Drive Thru Etiquette, Ten Unspoken Rules Revealed

Drive Thru Etiquette, Ten Unspoken Rules Revealed

The drive thru is just like the fast checkout lane in the grocery store. It’s there for people who choose not to devote more than 10 minutes doing anything.

What can be worse than pulling up behind a car ordering at the drive through to discover they’ve skipped understanding drive thru etiquette? It’s a mortal lock you, the one who knows drive thru etiquette, just committed to the next five to ten minutes of doing nothing and experiencing an increase in blood pressure.

Why can’t people understand the unspoken rules of drive through etiquette? To help you slow learners, I’ve laid out my unspoken rules list.

First rule: If you have more than one order, go inside. Pulling up to a drive thru speaker with a sheet of paper from the office, with everyone’s order on it is just plain wrong. Everyone that will be sitting behind you during your seven person order is also on a 30 minute lunch and just because you agreed to “fly and they buy” does not warrant breaking this rule. Take your cheap-broke ass inside and place that multi order.

Second rule: There is a two person in the car limit for the drive thru. The drive thru is not a family affair. There is a reason for the height restrictions posted above the menu board. No one wants a bus load of football players holding up the line. The same thing goes for you and your backseat dwellers. If there is the potential that you will have to look over your shoulder and udder the words “what are you getting”, the drive thru is not the place to be. Park and go inside with your Brady bunch crew.

Third rule: Prestudy the menu. I’m going to change your life about drive thru menus… THEY DON’T CHANGE! Fast food restaurants have dumb down the menu so much it’s all a numbers system. Order the number and understand what comes with the number. Asking “what comes on that” is not a question to be presented through a speaker. That’s a face to face question, take your inquisitive ass inside!

Fourth rule: There are only two soda product lines, Coke and Pepsi. If you want a creative drink, this again is another reason to go inside verses using the drive thru. For the love of all things greasy, please understand that Sprite is a Coke product. If you see Pepsi all over the menu you will only get Pepsi products. If you see Coke all over the menu you will only get Coke products. Don’t be that guy who orders a Pepsi with combo #4 and a Sprite on combo #8. You will end up with a Pepsi and a Sierra Mist.

Fifth rule: Anyone under the age of 18 should be barred from the drive thru. I have kids, no matter how much you try to prep them for their order, when you pull up to that speaker and the pimples-crack voice says “how can I help you” kids go brain dead. Their brains shut down and they begin reading the menu. Since they’re kids and their frontal lobes aren’t fully developed, speed reading is not their forte. Go inside and let your little nose miners be distracted by all the shiny objects while you order their star shaped nuggets with apple slices.

Sixth rule: Some states have a department of auto safety that requires vehicles to be in a certain working condition. If your driver side window does not roll down, skip the drive thru. Believe it or not that moment someone with a working window sees you open your door to order, if you listen carefully you will hear gasp coming from the people you’re holding up. Furthermore a non-working window forces you to pull up further giving the people behind you a false depiction of advancement.

Seventh rule: The drive thru speakers hear everything, so turn down your radio (unless you’re listening to FatGuyRadioShow). If you’re waiting for your turn in the drive thru, this is not the opportunity to blast a rock concert from your open car window. No one cares you turn down for what!

Eighth rule: If you’re the cashier at the drive thru, talk into the part of the headset with the holes in it. You want to hear the order clearly, we want to hear you clearly. If there is a misunderstanding, there’s a mistake in the order and in 20 minutes after the order mistake is discovered at the dinner table, you’re now ducking a flying burger and getting cussed out for being an idiot.

Ninth rule: No customization at the speaker. This is not a time for you to specify your 1oz application of ketchup on the top bun with 1.5oz of mustard on the bottom bun. Two thinly sliced tomatoes, no cheese with extra unions and only 75 sesame seeds. Take the damn order as it comes off the menu or go inside with the other choosy ass people.

Tenth rule: Have your bank card or money ready before you order. Fumbling through your beach bag size purse for $17.59 while at the window is unacceptable. Or people with wallets, especially fat guys with wallets. Do the fat guy wallet shimmy before you order. You fat guys know the process, you scoot down, bend at the knees and roll to the side to get your meat hook into your pocket to retrieve your wallet. That process takes a good 45 seconds. If you do that while waiting to order, just think, that’s 45 seconds quicker you can be shoveling those McNuggets into your gullet at the next red light.

The drive thru is just like the fast checkout lane in the grocery store. It’s there for people who choose not to devote more than 10 minutes doing anything.

If everyone understood and implemented these simple unspoken rules, we’d all be happier drive thru customers.