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What is your top pet peeve when going through a chain restaurant drive thru?

I'm torn between the Burger King that never puts in ketchup, salt or even Napkins into the bag unless you specifically ask for it (and don't bother asking at the order window/speaker, it won't happen), and the guy in front of me who gets his food, pulls up about 3 feet, then goes through his entire bag to make sure its right, oblivious to the long line of cars behind him waiting that can't pull forward enough to reach the window.

How about you? Any drive thru window pet peeves?

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  1. I hate it when they give me someone else's order and I forget to check until it's too late.

    1. I hate it when they forget ONE thing, like fries or something small enough that you don't necessarily notice it until you've already pulled away. Grrrr.

      It also drives me crazy if they don't make sure the lids are firmly on the drinks before they hand them to you. I've ended up wearing soda more than once because of that one.

      1. I've had so many wrong orders that I always check my bag. If there is a car behind me, I DO pull up enough for them to get to the window though. If there's an error, I can go around to the drive-in again.

        The thing that drives me nuts is getting money back. They always hand you the bills then drop the coins on top. So if you don't grab it just right, the coins fall on the ground. I sure can't get out of my car at a drive thru so I'm out of luck. I worked retail for years and was trained (and in turn trained others) that the coins go into the hand first, THEN the bills. That way the coins are cupped in your hand not sliding off of the paper.

        2 Replies
        1. re: why_itsme

          The change issue isn't relegated to FF joints by any means. I've gotten irritated enough at times to stop the cashier and explain this very concept. ("Remember a second ago when I handed you coins before paper? Wasn't that an easy way to do it? OK, now you try!")

          1. re: why_itsme

            You sure hit a pet peeve of mine!! and as Pylon says, its not limited to FF Joints. Don't people think?? Oops, silly question,

          2. Aside from wrong/missing food, I hate when they don't put napkins. There's a McD's that I (embarrassingly) frequent these days and they NEVER put napkins in the bag, and sigh when you dare ask for them.

            6 Replies
            1. re: irishnyc

              Get on line and send a message to the corporate headquarters with the time and location. McDonalds policy is that there should be one napkin for each food item in the bag. If you keep clocking this outlet they will hear about it.
              (clocking: reporting, calling them out)

              1. re: KaimukiMan

                I've done so almost every time it's happened. No change. And If I dare ask for napkins, I get the dirtiest of looks.

                1. re: irishnyc

                  once when i complained online about the sweet tea flavor change at my mcdonald's, i got an email from corporate AND a call from the local outlet's management!

                  1. re: alkapal

                    I called my local store to complain that with their breakfast sandwiches the English muffins never were as nicely toasted as at other locations. The manager called me, said they'd checked their toasters and re-set them and then offered me 2 free sandwiches to come back and try out the changes.

                    1. re: Atahualpa

                      i'd call that great customer service! one has to roll that into decisionmaking when evaluating where to eat amongst competing places -- at all price points.

                      1. re: Atahualpa

                        Great, intelligent management.
                        The 2 free sandwiches were nothing compared to getting you back in and you spreading the word about how well you were treated.
                        Love businesses like that and it's a shame more don't think that way however in this economy it most likely will separate the smart from the not-so-smart.

              2. One major annoyance is the "we don't have that/ran out"....after waiting and waiting in a drive-thru line-up to finally get to the speaker and ask for a regular item, that they are for no apparent reason, out of. Then feeling like an idiot when I simply drive away empty handed.

                1. My top pet peeve is that drive-throughs exist in the first place. I've taken part in successful efforts in my community to block their construction.

                  They encourage people to sit in long lines with the engine running instead of parking, getting out and walking a few feet: great, more greenhouse gases.

                  They produce more garbage than eat-in meals. Often in front of my house I find myself picking up the remnants of a "happy meal" thrown out of someone's car and onto the street, bag and all.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: Leonardo

                    Having no idea what the person is saying due to , non-English, bad speaker, or just not give a crap. Are they asking me if , I want fries with that, ?Do you want to try the special ? Do you want to Super Size?
                    Remember the " Peanuts" cartoons on TV when an adults speak.....WaaaWaaWaa
                    Need I say more

                    1. re: HotMelly

                      Oh Melly, I am so with you an this! The Waawaawaa peanuts voice drives me nuts. That and the speed talkers that start offs with "welcometojackintheboxwouldyouliketotryournewburgerwithbbqsauceandaddanorderofspicyfriesandashake?"
                      All said in one breath over a scratchy speaker. I gave up and go inside. Forget it. I want to see who I am ordering from and look at the food before I get out of there.

                      1. re: danhole

                        Yes; you guys are right. If I can finally understand the person on the speaker, sometimes he asks (after I order a hamburger) ..."do you want cheese on that?" to which I respond, "No, if I wanted that, I would order a cheeseburger." Wife says I am obnoxious, but so be it.
                        While we are at it, hats off to lots of the McDonald's who now have a live person outside taking orders and relaying them to kitchen. I live in Florida where the weather makes that possible, but anyway, THANKS McDONALD'S

                        1. re: steakman55

                          Do you know that some of the drive-through people (not outside obviously) at McD's are actually in a different state than the store where one is ordering one's food?? I think I read that in Friednman's "The World is Flat."

                    2. re: Leonardo

                      Reminds me of a McDonalds CNBC special just before the Olympics from China. They just started adding drive thru's to some McDonalds and people would go to the drive thru get their food, park the car and go eat it inside the restaurant. They weren't aware the drive thru was to get your food and drive off.

