Working in fast food can require some serious self-control, mostly when dealing with the customers. I have worked in fast food for about four years and have had my fair share of trials. Here I am going to compile a list of things we as fast food employees find pretty irritating, but we do our best to hold back our feelings when working. Not all of these are from my personal experience. I asked my closest coworkers about their pet peeves in the business. So, mixing those with mine, here are 21 things we secretly cannot stand.
1. When a customer says "Hello?" at the drive-thru speaker after the employee says the greeting.
This happens more often than you think. Sometimes it's even an "I'm sorry?" as if they expect us to say something else besides our robotic drive-thru greeting we are supposed to say every time someone pulls up to the menu. It's funny at first, but after a while, it really makes you huff as a drive-thru worker.
2. Having to take more than two separate orders in a drive-thru.
Usually, this isn't irritating depending on the customers. If each person in the car knows what they want, we are so grateful and it makes the process a lot smoother. But most of the time you have people start out by saying how many orders they have before sitting at the menu and waiting for every person in the car to look at the menu. It's a lot more convenient for the entire lot of people to come inside and take it to-go.
3. A customer adding something to their order when they pull up to the window.
I get it, maybe you got that last minute text from your friend that they forgot they wanted a certain item. No matter what reason you add something at the window, it's frustrating. If it's something simple like a drink or a cup of water, that's fine. But adding a whole other meal, or something that we have to drop in the fryer, really messes with our time average we try to keep at a good number during our shifts.
4. Employee: "Hi! How are you?" Customer: "...."
If an employee is going out of their way to show you kindness, show it back!
5. Customers who hold their hand out right after they give their payment while they wait for change and receipt.
This makes you look so impatient and it can make an employee really nervous to be quite honest. Our goal is to be fast, yes. However, we also want to be accurate. We want to ensure we give you the correct change back or make sure your card goes through smoothly.
6. When separate orders in a drive-thru turn out to be paid in the same cash or card.
If you're paying with the same cash or the same card, then you don't have separate orders. You have one order. It honestly surprises me how often this happens.
7. Parking too far from the drive-thru window.
When this happens, I wish I was Elasta-Girl from The Incredibles. I sometimes have to step on a shelf just to get more than half of my body out the window to hand customers what they need.
8. Drive-Thru Employee: "What to drink?" Customer: "Large drink."
Specify what you want!!!
9. "I would like the number one combo. The $4.99 one."
We don't need to know the price. Just tell us what number and what size. That's easier for us to get the order done quicker.
10. Not taking your ticket/order number.
At some fast food restaurants, lobby customers are given a number so we know who to hand it out to. Lots of customers leave their number in front of the register or throw away their receipt that had the number on it. Be sure you know who you are so we can serve you what you ordered!
11. When a customer gets mad when we can't hear them at the speaker.
Sometimes police or ambulance cars ride by, or a lawn mower is going off next door. Other times maybe the customer is speaking really low. If we can't hear you and ask to repeat your order or to speak up, don't take it personally. We want to be sure we get your order right!
12. Asking for too many sauces.
Everyone loves some good honey mustard with their nuggets. But do you really need five cups of it for a five-piece nugget?
13. "Can I get that fresh?"
Not sure why this annoys me so much, but it does. Especially when it's through a drive-thru and it's pretty obvious we are busy. If we are busy, trust me, it will be fresh.
14. Parents letting kids order.
The majority of the time, kids don't know what they want. It's so difficult taking a kid's order, especially at the drive thru. However, I will admit, sometimes it's pretty adorable. It's a hit or miss.
15. Customers staring at you through the closed drive thru window while waiting on their order.
It's so unsettling, just don't do it. Although, it's not as unsettling as the next item on this list.
16. Customers who caress your hand as they give or receive their money.
We already have to take sweaty boob money. Don't make it worse.
17. Being degraded by a customer for working in fast food.
I mean... someone's gotta do it, right?
18. Cashier being blamed for food not coming out in time.
It's the kitchen's fault, not mine. If I'm just standing there, it's because I'm waiting impatiently as much as you are.
19. Not driving off after the customer gets all their food so they can eat a fry or check to make sure everything is there.
We have service times we are trying to keep low. Goooooooooo!
20. Regular customers who complain every time.
By the third time, it's a bit obvious you're trying to get free stuff. If not, why come back if you find something wrong every time? Kind of a waste of money and time.
21. Having to hear the passenger side of the car interrupt the driver who is taking the order.
And every time they do, they're always upset about something the employee on headset said.