, socio-economic backgrounds, and perspectives. All of which makes up a lot of who I am today.

Then while I may have my own preconceived opinions and views, I have fostered some ability to understand the point of views and thought processes of the people around me. Whether it be an privileged high school athlete, or a low-income community college art student, I have been able to interact with people across the spectrum of perspectives.

Surrounding myself with such a variety of people shapes who I am and builds me a stronger sense of self. Then while all these people I have interacted may not be my best friends, nor may I even get along with them all, I at least know where they are coming from and look at them with more than one lens of thought.

From the high school students trying to do something new and build their resume, to the successful college student who just wants to meet some more people outside of their hometown, I cannot stress enough how much getting outside of one’s comfort zone and getting to know people you may have never even spoken to before.

Just by surrounding oneself with a variety of passionate and well-intentioned people, a strong sense of empathy can be fostered. With racial and socio-economic tensions flaring consistently, society would greatly benefit if people just grew better understandings of one another. Once everyone beings to appreciate and value all the different perspectives and point of views that make up this world, a lot could change for the better.

Cover Image Credit: Alexis Brown

Related Content

Facebook Comments