                      Drive Thru Pet Peeves:
                      1) I think its faster to go inside to get your food then drive off.
                      2) Yesterday in Los Angeles it was pouring rain and opening my window to order and pick up my food I got soaking wet.
                      3) Can never hear or understand what they're saying through the speaker.
                      4) The car in front of you doesn't have their money ready.

                      1. re: monku

                        I remember seeing that special. Too funny. Guess we take some knowledge for granted in our daily lives.

                      2. re: Leonardo

                        The greenhouse gas argument is a rabbit hole in which, all semblence of a rational discussion about FF drive thru pet peeves will certainly get lost.

                        along with pointless tangents like greenhouse gases, the LItering(read: illegal) point is a red herring.

                        now, back OT, the thing I hate about a FF drive thru is ordering, getting your food and realizing that everything in the bag SUCKS!!!! happens at almost all drive thu's all the time! sad, funny, and true all at once.

                        1. re: Leonardo

                          Thank you for saying so, Leonardo.

                          Aside from the greenhouse gases, the whole waste of fuel was something ingrained in us in the 70's with the gasoline "shortage". We were told running the engine even for a minute at the stoplight was bad and to turn it off and restart once the light turned green...if we did that and did not use as much fuel, then there would not be a shortage. We did not have drive throughs for fast food or even the bank, although I do remember drive through dairy places-more of a necessity?

                          Apparenly that worked well. 30 years later, last summer, when prices went up, there was no mention of a shortage, nor much mention on how to save on using fuel.

                          There were lines of 13 cars for at In-N-Out right next to a Del Taco with six cars next to a Starbucks with a line of nine cars. This as in San Diego, not in a bad weather area of the contry at all.

                          It showed me that there really was no recession or people willing to try to save -money or the earth- in any way. '

                          I don't do drive throughs. I find it amusing to walk past the line of cars go inside, order get my order and pass directly in front of the car I passed walking into the place.

                          1. re: Leonardo

                            I was going to say that my pet peeve is that it reminds me what a car-dependent fat ass I am, but I actually never use drive-thrus.

                            1. re: Leonardo

                              I agree with Leonardo. I hate that drive-throughs even exist. New ones aren't allowed anymore in my city (Toronto) but there's an existing one about two blocks from me. It causes traffic chaos and I also often find a bag of left-over "happy meal" in front of my house too, never mind the emissions-from-cars-idling issue in a residential area.

                              1. re: Leonardo

                                Yes!! When I saw this thread, I had to respond, because my pet peeve with drivethrus is THEIR EXISTENCE! I lived across the street from a McDonald's drivethru for a year. My front porch faced the drive thru window, and I had a lot of fun observing several things:
                                1) People who go through the drivethru, then pull into a parking spot and eat their food in their car while it's running (presumably to keep the AC on...this was in Louisiana).
                                2) People who waited in the HUGE lines for the drivethru (wrapping around the building and into the street at rush times), despite the fact that there were no to few cars parked in the lot.
                                3) People who honk incessantly and/or yell at those in front of them. I witnessed 2 fights in which drivers exited their cars and police were called. Most arguments seemed to be started because the driver in the rear was angry the driver in the front had ordered too much food, slowing down the line.
                                4) People who skip the trash can conveniently located at the end of the drive thru lane, choosing instead to just toss it out the window, sometimes just before or just after the trash can, almost purposefully missing it, it seemed. My lawn had McDonald's trash on it every single day.
                                5) People who stop their cars a few feet after the window, get out, walk BACK to the drive thru window and proceed to yell, scream, and throw tantrums (and once, the bag of food) because their order was wrong.
                                Consequently, I completely understand why residents would try to block proposed drive-thrus. And I always get out of my car and walk the few feet to the door when I visit fast food joints.

                                1. re: RosemaryHoney

                                  let me get this correct. You bought a house across from a McD's, and then got angy it was there?

                                  1. re: nkeane

                                    Uh...no. I rented a house across from a McDonald's, and I wasn't angry it was there. Mostly, I was amused. But that's probably because I was only renting, and knew I'd only be there a year. However, after living there, I do understand why people try to block drive-thrus from moving onto their streets. If I owned a house and found out McDonald's wanted to build a drive-thru across the street? Yeah, I'd probably be angry and try to stop it. There are some towns that have sucessfully argued against allowing drive-thrus, and you know what? The fast food joints usually still move in, just sans drive-thru.

                              2. I agree with KaimukiMan, and i'm sorry, and with all due respect, there are some majorly haughty attitudes going on in this thread. Drive-thrus have their places, not only to be a breeding ground for "large arsed" (really?) people, but occasionally for a coffee in a hurry, or when it's cold (it's been -30 a few times here lately, I really don't want to get out of my car thanks, until I have to), sometimes for a salad, or a sandwich, or maybe just a soft drink. I've seen many smaller local franchises selling VERY healthy items, as well as a few gourmet coffee shops and the like, with drive thru windows.

                                These places are (and were for me) a way for many people to make money, either due to the times we're living in, for extra pocket money, or to help with college costs (as was my case).

                                I'd also like to add, that on the odd occasion that I stop at a drive-thru, I DON'T talk down to those working the window, and I tip. And I've actually seen a couple of people who *gasp* appear to enjoy working there.

                                I'm also somewhat amused to see comments on greenhouse gases in the same forums that have talked about driving an hour or more to get to a sought after restaurant.

