Drive-Thru Etiquette for Fast Ordering

Drive-Thru Etiquette for Fast Ordering

Drive-thru restaurants are essential and convenient for people who want a quick snack or who wish to avoid the long lines inside a fast food restaurant. Not only is it crucial that restaurants provide a great first impression for their customers, but that customers also practice some basic etiquette standards that should be applied while going through a drive-thru. Practicing polite manners will go a long way to ensure effective customer service and friendly transactions.

First, check your wallet and have your payment method ready before reaching the drive-thru lane. Trying to search for and dish out change from the deepest crevices of your car seat at the last minute may hold up the line and other customers’ orders.

Once you’ve entered the drive-thru lane, pause and remember that the main objective here is: delicious, fast food delivery. Wrap up your cell phone conversation before entering the line or at least ask the person you’re talking to, to hold on while you place your order. If you’re calling home to see if anyone wants something, do so before entering the drive-thru lane. Trying to gather everyone’s order by phone as you’re actively ordering creates a delay for you as well as everyone in line behind you.

Turn down the volume and try to eliminate any background noise. Excess noise may interfere with hearing the order. The employees need to hear the actual order, not what you are listening to in your car. If the restaurant has a drive-thru speaker behind the counter for the food line, people ordering inside can hear everything that happens around the service speaker – so yes, your conversation with your passengers can be picked up by the drive-thru employees.

It’s polite to know what you’re going to have before you come to the speaker box. Pondering and thinking while at the speaker wastes the employee’s time, as well as the time of the people behind you.

You’ll always want the food line to know exactly what you want so speak loudly and clearly when ordering. If there is any miscommunication or if something is wrong with your order, you may need to go into the restaurant to change it after you leave the drive-thru lane. Have one person talk into the speaker instead of several people shouting out their orders from the vehicle. Avoid the extra trip inside the restaurant and just be sure to verify each item or meal before leaving the speaker.

Treat the drive-thru line like an ATM machine and thoughtfully leave space between your car and the vehicle in front of you. Have respect for those around you and move forward when they do.

And, finally, thank the drive-thru employees. A smile, a pleasant nod and a thank you go a long way.