Caitlin Moran
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An Essential Guide to Fast Food Drive-Thru Etiquette

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Why Drive-Thru Workers Hate You

Whatever you do, don’t do this. Seriously.

It can be difficult to deal with the McAssholes of the drive-thru. Nothing’s worse than getting stuck behind a huge van that quite literally has an entire soccer team in it—all with special orders. To make life easier for everyone who just wants a quick eat from their local fast food place, here are some tips for perfect fast food drive-thru etiquette.

1. Don’t talk on the phone

This is more a common courtesy than anything. If you’re on the phone, not only is it going to be longer for you to order, but it’s likely a phone conversation will confuse your cashier, too.

If you’re getting someone’s order via a phone call, make sure you do so before you get to the speaker. Nothing’s worse than thinking you’re going to have a quick trip through the drive-thru, only to discover the person in front of you is ordering for 10 other people, and doesn’t have their orders prepared.

Phone Breaking Gif


2. Get rid of any background noise

Regardless of whether the radio just started playing your favorite jam, or your friend is telling you a great story, eliminate any excess background noise as you order. Even Dean Winchester knows to turn down the jams when he’s ordering his pie.

Supernatural Music Gif

Any noise besides your voice ordering your meal might confuse the cashier, making it more likely for them to get your order wrong. Also, watch what you say—the people inside the restaurant can hear everything that happens around the service speakers.

3. Turn off your windshield wipers

No matter how badly the drive-thru cashier needs a shower, it’s likely he or she doesn’t want a shower from your car. If it’s raining out, as you approach the window turn off your windshield wipers. There’s nothing worse than getting an unwanted rain water shower.



4. Be prepared

Scar says it best:

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You know you’re coming up to the first window to pay. While you’re waiting in line, why not get the money ready to pay for your meal? That way, you cut down on the time everyone else has to wait for you to fish change from the deepest crevices from your car seat.

5. Don’t hit on the cashier

There’s a time and a place for shenanigans. A fast food drive thru is not one of them. If you’re truly in love with the cashier, then wait around for him or her to get off work before unleashing the wonder that is your charm on them. Because I’m sure this isn’t what the cashier wants to see when they’re taking your money from you:

Creepy Guy Smiling

Besides, it’s likely they’re a teenager. That’s just ew.

6. Just leave, already

Get your stuff and go. If you want to double check your order, it’s fine if there isn’t anyone behind you. But when there is a line that is 10 cars long waiting impatiently to get their food, just pull over to the side if you want to make sure they got your order right. That way, if your order is wrong, you can walk back into the restaurant to get it fixed. Exercise = good. Especially if you’re about to down a Wendy’s Baconator.

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