                                14 Replies
                                1. re: im_nomad

                                  nomad, do we all speak in one unified voice here? Do all Chowhounders "drive an hour or more to a a sought-after restaurant"? I doubt it. I, for one, don't. Incorporating sustainability, at least to me, is part of my eating philosophy. I usually walk/bike/public transport to eat. While I don't presume to speak for other Chowhounders, here in Portland I'm hardly a freak of nature on this subject.

                                  Car culture is not the answer to our problems...it IS the problem (first and last time I'll paraphrase Reagan!). Just because a place is "a way for many people to make money", if the social/environmental/public health/noise pollution/etc cost is too high, with a little imagination we can find other ways to make money. I hear the same arguments as yours used surrounding building new freeways thus promoting suburban sprawl, something else we've blocked here because they destroy established neighborhoods.

                                  Besides, I've notice many times that I was served faster by walking in rather than driving through.

                                  1. re: Leonardo

                                    I know it may have seemed as such, but my comment was not specifically targetted at you. I do try to do my part for the environment, and i applaud anyone's efforts to do so. I feel a little uneasy with the "not in my neighborhood" however.

                                    Unfortunately, for some of us, car culture (without really knowing the full extent of what that means), is a necessity. We don't all have the good fortune or choose to live in a large city centre with public transit, or anything within biking / walking distance. I recently got transferred and have to make a 140km round trip on the highway every day. There is no public transit, it's a small workforce and I can't carpool, and i'm not exactly up for walking or biking that distance every day.

                                    I currently live in a very small town that was a short drive from my old work place, but also sorely lacking in any restaurants, grocery stores etc. I cook a lot at home, but again if i wanted to even get a lot of the ingredients I want, I have to drive up to an hour (and two if i want the really good stuff). So occasionally (also because I live alone in this pokey town and would go nuts if I didn't leave once in a while), I drive to the nearest city, as I did yesterday to go to the farmers market, and a restaurant with a friend for lunch. At least I made a day out of it I suppose.

                                    OK, so i didn't mean to go so far off topic, but I guess I don't see as many glaring differences between a drive thru (they're not all McD's or BK), and going to a restaurant (for those who still have to drive I mean )

                                    And Kaimuki....I hear ya....I don't get it either.

                                    1. re: Leonardo

                                      That I'm at a chain! I'm part of the car culture, but not part of the chain culture.

                                      1. re: Leonardo

                                        And Reagan did so much to change that.

                                        Try living in the DFW area where public transportaion is virtually nonexistent. To get to a decent restaurant requires a drive of at least 25 mins...minimum. The area is filled with chains and locating a decent restaurant that is locally owned is a huge effort. It irks me to no end that good food is so hard to find, but chains are so readily available. I think that chains have their place, and I enjoy my McDonalds on rare occasions. But the take over of chains in my area makes me cringe.

                                        That being said, I hate my McDonalds fries to be cold. I taste test them before I leave.

                                        1. re: FoodChic

                                          FoodChic: My Reagan reference was to his saying "Government is not the solution to the problem...government IS the problem". I was trying to be humorous.

                                          Nomad: why are you "uneasy" about my efforts to keep drive-throughs out of my neighborhood, to preserve its livability and esthetics? They increase noise, traffic, air pollution, and create hazards for pedestrians and bikers. What's not to love about that?

                                          1. re: Leonardo

                                            Sounds like a noble effort to me. St. Louis isn't the most pedestrian friendly area (especially outside of downtown, where no one lives anyway, though that is changing). Drive throughs don't help.

                                            1. re: Pylon

                                              Ah, I used to live in Lafayette Square. I absolutely loved St. Louis and had wonderful culinary experiences there. I miss it to this day.

                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                Good to hear. So many people poo-poo the STL eating scene, but there is some darn good stuff out there. L Square is no exception.

                                                1. re: Pylon

                                                  I miss my weekly lunch at Adriana's. When I'm in town for buisiness, Adriana's is a first stop.

                                                  1. re: FoodChic

                                                    I once heard if there are more than 3 cars in line it's faster to go in for carry-out.

                                                    food chic and pylon, you should check out the archives at http://www.urbanreviewstl.com/ for city specific similar sentiment and neighborhood vs. alderman efforts regarding drive-thrus, curb cuts and ped access.

                                          2. re: FoodChic

                                            Ask for them with no salt, which guarantees they'll make a fresh batch for you. Then put salt on them while they're still hot. Just don't do it at the drive-through -- go inside to be considerate!

                                          3. re: Leonardo

                                            Though possibly getting off-topic here, we always drive to our destinations. Now, where we live in PHX, there is not good public transportation. Biking on mountain roads at night is not something that I relish, plus connecting to the necessary highways is a real safety issue.

                                            However, I do not use drive-thrus, as we do not do any sort of fast-food. If we do similar, it's call ahead, drive, park, pick-up and come home, but this is 1:1000.

                                            I see your point, and agree to the degree that it is possilbe here. PHX just is not Portland.


                                          4. re: im_nomad

                                            Thanks for that perspective. I have times when I "do" drive-thru. We travel 400 miles one way at least a dozen times a year. And we travel with our dogs and sometime the cat in the car. That's a long day's drive for all of us so, if we don't pack sandwiches, then we do McD's drive thru and eat out of our laps. I don't want to turn the drive into an even longer one. In addition, in the summer, I'm not going to leave the animals in an un-A/C car for even the 15 minutes it takes to eat inside. I will also do drive-thru if I'm dashing from one appt. to another. I also evaluate the length of the line at the drive-thru and sometimes figure it's quicker to go inside. So, thank you for the "haughty attitudes" comment. It must be comforting for some to have ALL the answers. Much less confusing that way :)

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              Ah, nothing like drive thru with a screaming siamese. I swear he is trying to place his own order.

