I’ve written in the past about the need to use the drive-thru or to park the vehicle and go inside to place your order ( http://bit.ly/bqWV9X ). Depending on your needs, you may split the times from doing either. I prefer to park and go inside, but if you feel you want to use the drive-thru, should there be drive-thru etiquette?
Sometimes you may feel you can be quicker using the drive-thru if you notice there are only one or two vehicles in the line-up, but what if they take longer than normal? Would that frustrate you? Would it change your driving mood?
I was recently a passenger in a vehicle when the driver decided to go through the drive-thru to get a couple of coffees. The driver ahead of us decided to place an order that ended up having us wait for 10 to 15 minutes. They had roughly a dozen coffees, plus food orders to go along with that. If they had that much to order, why not park their vehicle and go inside?
With a family of 6 people, I would feel bad using the drive-thru if my order was a little tricky. That would mean a longer wait for the people behind me. If you have an order that you know would take longer than a few seconds, park your vehicle and go inside. Not only would it allow the line up to move along at a decent rate of speed, it will help reduce your waste of fuel. Typically, the proper drive-thru etiquette requires your order to be small enough that by the time you reach the widow, your order should be ready within seconds.
Another part of drive-thru etiquette is having your money ready. How many times have you witnessed the driver ahead spending too much time trying to pay for their order? The window attendant is holding their order out the window for what seems like an eternity, when finally the driver hands them the payment. Why not have it ready before you reach the window? Whether its cash, debit or credit card, have it ready before reaching the payment window. It’s also frustrating for the attendant because they have other order to process after yours.
Being selfish, unthinking, or lazy may be the reason poor drive-thru etiquette needs to be reminded to many drivers. Now, spread the word to help our drive-thru’s become more effective for all users. Maybe this just hasn’t been something people have thought about before.