14 Fast-Food Workers Reveal the Customer Habits That Annoy Them the Most
Remember, on the other end of that drive-thru speaker is a human being. Check out the things customers do that make fast-food workers crazy.
Have your order ready
In order to keep this food fast, it helps employees when you have your order ready. “I can’t tell you how many times a car pulls up to the drive-through containing five people, none of whom know what they want. It takes forever and holds up the entire line, angering the cars behind them who take it out on me,” says Marisol, who worked at a McDonald’s for two years.
Set realistic expectations
Fast food isn’t fine dining. While employees generally strive to provide the best service and product possible, the quality is only as good as provided by the franchise. “At a fast food chain, the quality is the same across the board because we’re usually getting our ingredients from the same source,” says Jason, who worked at a variety of fast food chains for three years. “Don’t expect filet mignon when you’re ordering a burger off the dollar menu.”
If the employee on the other end of the drive-thru speaker sounds muffled, imagine how you sound when they’re trying to take your order. Getting annoyed when you need to repeat an order helps exactly no one—least of all, yourself. “We want to get your order right, so we may ask you to repeat yourself to get the details correct,” says Jason. “We’re not trying to insult you when we ask for clarification on an order.”
Special requests are going to take time
If you want your fries “fresh,” it’s going to be a minute (or more). A common grievance among fast-food workers seems to be when customers insist on fresh fries, or try to duck and dodge those they don’t deem fresh by requesting them without salt (which then forces the fry cook to make a separate batch). “Especially during the lunch rush, we’re constantly moving orders along, so the fries are nearly always ‘fresh,’” says Louisa, who worked in fast food throughout high school and college. “If you want something specific, you’re going to have to be patient for it.” Find out how your favorite fast food chains got their names.
Treat others as you want to be treated
“Just because we’re serving you burgers and fries doesn’t mean we’re less of a person than you are,” says Molly, who works part-time at a Carl’s Jr. in California while going to school to earn a bachelor’s degree. “I hate when customers treat me like I’m stupid or beneath them because I’m taking their order.”
Keep your kids in check
Yes, fast food means a casual dining environment, but that doesn’t mean you should leave behind a mess of gigantic proportions. “I’ve seen parents allow their kids to spread ketchup and other condiments all over tables and chairs, not bothering to clean up the mess they’ve made. We are there to clean up after you, but that doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to leave a disaster behind,” says Molly. These are the most convenient fast-food restaurants, according to customers.
Don’t be a Goldilocks
Too hot, too cold—sometimes it seems like no order is ever “just right.” “I’ve had customers complain that their ice cream was too cold,” says Marcus, who has worked at McDonald’s for eight months. Complain all you want; even when your food is made to order, employees may not be able to get your items to your desired temperature. Check out the secret menu items from your favorite fast food restaurants.
Promotions can be the bain of an employee’s existence
When a chain advertises a promotion with free French fries or any other sort of hot commodity, the loser in this situation is almost always an employee who now has to deal with an overwhelming rush of customers. “If there’s a promotion with limited supplies, we almost always run out quickly and then have to deal with angry customers. No one cares about the fine print, somehow we’re responsible,” says John, who worked at several fast food restaurants throughout college.
Don’t complain about the nutritional value
Chances are, if you’re in a fast food establishment, you’re already aware of how healthy or unhealthy their offerings are. Don’t take it out on the employees who didn’t set the menu. “I’m not forcing you to order those French fries, so please don’t complain to me about how we’re the driving force behind the obesity epidemic in our country,” says Marcus. Here are the 9 foods nutritionists never order at fast-food restaurants.
Don’t try to order a competitor’s meal
If you want a specific chain’s special sauce, go to that establishment. “There have been so many times when I’ve had customers ask me to try to recreate the exact burger they get at a competing franchise,” says Marisol. “If that’s what you want, go there instead!” Find out the craziest things drive-through workers have seen on the job.