                                              Because almost all of my long distance car travel is w/at least one cat it's drive thru or nothing.

                                            1. When they don't give you the total at the speaker and just say "Drive around". The Dunkin Donuts near me always does that (and doesn't repeat the order either). Drives me nuts.... I like to have the cash and change ready before I get to the window.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: deibu

                                                I worked at McDonald's as my very first job. Awful, hard work. I actually lived in a small town where people were much friendlier than they are in bigger cities, on average. I still can't believe how many people would treat me like dirt, just for the sake of it.

                                                My biggest pet peeve, though, working there and as a patron behind another car is when there is a line (at In N out, Jack in the Box it can be particularly long) and the person in the car doesn't bother digging for their money, scrounging for their change until they pull up to the window. Like they forgot they needed to pay at the end of their 5 minute wait.

                                              2. Don't have one.

                                                I went through a McDonald's drive trough once! It was a few years ago in hte US when McDonald's was in trouble and had great specials. I think it was cheesburgers for something like $0.50 or $0.75. I was staying at a friend's in Fresno, had his big new SUV for the day and had their dog - a big friendly golden retreiver - with me. Loved it when I drove up to the ordering point and the sign said, "ldkjfhjudejfliidkjfwldklpsocpl lkkjlo l;plope\? I replied, "10 cheeseburgers, please", the sign said "kihdgfujdif jhudhioo, igjierkjoki pkjrejk" I got the sack of burgers, went back home to watch daytime TV (so much better in the US than in developing countries) and to share the burgers with the dog! Some of you surely know how much a good dog really loves and really loves you forever if you share something like drive through burgers.

                                                One of my best dates! And less than $10.00.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                  There should be a law that anyone who speaks into the microphone should have good clear English, and not an accent as thick as refritos. The lousy sound system only makes it worse.

                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                    At the In and Out Burger in Reno, Nv, they can see your dog in their mirrors before you get to the window and my 2 goldens get a free meat patty! Everybody is happy ('specially my dog faced boys)

                                                  2. My pet peeve is people relying on drive-thrus in the first place. It is a waste of gasoline, creates needless pollution, and contributes to the obesity in this country. Would it really kill you to walk fifty feet to the restaurant--you'd likely be happier with your service anyway, given alll of the peeves here.

                                                    16 Replies
                                                    1. re: AHan

                                                      Well, I'm just not going to leave my dogs in the car when it's over 100 out. I do many, many things to reduce pollution (create one bag of garbage a week because we recycle so much). So drive-thr McD's once a month or so will probably continue.

                                                      1. re: AHan

                                                        There are valid reasons to use a drive-thru. I know when I go to the bank, the service at the counter is usually terrible because 2-3 people are working the drive-thrus and there is only one person doing the non-commercial teller window inside. Even with some restaurants, the staff is so busy doing the drive-thru orders that you end up waiting for longer inside. I don't do drive-thrus often, only when I know that the service is better at the drive-thru.

                                                        1. re: AHan

                                                          Yes, but I assume you don't have one kid in diapers, one who has discovered that mom or dad have trouble catching him while holding baby sister, a dog and a turtle in the back seat.

                                                          Or that someone has a broken leg, has finally learned how to drive with the "other" foot, and no longer needs to depend on others for everything in their life.

                                                          No, MOST of us don't NEED drive thru MOST of the time, and most of us would be better off walking into the fast food joint, but that doesn't mean we don't ALL have a good reason some of the time.

                                                          If cars are blocking the roadway on a regular basis, call the police - they will be happy to issue tickets. If the clean-up crew is not cleaning up the neighboring yards, you can call the police, you can call the manager, or you can call some legal aid society and have them prepare a cease and desist letter.

                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                            ALL excellent points, sir. And, for the life of me, I can't figure out why someone who's gone through drive-thru would throw stuff out the window there. I mean, they haven't even eaten it. I'd suspect more that the dumpster for the restaurant doesn't have the lid secured or something and things have blown out.

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              Yes, exactly! You are a rational person and so you think "Why in the WORLD would someone throw stuff out their car window, especially when there's a trash can right there???". And you conclude there is trash lying around because the dumpster is not secured, or things are blowing out of it, or what have you. But oh my lord, let me tell you, people are not always rational, or polite, or as civilized as you might think.

                                                              I'm the poster from above who lived across from a drive-thru and it was INSANE what I saw people do...seriously. Read my #4. There was a nice big trash can right at the end of the drive-thru lane, with a little chute opening that was perfectly placed at the height of a car window, and that prevented the trash from blowing out. And the employees would regularly empty this trash can, so it wasn't ever overflowing. But still, every day, I saw people toss trash right out of their car windows, completely ignoring the trash can. Sometimes I yelled at them (mostly in good humor - I was just out of college and usually enjoying a beer on my front porch while entertaining myself with the drive-thru behavior), but mostly I just shook my head in disbelief. I urge you to spend some time watching a drive-thru...it's really, uh...eye opening?

