drive thru

Some Friendly Tips for Ordering at a Drive-thru

I work in a Starbucks with a drive-thru and I feel like almost nobody knows how to properly order at one and be relatively polite about it. Therefore I have collaborated with a few friends and comprised this user-friendly list of basic rules:

  • Be patient.
  • Be polite.
  • Don’t cuss.
  • You don’t have to scream. If you speak clear and plain English in an audible tone, they will hear you.
  • Some people try to simplify their orders, but actually end up making it 1000X more complicated. Example: “I want 10 cheeseburgers one with no onion one with mayo one with extra ketchup,” and so on. This can be confusing to the person taking the order because 1) the person ordering is probably talking as fast as they possibly can and 2) they have to hit a bunch of modifier buttons on each separate item and that’s not how most drive thru systems work. To make it easier, try ordering each item one at a time. Example: “I need a cheeseburger with no onion. I need another cheeseburger with mayo. I need another cheeseburger with extra ketchup,” and so on.
  • Turn your music down.
  • Talk at a normal pace. You don’t have to say the order in a certain amount of time. You’re talking to a human on the other end. If you speak in a normal speed they will hear you better and get all the details of your order in much easier.
  • PLEASE don’t drive off before the person taking your order can confirm it or complete a sentence. That’s very RUDE and it may cause your order to get fucked up. Sometimes it’s necessary to repeat the order back so they know they’ve got it right. 
  • Sometimes it’s really hard to hear on the headset, so don’t get frustrated when they ask you to repeat your order. They’re just trying to make sure you get what you want.
  • Making any kind of high-pitched screeching noises or otherwise loud sounds not related to your order is completely unnecessary and rude. That shit hurts our ears.
  • If you smoke, TRY not to blow it in the face of the person at the window. It’s hella rude and gross, plus some people are even allergic to that.
  • You know you’re going to pay us. At least have your wallet out.
  • If it’s raining turn off your wipers. You’re in a car in a drive thru and we’re the ones getting soaked.
  • Treat drive thru workers like people, not robots/drones/slaves.
  • Say thank you.
  • If you’re sitting anywhere in the car that isn’t the drivers seat, don’t yell over the car to the person taking the order. It’s literally impossible to hear you. Have the person sitting in the drivers seat order. We can hear them 200% better.
  • Don’t complain about the prices. We have zero control over that. If you don’t like the price of something, don’t buy it. No one is forcing your hand.
  • When a car full of people is laughing and giggling, it’s not only hard to understand what the order is, but we also tend to think you’re laughing at us, even if you’re not. Just don’t. 
  • Please don’t get angry with us for suggestive selling. Our bosses make us do it and we could care less if you buy a cookie.
  • DON’T CUSS. 

I’ve worked in a drive thru for several years and find most of these to be pretty common sense. But for those who’ve never worked in one I guess they may not think of certain things (like how yelling hurts our ears, who’d have thought?). 
I hope this has been informative.

Credit to killing-ginny-weasley and nerdprincess08 for contributing their ideas.