Etiquette for Picking up Call-Ahead
In short, are you supposed to line-up with everyone else if you have already called ahead with your order?
Details: The local burger joint is set up such that there are 2 cashiers, 1 queue for both cashiers. There are NO signs to indicate 'Call-Ahead Pick up Here' or equivalent. I always call ahead because it takes about 15 minutes for them to prepare the food. And I always go line up with everyone else and wait my turn to pay and pickup. The reason being that they have not made a specific line for 'Call-Ahead'. If there is such a sign, I would go right up. Today, the line up was about 10 people long. I was at the front. A couple walked right up to the cashier. As the cashier opened, I went up and told the couple that I was next in line. They gave me a rather impolite reply, stating the fact that I am cutting in front of them because they called ahead and basically should be first in line whenever they show up.
Should I line up next time?
I'm with you - if there's no special "pick-up only" line I always wait my turn. That couple was rude and improper. Calling ahead allows you to skip the wait for food preparation, not the line to get to the cashier.
The other couple were wrong. Not only is there no sign, but you are a frequent customer and since the cashier has never explained to you that call-ahead pickups should go directly to the register, it is clear that there is no such policy at this place.
I have a couple of places where I call ahead and I always wait in line. One of them usually has a line, I arrive a few minutes earlier than my pick up time to make up for the time in line.
You were correct.
In addition, the cashier should be the one who informs the other couple to get in line. It shouldn't be your responsibility to "enforce" your prerogative.
I'd also add that I appreciate restaurants that *do* have separate "pick-up" window to speed things along.
Ugh. What unpleasant people. I hope you didn't let them upset you. You're right and you have much better manners than they do.