                                                              But I think the drive-thru debate brings up a good point about Chowhounds...we're mostly a decent, food-oriented bunch who are probably not tossing trash out our car windows or treating food service people like dirt or getting in physical altercations with people who order too much food. But from my observations, and from some posts from former treated-like-dirt fast food employees, there is another segment of the population who doesn't act so kindly.

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                I indulged in breakfast at a McD's a week or so ago. The guy in front of me took about 2 minutes to place a small order, said "gimme a" instead of "may I please have a" and took forever to pay. After getting his food (which included 3 sodas) he pulled up about 15 feet, opened his driver's side door, and threw an empty soda cup on the ground not 5 feet from a garbage can.

                                                                At first I was puzzled, but then I realized it. Some people just suck.

                                                                1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                  miss nosy-to-get-into-trouble here,

                                                                  i'd have honked my horn at the jerk! is there anything lower than a litterer? (well, technically, i guess so...).

                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    I'm so with you, girl! My husband's always afraid I'm going to get us shot. He REALLY gets annoyed if HE'S driving and I try to honk the horn :)

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      >>I'm so with you, girl! My husband's always afraid I'm going to get us shot. He REALLY gets annoyed if HE'S driving and I try to honk the horn :)<<

                                                                      He might be onto something. Too many loose nuts behind the wheel as it is. Some are ready to explode over much less these days.

                                                                      1. re: RShea78

                                                                        hey! i resemble that remark!!!!


                                                                        1. re: RShea78

                                                                          I live in Hartford, CT. Not the nicest of cities. The car had blacked out windows and a license plate frame made of chromed skulls. The driver's arm, which I saw when he reached out for the food, was covered in tattoos. I wasn't about to start trouble :)

                                                                          1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                            uh, yes....DO take visual clues from the environment! ;-D. (funny, i was thinking about ray bradbury's "the illustrated man" just last night http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/books/ILL... ).

                                                                            now...if he'd been drivin' a kiwi green vw bug (with a flower in the dashboard vase).... THAT would've been an entirely different matter! LOL!

                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                              Yep, I definitely pick my battles. Short fuse but not stupid :)

                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                alkapal- It is "THE OTHER" drivers that you have to worry about. There is always some other clown around, if you gets me drift...

                                                              2. Funny story: Husband and I drove up to the drive thru late at night. The store was closed so we couldn't go in and no one was in the drive-thru. Response was very quick once we pulled up. We began to place our order when the person said to hold on a minute. After a minute or so she came back and we started the order again..please hold on another minute. After probably close to 5 minutes we were getting pissy because it was late, we were hungry and there was nothing else open. My husband decided to say a few choice words to me, something to the effect of "what the f is going on in there?". Well, all of a sudden we were being yelled at through the drive-thru speaker saying how dare we use bad language. Needless to say we were kicked out of the drive-thru. :)

                                                                1. That I'm to lazy, sick or tired to cook and digress to eating fast food.

                                                                  1. 1. Don't be the calorie judge. "Ahuh huh huh, you ordered a burger and fries and a Diet Coke, ahuh huh." I like Diet Coke. I don't like regular Coke. Or Sprite, except in mixed drinks, which you don't sell. So shut up.

                                                                    2. People who order too much at the drive-through window. Look, if you have a big family, I get it. But when you're ordering 40 sandwiches at the Lee's drive-through window? Just go inside.

                                                                    3. Employees who answer cell phone calls while my food is sitting on the bench getting cold. You're at work. Act like it.

                                                                    4. SPEAK ENGLISH. I'm pretty sure this is not a problem in, say, South Dakota, but here in Southern California it would be nice if you spoke enough English to be able to deal with simple requests like "no tomatoes" or "no mayo". Similarly, if you work in, say, Santa Ana, you should speak enough Spanish to accomplish the same idea. Grumble all you like, but the point of a business is to make money, and if having bilingual drive-through workers makes you more money, go for it. Just speak SOME English, OK?

                                                                    5. Conduct the money transaction in one action. If I hand you a $20 -- which I try not to do because it really does suck for you to have to go to the back and get change -- make my change and hand it back, don't wander off with my money while you get my food, get interrupted by other people, or whatever -- I can't tell you how many times I've handed over money only to have the person come back and give me my total again.

                                                                    6. Learn to pick your targets better if you're going to shortchange people, or give it up altogether. I know how much change I'm due, especially now that many places have displays at the ordering station that tell me how much I owe, and if you shortchange me I will totally park, walk in, and make your manager make you count out your drawer right there.

                                                                    7. FOR GOD'S SAKE WEAR A MASK OR SOMETHING IF YOU'RE COUGHING. I get it, if you don't go to work, you don't get paid, and being able to take a sick day is a luxury many people can't afford, but at LEAST put on a mask or something. And while we're on the subject, don't pick your nose and then pick up my burger. At least afford me the fantasy that it's clean back there, OK?

                                                                    8. Don't flirt with my baby if she's sleeping. Chances are I'd like to keep her that way, and is one of the reasons I'd use a drive-through in the first place.

                                                                    9. Don't flirt with me if I have a woman in the car, OK? I know I'm hot. (HAHAHAHAHA!)

                                                                    10. Don't give me the line about "how would you like it if I came to your work and yelled at you". I run an IT technical support team; that argument is a non-starter.

                                                                    11. Please don't give me attitude about the volume of the speaker. I have a pretty soft voice, actually, and I'd rather have to over-enunciate or yell into the speaker to make sure my order is right. If your speaker works perfectly, congratulations -- you are in VERY rare company. Usually what comes through is garbled.

