Time And Fried Wait For No Man

, , , , , | Right | January 13, 2021

I have been working at this chain for a few years, so I am quite proficient at my job and am usually commended on my customer service.

I am on the dinner shift taking orders for drive-thru. As it is a busy night, they have rostered enough people on so that I can just take orders and I have a coworker next to me taking the money. There is already a long line of cars waiting to have their orders taken.

This particular fast food chain has timers for how long it takes from the customer arriving at the speaker box to when they pull out of the drive-thru. These will vary slightly depending on the length of your drive-thru. Our particular store has a three-minute timer that we are supposed to meet consistently to stay in the green.

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Restaurant]. Please place your order.”

The customer is in a van and is taking orders from various people in the car. Any time when it sounds as if she has finished her order, I ask:

Me: “Is there anything else I can get for you today?”

I have my managers talking over my headset, giving me updates on the timer, as they have cleared all of the drive-thru customers before her. The timer is over five minutes, and the line of cars is blocking most of the small car park. As we have two speaker boxes, one behind the other, the managers have already taken the order for the car stuck behind her, which is a singular meal.

This whole time, I have been as polite as possible and not said anything rude, but all of us in the store are getting frustrated, wishing she had come into the store to order. Around the seven-minute mark, I ask her:

Me: “Is that all tonight?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Finally! There is an audible sigh of relief from everyone listening in on the headset.

Customer: “For my second order…”

We do allow split orders in the drive-thru, though only usually two per car.

This order didn’t take quite as long, but I politely tried to hurry her along as she was well over the timer and had ruined our times for the night. We are ranked against all the stores in the country, and occasionally, the managers will offer free meals if we don’t go over the time on any cars.

She finally pulled up to the window at about the ten-minute mark. I was taking the next customer’s order and my frustrated coworker, who has less patience than I, was still polite but quite short with her trying to hurry her through the drive-thru.

After she finally left, my manager came down to tell me that she had complained about me, saying I was rude and rushing her through her order. Fortunately, my managers know I am always polite and listened to the whole conversation on the headset.

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