In the midst of a hectic Fall schedule, you may find yourself in need of an afternoon pick-me-up, whether that be a pumpkin spice latte or a root beer float.
Before you find yourself frustrated with others as you wait in line, here are some drive thru etiquette tips to keep your manners in check:
- Pull forward and pay attention. If an imaginary car can fit between you and the car in front of you, move forward. By leaving space between, you aren’t allowing those behind to be able to put in their orders. If you simply cannot refrain from Facebooking or Instagramming your dinner, pull aside after you’ve gotten your food and update away.
- Take the larger orders inside. If you happen to be putting in a large order for your office, family or friends, it’s best to do so inside. This allows the store to keep taking orders while you wait, instead of holding up the drive-thru line.
- Have your order ready. For the cashier’s sake, and the people waiting behind you, be ready with your order. There is usually a menu waiting before you get to the order box, and there is always a menu online that you can read before you leave or via your smartphone while you wait.
- Loud and clear. When giving your order, speak up and enunciate your words. This also means turning your music down, and politely asking your passengers to be quiet as you lean out the window. The crew can only hear as well as you speak, so don’t give them a reason to miss your full order.
- Payment. They give you the price of your order for a reason, so have it ready by the time you get to them. If you are paying by card, pull it out while giving your order. If paying by cash, avoid the urge to pay the “exact amount” by digging out your pennies. The same goes for large bills…most won’t be accepted.
- Don’t change languages. Just because you are in a Taco Bell drive-thru line doesn’t mean you have to speak Spanish. Especially if all you know how to say is “Si” and “No”. It’s not funny, or entertaining to hold the line up with your antics. Place your order and get moving to the next window. The person taking your order, and the passengers in your vehicle, will both thank you!
- Get off your cell phone. Pay attention to getting through the line and don’t call home to read the menu to your kids while everyone behind you is waiting for them to decide between chicken nuggets and a cheeseburger.
- Designate one person to place the order. Rather than everyone in the car yelling out their orders from the back seat, write it down before you push the button.
- Tip generously. If you are at a place where tips are accepted and encouraged, tip up rather than down. Leaving behind your 6 cents does not constitute a gesture of goodwill. You may not want to leave 20%, but you should leave at minimum a dollar to the person who skated out to your car, went back to get you an extra cup to share your milkshake, and then had to make one more trip to get you more ketchup!