                                                                    12. Don't @$#%ing kibitz with people in the car when the drive-through is backed up, even if they are your long-lost friends. Make them park and come in, and get your manager to pull you off drive-through.

                                                                    13. This may be an OC thing, but at the places like the McD's on Harbor Blvd. near Lampson in Garden Grove, where the person taking your order sits outside with a register and a plastic panel -- you know that plastic panel is not sound-proof, right? I can hear you mocking me. Knock it off.

                                                                    14. To the people in front of me: DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR CAR. You are fooling yourselves if you think you are somehow saving the environment, because then you start it up, releasing a big puff of pollution at me and, in a two-window setup, the poor cashier in window #1, only to turn it off ten seconds later. If you are worried about saving gas, park and walk in and come out with your bag of food.

                                                                    15. Places with non-drive-through friendly menu items. Burger Boy in Anaheim, CA is a good example -- while the food is good, the drive-through is snail's pace because they are making food à la minute, including chicken sandwiches.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                      I have definite plans to be "Czarina of the Universe" with ultimate power. I definitely see a place for you in my administration. I would delegate that same power to you. I'm going to have a sceptre and stole. You can decide your own attire. Please consider my offer. It doesn't pay but think how well you'll sleep at night.

                                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                        re #14, in modern cars the break-even point for both emissions and fuel consumption (running vs. re-starting) is TEN SECONDS!

                                                                        1. re: AHan

                                                                          All the more reason for you to park your car, turn it off, and go inside for the five minutes it takes to order food (okay, ten minutes) and receive it.

                                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                            so...........where do we put all these extra parking spaces to accomodate all the parkers ?

                                                                            1. re: im_nomad

                                                                              A non-scientific survey of the local Carl's Jr. at 6 PM showed 28 spots out of 32 available. I don't think it's a problem.

                                                                      2. Maybe we should have fast food lanes install pull along devices like they have at car washes. No one would hold up the line while they are taking 10 minutes to decide if they want a regular or diet drink, or to change their order 3 times. No one would be puffing black smoke into the car behind them, there would be no point in honking, no one would space out, read the paper, apply make-up and forget to move forward - in fact they would be free do do all those things. It wouldn't hurt to have a card-swipe half way to the food pick up window either.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                          Regarding your final sentence, we've flown Virgin America a couple of times. If you want to buy food or drinks, you use a touch screen on the seat back in front of you and then swipe your credit card. They don't accept cash. Sure makes that part of it easier. They do, however, come down the aisle with a cart for the freebies. I made a recommendation that they cut that out.

                                                                        2. My top pet peeve is that the Wendy's nearest my office ALWAYS gets the drive thru order wrong, always!

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Rick

                                                                            So behavior modification does not apply to you?
                                                                            : )

                                                                            1. re: Rick

                                                                              Ha! Wendy's and Sonic were my only options (they were only 7 miles away instead of 15..guess I should have walked:)) outside of cooking for several years. Wendy's, I swear never got my order right once...the last time I went was for a houseful of toddlers who wanted burgers I get all the way home and they had forgot to put MEAT on the burgers, not kidding. I called them and told them they owed me around a grand for 5 years of getting my orders wrong, they were just amused but I was serious!! I never went back that was 4 years ago.

                                                                            2. Biggest, most infuriating, pet peeve.
                                                                              Ordering thru a drive thru where the person taking the order cannot be understood, can't understand what I'm saying, and then screws up the order.

                                                                              1. When the computer freezes and the dumb*&@ on the drive thru doesn't know how to take money the old fashioned way before computers were invented and even if they did take the money they don't know how to count change and I'm now stuck between the drive-thru curbs and there's an entire freeway of people waiting in back of me so I can't back up.
                                                                                They can't take the money without their computer telling them they can and so by the time they finally get it to work I'm ready to throw the drink through the window at them.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                  >>""When the computer freezes...""

                                                                                  When that happens life freezes as they know it. No food will be sold unless that computer works- as they are completely dysfunctional without them.

                                                                                2. Braille menus posted on stickers on the window. Not where you place your order, but where you pick it up.

                                                                                  Reminds me of the blind joke from The Lady in Red.

                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: bkhuna

                                                                                    I asked about this at a bank once - why the drive up ATM has braille, etc. They said that blind customers sometimes take taxis and so they are passengers, but don't want to rely on the driver to do their business. I would imagine that braille menus at the windows might serve the same purpose - a blind person who doesn't want to have to rely on the driver to read the menu to him or her could still use the drive-thru.

                                                                                    I don't know if you were joking or whatever, but I just can't see how having a braille menu could possibly offend or irritate you. Hopefully you mean that you think they'd be more useful to the people who rely on them somewhere else.

                                                                                    1. re: akq

                                                                                      ....all else being equal, the simplest answer tends to be the correct answer.

                                                                                      ALL ATM's have braille because ALL ATM's are made the same(within a respective company of course). they dont waste time and money makeing the drive up ones different from the walk up ones. Im betting the same is true for the menu boards at drive thru's

                                                                                        1. re: AHan

                                                                                          nkeane is saying every atm panel has braille -- whether for walk-up or drive thru. same situ for fast food menu boards -- although i don't know of any walk-up fast food menus....

                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                            true, not many walk up fast food menus. but Im guessing that the actual display inserts, the part with the writting(braille and otherwise) are standardized items that get used inside/outside the restaurant. its easier to make one menu work for 5 different applications then it is to make one for each app.

