View Full Version : Questions for fast-food workers and the like

08-06-2006, 02:54 AM
Well, first of all I'm not quite sure where to post this so if any of the mods think it should be in like Sightings then feel free to move it there.

Anyway I remember a couple hacks ago a poster (I couldn't remember who it was) walking into a fast food place and an employee just asked her what she wanted right when she got there. The employees got pissed and said he'll be waiting for her order or something like that. Well, that I tell you I hate when that happens to me and I even replied to it.

Well, Friday I went to a sub/ice cream place that I never been too and so I didn't know what they had. Anyway I went over where they had the ice cream and even before I got a chance to look at the menu really good a worker asked what I wanted. She asked again and I told her to wait a minute. I think she was a bit pissed but I don't know if she knew I just got there or what but I found it a little be ignoring. Well, maybe because it was busy and she need something to do. Anyway after I figured out what I wanted another worker took my order and I had a yummy milkshake. As I was enjoying my milkshake not mention finish up on some long due reading I wonder if this is common practice among fast-food/ice cream parlor/cafe workers by asking someone what they want even if they just got there and/or it's there first time there. So I figure well, this would be the best place on the Internet to ask.

So pretty much asking should have I complain to a manager about this and was she a sucky employee as well? If anyone works in a fast food or similar place what do you do when it's not busy and someone just comes in the store what do you ussually do. I mean I just wandering if you ask them what they want or give them a few minutes to look at the menu.

08-06-2006, 03:44 AM
well my answer would be, how would they know that its your first time there?

I think its like, when you walk in to a shop and they ask you if you need help, most of the time its policy to ask within 10 seconds, you as the employee have to follow the policy even if you dont like it.

Usually if a customer says they need a minute, most employees will give them a minute, the only time I could see them trying to hurry a customer is if they are holding up the line... and only then because all of the customers behind you are waiting... like you said it was busy.

You said she asked twice but you didnt say if you replied the first time, which makes me think she asked you because she thought you didnt hear her?

I wasnt there so I cant make a judgement on if she was a sucky employee or not, but from what you described, I would err on the side of no.

I think to make a solid judgement I would need more details.

08-06-2006, 07:30 AM
If you were not holding up the line, there is no reason for their impatience.

As for me, I always just stand patiently at the register, and wait until the customer steps up and makes eye contact with me. I then greet them and ask what they would like. Every customer is different..some will march up to the register and immediately spit out their order without a pause, while others will need a good minute or two to study the menu. I don't have any problem whatsoever with that as long as they don't insist on holding up the rest of the line. Holding up the line = pissed off people behind you which means that the poor peon working the register is the one who must endure their attitudes.

However, drive-thrus are completely different. The time it takes for you to order at the menu, pay at the first window, get your food at the second window, and finally leave is kept track of. All the times are combined into an average number of seconds. If the average number of seconds is above what the "goal" is for that day (the goal is usually a time that you could only achieve when you have a complete crew working, which is usually never), then we get negative reports and scoldings from management.

This is why you will certainly make fast-food employees irritable if you take your sweet precious time at the menu. It completely ruins our service time and it can take us more than an hour just to recover from your long time in drive-thru. If you have not the slightest clue what you're ordering...PLEASE, take a look at the menu inside. You'll save a headache for the workers and the people behind you.

But it doesn't sound as if you were in a drive-thru, so again, as long as you weren't holding up the line, I'm not too sure why they were impatient. If this was the case, they simply have bad attitudes and yes, a complaint to a manager would be appropriate.

08-06-2006, 08:05 AM
Well, first of all I'm not quite sure where to post this so if any of the mods think it should be in like Sightings then feel free to move it there.

Just for future reference for anyone and everyone:
You don't have to give us permission to move a thread.
If it's in the wrong place we'll do it anyway.

08-06-2006, 01:55 PM
I have been in the fast food industry for over twenty years at several different resturants and it is almost universal policy to immediately greet the customer when they walk in the door..usually something like "hi, can I help you please", drive thru usually has to be answered in three seconds. I usually greet them and then wait till they are ready..of course I am really good at telling if a customer is new to our establishment..by their mannerisms and questions so I always suggest something to those people. Even if it seems frustrating for you just remember that most of the time this is set by corporate policy if not owner policy, so please be patient with those employees. Also be patient with the newbies also..I have been training quite a few new kids lately and a few of the customers have been somewhat testy. Most are pretty gracious when they realize that the person is new at the tills but we do get our few jerk offs.

