So I'm a crew member at Dunkin' Donuts, which basically means I work as both a cashier and food service employee. It's a fast-paced job, so I service many customers throughout my shift. But despite the "fast food" aspect of my position, over time, I've gotten to know customers, specifically their mannerisms and attitude when ordering, as well as the overall aura they give off when they walk into the restaurant. And I'm sure that I'm not the only fast food service worker who's recognized their customer demographic. So by compiling this list, I'd like to offer my personal experience on this subject to others in the fast food service industry in order for all of us to provide the best accommodation possible to customers.
1. The Busybody
Office-work-style outfits, Bluetooth earpieces and smartphones galore, the Busybodies represent the caffeine-fueled workaholic image. These customers can be seen striding to the order counter, both while calling work personnel and conducting sonic-speed-worthy texting. Despite being in mid-conversation over the phone, they place their order to the cashier, but don't be too impressed with their multitasking ability just yet. Their strive to achieve that intricate balance of speaking to multiple parties falls short as they become too engrossed in talking to one person or the other, thus causing general confusion between the customer, cashier and client alike. Nonetheless, kudos to them for making the effort to increase their productivity level.
2. The Guardian
Toddlers, strollers and diaper bags in tow, the Guardians approach the order counter looking (and acting) as if they've just ran a marathon with ankle weights attached to their legs. As they place their order—often accompanied by a humorous justification of needing all that caffeine due to their extremely active toddlers—their kids' eyes widen and their mouths open in slight awe as they take in the glorious sight of pastry racks lined with colorful donuts glazed to sweet perfection. Finger pointing and tuggings at the sleeves are common actions among these children upon viewing these delectables, and they beg their Guardian that they must simply have that chocolate donut topped with chocolate curls and a caramel drizzle. Tired, stressed and exasperated, the Guardians' immunity to their kids' whining tends to weaken at Dunkin' Donuts, and they cave in to buy that donut their little ones so "desperately" desired. At least they'll soon have coffee to perk them right back to their true parental selves—a prime time when their kids' sugar rushes kick in.
3. The Newbie
As the literal spinoff of the Guardian archetype, the Newbies seem to want to do anything but place an order at the counter. Bearing youthful faces scarcely visible to the cashier due to their short height, a single tip-toed glance downwards past the counter to peer at these young customers makes it clear that they're genuinely frightened to order, because, well, they're children, so it's most likely their first or one of their first times buying something. Guardians are often seen standing off to the side, beaming as their children take their first steps in becoming socially acquainted with society. Although the Newbies' voices start off shaky and quiet, their confidence builds up by the conclusion of their order, and they provide the cashier with the proudest, cutest "bye-bye!" as they leave with the counter with their order.
4. The Gaggle
While all of these customer "types" are the most common, the Gaggle is by far the most obvious, both in appearance and in number. Clad with backpacks, basic driver's' licenses and smartphones, these groups of high-school-aged customers like to pull the one-person-orders-so-it's-valid-for-us-to-loiter trick during open lunch or after school, leading to small herds of noisy teenagers milling around the order pickup counter while discussing the latest diss their "savage" teacher made to their classmate second period or recounting the internet's most iconic Vines through impromptu group reenactments. Their orders are as nuanced and complex as their teenage selves. On some occasions, groups would crowd at the order counter and voice what they want one at a time, with each listening to the last person who ordered so as to gage what they themselves should get. Most times, it ends up being the same or similar order, replicated several times over to accomodate for each person in the group. When it comes to the Gaggle, groupthink is a clear given, but seeing that being at Dunkin' Donuts grants them quality bonding time, it's a trait that can be waived.
5. The Time-Savvy
Time-Savvies are the masters of drawing out how long it takes to place an order. With many falling into the retirement-level age range, these customers treat the ordering process as though they have all the time in the world to do so, because, well, they do. Cashiers must have plenty of patience as the Time-Savvies slowly and gingerly take their reading glasses out of their purses and squint to read aloud the entire menu board to make sure they don't want anything else before finally ordering. However, this process is never complete without them stating what they want several times over, followed by asking the cashier to slowly read back what they punched into the register...twice (and don't forget that Time-Savvies pay the amount due by counting out individual dollar bills and coins on the spot)! But regardless of the slight sense of impatience they induce for both the cashier and the now-growing line of customers, there's an unspoken understanding between the non-Time-Savvy parties to respect their elders, and I respect that.
6. The Royal Loyal
The Royal Loyals, otherwise known as the "regulars", make their trip to Dunkin' Donuts a crucial part of their daily routine. There's no need for them to voice their presence or their order, as simple saunter up to the order counter while already holding out the amount due, following which they'd stand either without saying anything or saying everything besides the actual order itself (jokes, stories, small talk) to the other workers, automatically classifies the Royal Loyals as the top hierarchical tier of customer service. Orders vary in complexity; some prefer a just small black coffee while others enjoy six tablespoons of sugar, four tablespoons of cream and an extra shot of espresso inside an extra-large cup of hot joe that must be poured from a freshly brewed batch all the way to the rim (despite the burn risk involved in overfilling hot drinks). The Royal Loyal must crane their head around the counter to ensure the crew member makes their drink just the way they like it. And if what they see isn't to their standard, their voiceless or joking demeanor would immediately diminish, and be replaced by one of annoyance. But regardless of their humbleness or extravagance, it's essential that cashiers address them with the same sense of kindness and respect that all customers should be treated by.
7. The Listicle
Just as how this article lists the most common types of customers fast food service cashiers come across, Listicles treat their orders as such. As they approach the counter while looking at a phone or piece of paper in their hand, they take a deep, shaky breath as if what they're about to say will be long-run, and rub the bridge of their nose out of what appears to be distress. And it most definitely is: As they squint at their reading medium, they rattle off a lengthy order—impressively all in one breath—before again sighing a deep breath of relief and offering a "it's for my family" remark along with a weary smile. From the cashier's perspective, servicing Listicles always provides a fairly amusing experience as this type of customers tend to act like a fish out of water while ordering. But, it's also important to note that most cashiers have too experienced being a Listicle at one point in their lives or another, so it's important to maintain a sense of empathy when taking their orders.