                                                                                            1. re: nkeane

                                                                                              I'm not familiar with any fast food menus close enough to touch. They are almost always on a wall behind the cashiers, or at the drive-thru far enough way from the car theat you wouldn't be able to reach them, so how does that work?

                                                                                              1. re: AHan

                                                                                                I have seen food menus on the counter where you order that looked a heck of a lot like the placards on the wall behind. That being said, I am speculating here, because to be honest I have never actually seen Braille on a drive thru menu either........

                                                                                  2. Other than getting my order wrong, which is annoying, my two biggest pet peeves at drive thrus are:

                                                                                    1. Wanting me to shout out my order when I can't pull up to the microphone yet. The starbucks drivethru on my morning commute does this all the time. The car in front of me hasn't pulled up enough so my window is 5+ feet from the microphone and they start asking for my order. If I don't respond they try to get my attention. Sometimes I break down and try to yell, but they can never hear my actual drink order and I have to repeat the whole thing several times.

                                                                                    2. Being boxed in when the drive thru takes too long. A few weeks ago I pulled into a drive thru where there were only two cars in front of me. As I sat there for 10 minutes, another 6 or so cars pulled up behind me, boxing me in (there is no way to get out of the drive thru line once you are in it). At this point the first car had still not even placed their order. It took me over 30 minutes to place my order and get my food. If I had known it would take that long, I would have gone elsewhere.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: akq

                                                                                      Oh god, I can relate to #2. I had a total meltdown at a drive-thru last summer. It was hotter than hell and my airconditioner was running full blast and it wasn't working. I literally sat for twenty minutes without moving. I finally got out of my car to see the problem, and the guy told me that they were "a little behind." OK, and you maybe could have told me this BEFORE I got blocked in? Then of course I got back in my car and tried to start it...no go. Battery was dead. So on top of everything else I had to be pushed through the drive through.......

                                                                                    2. I just want some ice in my drink, no one that works in a drive thru gets that even if I ask.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: twisterp

                                                                                        oh man, that fires me up as well! what is it about a soft drink that makes the person assembling it an utter moron? you either get 7tiny ice chips in a 32oz cola, or a thimble full of soda over a gigantic cup of ice!? A serious WTF.......

                                                                                      2. Absolute number one - asking for diet, getting regular. Doesn't matter the restaurant - I always check the bag, then drive away - I really have to learn to take a sip - I keep forgetting and I get burned 1 in 15 or so . . .

                                                                                        1. 1. Agree with upthread comments about the proper way to give change (coins first, then bills).
                                                                                          2. I have more peeves with the drive through customers than the McD's employees. If you have a complex order or you're extremely picky, GO INSIDE. If you are paying separate "checks", GO INSIDE. If you have a large order, GO INSIDE
                                                                                          3. The fucking change machines at McDonalds have shitty programming. I notice that, except for pennies, they tend not to give change properly. For example, if your change is 35 cents, the machine should be programmed to spit out one quarter and one dime. Instead, I get three dimes and a nickel. Or maybe two dimes and three nickel. What the fuck?

                                                                                          And, being a frequent McD's customer, this is not an aberration based on the machine being out of quarters at that moment or it just being the one machine. It is consistent across time and location. McDonalds...please fix this.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: filth

                                                                                            This is just a guess, but in response to number 3, I am assuming they can put a set amount of change in the machine at a time. So, for example, they can put 50 quarters, 50 dimes, 50 nickles, and 50 pennies. So, each person needs change for different amounts, and then, as the day goes on, the machine runs out of something (quarters commonly go first...when I worked as a clerk, I found I ALWAYS ran out of quarters) and they only fill it once or twice a day (b/c typically only one person has access to the machine and the money). It's just a guess though :)

                                                                                          2. I just wish that when they hand me my change they give me a second to shove it into my pocket before they stick the bag of food in my face. I'll never understand why they take your money, and wait until the food is ready before they give out the change!

                                                                                            On a brighter note, Krystal now uses see through bags so it is much easier to check your order before leaving...

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Clarkafella

                                                                                              clarkafella, put away your change before you reach up to take the proffered bag. of course, you will be holding up the line! uh oh .... ;-).

                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                I really *hate* holding up the stupid line- it's not like I'm trying to *count* my change, God forbid- I just want to shove it in my pocket so I don't end up with nasty, sticky pennies in the cup holders of my car a few months later...

                                                                                                1. re: Clarkafella

                                                                                                  clarkafella, i'm with ya, bro'! sometimes, i just let them hold the bag out the window until i get situated. i *try* to have exact change ready, but often i have no idea how much the bill is *exactly* because i am unable to decipher the "speaker-talk." (to paraphrase kee-rock, unfrozen cave man lawyer: "your technology frightens and confuses me -- when the "voice" coming from the little box is garbled and incomprehensible."

                                                                                                  when i get the change, i usually throw it into the little tray next to my automatic gear shift.

                                                                                                  one thing i always do -- and wish others would -- is to put the car in PARK!

                                                                                            2. The flippin speakers are impossible to hear.

                                                                                              1. OK, everyone with drive-through peeves should be forced to watch:

                                                                                                "Dude, Where's My Car" - "Aaaannd thenn? Aaannd thenn?"

                                                                                                "Lethal Weapon II" - "You always get f*cked at the drive-through!"