08-06-2006, 06:12 PM
I wasn't sure if it was standard procedure or what and there wasn't anyone behind me too so I guess she must needed something to do. Anyway I don't think she really was a SE but maybe didn't see me looking at the menu and was maybe new at the job. ALso I try to get in a word (I even did a hand gesture) after the first time she asked what I wanted and I guess but I know I should have told her to hold on for a minute the first time. I also already know I wanted a milkshake and I was just looking to see where it was on menu (mainly for price, sizes) but I still had to figure out what ice cream flavor I wanted.

Oh, I never go through drive-thrus anymore and it's really becuase I have a hard time using the intercoms (not to mention how much gaseline is lost during that time). Now I sometimes go to Sonic and parked at an ordering station. I also like the fact that when you are ready to order you just push the button and someone will take your order.

Anyway I knew Sightings might be a better place to put this thread but I wasn't quite sure if this more General Work material or what. I kind a figure out the mods don't need permission to do that anyway.

Mixed Bag
08-07-2006, 01:33 AM
However, drive-thrus are completely different. The time it takes for you to order at the menu...[is] combined into an average number of seconds. If [that's] above what the "goal" is for that day...we get negative reports and scoldings from management.

...If you have not the slightest clue what you're ordering...PLEASE, take a look at the menu inside.

Kind of defeats the purpose, eh?

How about an order button like at drive-ins to start the clock?

Scoldings after being put in that position of dealing with the following customers, not to mention maybe the intercom caused delays and wrong orders? Does management have anything decent to say to 3F's points, or does corporate only deserve to be met with :chipper: ?

08-07-2006, 08:14 AM
Very few people are completely incapable of getting out of their cars at walking inside the fast food place. If you don't know what you want, and need to spend ages studying the menu, don't use the drive-through !

Oh, and a "management response"? Never worked FF management, but I can give you a "corporate" response. I want to keep the average speed of service through the DT DOWN, therefore I mainly want customers going through there who know what they want to order. If you don't know what to order from my range of food items, I want you INSIDE the store, where you might choose something more expensive from the menu, and may also choose additonal items to go with it.

Mixed Bag
08-07-2006, 10:38 AM
That's all perfectly valid, Barefootgirl--didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

Still, I can see staff being blamed for SCs they have no control over, and the best way to speed up the DT would be to determine how much specific causes contribute to slowness, rather than just looking at overall times without additional data.

Of course, if they really wanted to weed out customers who don't know what they want, they could remove menus from the DT altogether. :lol:

08-08-2006, 07:39 PM
Either that, or do what a lot of places do these days: Put in 2 menu boards: one for people to peruse before they get up to the intercom, and one by the intercom itself so they can remember what they were getting.

If I'm not ready to order yet and I'm inside the store, I make it pretty obvious that I'm not ready by standing way back from the till. Once I've made my decision, only then will I step up. I have yet to have someone be mad at me for giving mixed signals that way.

08-08-2006, 08:28 PM
When I worked at Wendy's we weren't supposed to ask the customer anything until they were practically pressed up against the counter.

08-08-2006, 09:18 PM
When I worked at Wendy's we had to stop what we were doing and greet the customer(s) as they came in the door. Then we had to wait at the register for them to order.

08-10-2006, 03:48 AM
(If I've got orders to make or other pressing stuff that needs to be done)

Me: "Hi, can I help you?"

Customer: "Yeah, but I don't know what I want yet."

Me: "Okay, just let me know when you're ready."

Then I go back to making pizzas or whatever, glancing every now and then at the counter until the customer either signals me, or it looks like they've made a decision, and then walk back to the counter. "All set?"

Mixed Bag
08-10-2006, 10:36 AM
There's nothing like trudging into a sit-down restaurant where you're a regular, at the end of a tiring day when you don't feel like talking, and they know just what to bring you. Now that's service. :sleep:

Only problem is, on the rare occasions I plan to get something other than my usual, I have to barge in flailing and interrupting like an SC to make sure they didn't start wasting the wrong ingredients as soon as they saw me walk past their window. :runaway:

08-10-2006, 02:41 PM
There's nothing like trudging into a sit-down restaurant where you're a regular, at the end of a tiring day when you don't feel like talking, and they know just what to bring you. Now that's service. :sleep:
Happens to me everyday. I'm really a creature of habit. So I try to eat the same thing for lunch (for nearly 15 years). I walk in, don't even have to order unless the gal (or guy) is new.

Mixed Bag
08-10-2006, 02:46 PM
Well, you should place your order every so often anyway, or you might forget an important modification; practice with the regulars, who'll probably catch you if you forget. :)