There are so many things your fast food worker won’t tell you because their job forbids them to. One of these annoying things includes the ‘polite’ habits customers sometimes do. I know what you’re thinking: “polite habits”?
What about all those things like throwing trash on the floor, or letting your kids run through the restaurant? I guess they dislike that, too. But today we’re going to talk about those things that you believed to be helpful, but in fact, they are exactly the opposite of that. And don’t blame yourself for doing any of these things, because it’s safe to say that we all did it at some point!
Stop doing these things when you eat at a fast-food restaurant:
Not correcting a mistake in the order
When you decide to order, make sure you say everything you want as clearly as possible, so nothing gets lost in translation. The employee is obliged to repeat your order back to you, or you will easily watch it on screen, so make sure you have everything you need up there.
If you don’t, be quick to notice and say. Otherwise, it will be way more difficult to fix it once you get up to the window. It’s better to be extra focused for a couple of minutes at first than to wait more and make everyone wait too much for your order to be fixed. It’s easier for you, for the employee, and for the ones waiting in line altogether!
Handing over extra money
So you ordered food that’s worth a total of $17, and you give the cashier a $20…and then two $1 bills, so you can get the rest of the $5 bill in return. Unless you both agree on this, the only person who finds this useful is you.
We get that it makes things easier when it comes to your wallet, as you don’t carry around extra cash, but it’s not always just as easy for fast-food employees to add in that they have taken in extra cash, and this applies even more if they’re in a hurry because others are waiting in line as well.
Waiting at the drive-through window
There are some drive-throughs in certain fast-food places that will ask you to pull to the side or into designated parking spots to keep the flow of orders coming. While you might think that it makes things a lot easier on employees to park and wait at the window instead, what they really want is for you to follow the directions.
While it’s somehow understandable for you to seek the best and most rapid option for you to get out of there, it’s highly important to respect the rules as much as possible. I bet some people really thought everything through, and those directions actually make sense.
“Cleaning up” trays or baskets
Unless the trash can is completely loaded, there’s no point whatsoever for you to leave bags and wrappers at your table when you decide on eating out at a fast-food restaurant. Separate the wrappers from the baskets and throw away the actual trash.
Ordering for the whole office
I know what you’re thinking: you’re about to bring in serious money. I personally thought that myself a couple of times! However, when you order lunch for ten at a fast-food drive-through, it might slow the whole line down. As an alternative, you can order inside the restaurant or even better, call in an order in advance. This way, you’ll give employees plenty of time to prepare your order.
Waiting at the register for condiments
If you’re going to a fast-food spot that has packets of ketchup and hot sauce, it’s best if you ask for them upfront. The last thing you should do is stand near the register after receiving your order, as you might risk blocking the line and getting everyone annoyed by it.
Instead, if you ask for the condiments right away, it will keep the line moving for everybody and the employee behind the register won’t have to leave her station to come and get you your condiments.
Paying with TONS of change
While you might believe you are doing the cashier a solid favor, you probably aren’t. Paying only in change might leave the register worker fumbling to count or hurrying to give your change back, which only holds up the line even more.
If you definitely must pay with change, at least try to make things as easier as possible, and use only quarters, not an assortment of change. John Frigo, for example, worked in the industry, as a fast-food drive-through employee for many years, and finds this habit extremely vexing.
He even said that he’s “not so sure if [paying with exact change] is even a polite thing for my sake, or customers want to get rid of change, but it’s extremely annoying [to have to be] hanging out the window in the cold, waiting two minutes to wait for someone to get rid of all their pennies”.
Checking your drive-through order
Try as much as possible not to check your order at the window. Instead, pull into a nearby parking spot to make sure that you have everything you need and order. However, if you notice that something is missing or there’s something wrong with your food, you should definitely speak up.
Letting others pass you while you decide your order
According to Gianetta Palmer, who worked in the industry of fast food service for eight years, you should definitely have an idea of what you want to eat or read the menu before deciding to get in the line. “As someone who worked in a pizza joint, I was getting so annoyed with someone who couldn’t make up their mind.
They would do nothing but stand there reading the menu board, up until the point a line would form, and then let people move in from of them, apologizing the whole time. “These people might think they’re being polite, and even that they practice good etiquette if they let people go in front of you.
However, truth is that the really polite thing to do is to decide beforehand. The employee can be put in a very difficult situation when having a customer who’s constantly hovering by the counter, trying to make up their mind.”
What if the employee wants to do something in the back, such as remove food from the oven or check on something, but can’t leave because there’s a ‘potential’ customer that might go away? It’s unfair!
Using their first names
This is a situation that highly depends on the employee, as some of them might really see it as a sign of politeness. However, former Carl’s Jr. and Pizza Hut employee, James Cobb, RN, MSN, believes that using first names only makes things uncomfortable.
“You’re forcing me to be familiar. We haven’t been introduced.” Some fast-food employees might wear name tags, but there are times when it can be quite unnerving to hear someone you don’t really know addressing you by your first name.
The way Cobb sees it, first names are only reserved for friends and acquaintances, not so much for strangers.” However, note that it’s completely different when the server tells you their name, as opposed to someone who has a name tag on.
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