                                                                                                Seriously, I never use a DT unless I can see there's no more than one car in front of me. I can't stand waiting when it's so much quicker to park and go inside. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen a line of cars circling the building, parked, ordered, received my meal, and walked out to see that that big SUV has moved up two spaces. He'll probably wait another 15 minutes to get his breakfast, while I'll have eaten and be halfway to the office already. Like nomad, I'm from Canada, and when it's -30 C, getting out of your nice warm car can be a shock to the system. And since the spot is close to my home, my car isn't even warmed up yet. When it's like that, I might make an exception to my rule, and sit in the car a little longer, just to let the engine warm up before getting on the highway. But, luckily, those days only occur 10-15 times a year.

                                                                                                And when I was working in Detroit, and about to cross the bridge to Windsor where I lived, I used to love to stop at White Castle and order a sack of 10 at the DT. They never made it across the bridge!

                                                                                                1. I've never been through a drive-thru...!

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Morticia

                                                                                                    It could be worse, Morticia. I was on another website when a poster called them a "Drive-Thought".

                                                                                                    1. re: Morticia

                                                                                                      Then perhaps you should look up drive-thru in the chaming Merriam-Webster dictionary?

                                                                                                      Just in case you went through one by accident and didn't realize it.

                                                                                                    2. on the rare occasion that I find myself at the drive-thru - I inevitably get stuck behind the mini-van or mega SUV loaded with people that all have special orders......

                                                                                                      1. Once in a great while I'll order a whopper jr with cheese, and they always - always - always - forget the cheese, but are sure to charge me for it.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                          I have exactly the opposite problem at McDonalds. I order a quarter pounder NO CHEESE PLEASE, and 6 times out of 10, sure enough it has cheese on it.

                                                                                                          I want to just sit there at the window till they make me a new one, but all that does is annoy the poor drivers behind me, the people inside could care less half the time.

                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                            So odd. One of you lives in VA and the other in Honolulu so no regional excuse. And I don't believe I've ever had it happen --- in CA, OR , NV, WA nor any place else I've been.

                                                                                                        2. When management does not train the “robots” at the window to ascertain if an order is going to take an excruciatingly long time to fill and ask the order-placer to pull forward, advising that someone will deliver the order once it is completed….. thereby allowing those patrons in back of big/special-order-placer-person to move through at a normal pace – whatever “normal” is

                                                                                                          1. Why is it taking so long, I'm #2 car in line, there's a gal all alone in a pick-up at the window, it's been 15 minutes, what the hell is taking so long? I'll tell you. She is ordering 19 combo meals for the construction crew up the road, she's has a scribbled list, all the orders are different and custom (no onions, etc.) she's on the cell phone with mike back at the site, "Mike did you want no ketchup or no pickles?" Order done, 20 minutes, she wants to borrow a pen to write a check.................

                                                                                                            1. I hate being there. Going to a chain fast food restaurant is a pet peeve, in general. I can tolerate it, after midnight and only if I'm hammered (not like had 2 or 3 beers kinda state of mind; I'm talking 20+ beers, someone else is driving, I can only keep 1 eye open, and I look like a bobble-head doll state of mind), but sober and during the day, it's unacceptable. Completely, totally, and utterly unacceptable. When I'm sober, I'm perfectly capable of collecting and cooking roadkill on my own - thanks but no thanks.

                                                                                                              Anyone who gets upset when they get their order wrong, forget about it. You can only expect a certain standard of service when you're paying a dollar for a "burger." In this category of restaurant, the adage of, "you get what you pay for" is as true or more so than with any other type of business in the country. They will serve to you what they want you to have, and that's all there is to it. You should be so lucky that they happen to want you to have the same thing you ordered.

                                                                                                              1. All of the above...plus...

                                                                                                                1. The upsell – I don’t want anything more than what I ordered, else I would have ordered it. No I don’t want a pie. No I don’t want fries. No I don’t want a drink. Yeesh!

                                                                                                                2. The inordinate waiting (happens every time at Hardee’s and Dairy Queen). My first job was as a short order cook at the Drive-In Theatre concession stand, and it doesn’t take fifteen minutes to cook a half inch thick hamburger pattie.

                                                                                                                Now, on the other hand, fast food restaurants are not the only restaurants with drive-thru windows. There is a local pizza joint where you call your order in and go pick it up via the window. I don’t have to park and maneuvre through the dining room to pick up my order. And, I can remember the High’s Ice Cream store when I was a kid had a drive thru too.

                                                                                                                1. Just remembered one that they do at all the places around here. You order an item, and they follow up immediately with 'is that it?'

                                                                                                                  They usually stop saying it after the 4th item or so but it's still annoying.

                                                                                                                  1. Ugh, I too hate to admit to frequently McD's as of late, but my pet peeve is the french fries. I swear there is a corporate policy to not open the fry container all the way and/or not fill them. 9 out of the 10 last times, they have been severely under filled

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: tequilasnotinfresno

                                                                                                                      aaaah, the "short-fries." THAT definitely ticks me off. if i'm inside, i'll complain about the skimpy order and ask them to fill up the container. at the drive-through, though, who wants to hold up the line? maybe they count on that.....

                                                                                                                    2. It has been almost forever, since I did that. I think that Noah was talking about a rainstorm. However, way back when, I'd have to say that my one peeve was the communication system. Then, they did not work well in either direction. I could not understand them (tech support from India sounds great in comparison), and they could obviously not understand me, even though I have a voice that plays to the tables in the back of the room, and do VO work, think John Housman, James Earl Jones and Sam Elliott, all rolled into one.

                                                                                                                      Maybe in this century, things are better.