8 Polite Habits That Fast Food Employees Secretly Dislike
Making a fast food faux pas is no fun! Here's a look at the most common friendly mistakes—and what to do instead.
Not Correcting a Mistake in the Order
Be as clear as possible when ordering so nothing gets lost in translation. The employee will repeat your order back to you, or you’ll be able to see it on a screen, so make sure everything looks correct. It’s harder to fix once you get up to the window.
Shutterstock / Andrey Burstein
Handing Over Extra Money
Your total is $17, so you give the cashier a $20 and two $1 bills, expecting a $5 in return. It makes things easier on your wallet so you’re not carrying around extra bills, but it’s not always easy for fast food employees to add in that they’ve taken in extra cash—especially if they’re in a hurry.
Waiting at the Drive-Thru Window
The drive-thru at certain chains will have you pull to the side or into designated parking to keep the flow of orders coming. You might think it makes things easier on employees to park and wait at the window instead, but they want you to follow the directions.
Shutterstock / Zabotnova Inna
Creating “Cleaning Up” Trays or Baskets
It’s rude to leave bags and wrappers at your table when you’re eating at a fast food restaurant. But separate the wrappers from the baskets and only throw away the actual trash.
Ordering for the Whole Office
Sure, you’re bringing in big business, but when you order lunch for 10 at a fast food drive-thru, it slows the whole line down. Instead, order inside the restaurant or better yet, call or fax in an order in advance.
Shutterstock / Sorbis
Waiting at the Register for Condiments
If you’re at a fast food spot that has packets of ketchup or hot sauce, ask for them up front instead of standing near the register once you’ve already received your order. This keeps the line moving for everyone else and the employee behind the register won’t have to leave his or her station.
Paying With TONS of Change
You might think you’re doing the cashier a favor, but you probably aren’t. Paying in change can leave your register worker fumbling to count or give you change back, holding up the line. If you absolutely must, make it as easy as possible (using only quarters, for example) and not an assortment of change.
Shutterstock / 8th.creator
Checking Your Drive-Thru Order
Don’t check your order at the window! Pull into a nearby parking spot to make sure you have everything you need. If something ends up being wrong with your food, however, it’s always okay to speak up.