Rules for Ordering at a Fast Food Restaurant

2009 May 18
by mockers

fastfoodKnow what you want, before it’s your turn — especially if you’ve been standing in line for ten minutes.  Few things are more infuriating than being behind a person in a slow-moving line, and that person finally gets to the counter, taps his chin, and says, “Uuuuuhhhh, let’s see…”  In some states I believe it’s legal to judo-chop someone in the throat for such an infraction.

Don’t ask questions.  This is Arby’s, not the fucking Tavern on the Green.  There are no mysteries here, no surprises – everything tastes exactly the same.  So just place your order and get your riffled ass out of my way.

No special requests, unless the food is being prepared fresh.  If you’re at McDonald’s, for instance, where everything comes down a conveyor belt, just take what they give you.  It’s inconsiderate to make special requests; it throws off the rhythm of the sandwich-making flywheel, or whatever.

Rule of thumb:  if an entire meal costs less than five dollars, you have no further rights.

If, however, they’re making sandwiches to order, it’s OK to request no pickles, no mayo, or something reasonable.  But if you ask for your burger to be cut in half, or something along those lines, the other patrons have a responsibility to kick you full in the sex organs.

No cell phones while in line, or at the counter.  Nobody cares how drunk you were on Saturday night, or wants to hear shouted opinions about your boss, “the needle-nosed whore.”  You have a duty to place your order, clearly and concisely, and to then get your riffled ass out of my way.  Now focus!

Don’t let your kids have input.  Tell them what they’re having for lunch, don’t ask for their opinion.  You’re the adult here, take control of the situation.  Kids don’t know a damn thing, and it’s up to you to take up the slack of your meandering, unfocused spawn.  For the love of Jesus on a hand truck, grow a set already!  The tail is wagging the riffled dog.

Move to the left after ordering.  Once you’ve ordered your 10,000 calorie Baconator and small Diet Coke, get out of the way.  It’s now somebody else’s turn.  I know it’s exhilarating to be in the limelight, and sometimes difficult to let go, but you’ve got to be strong.  There will be other triumphs, future conquests.  Knowing it and believing it makes it easier to say goodbye.

Don’t eat at the counter.  Seriously, if you can’t wait until you get to the table, you have a problem.  I mean, it’s right over there.  If you’re compelled to start snorkeling down fries the very moment they’re placed in front of you, you’re no longer in charge.  You could be led to rob banks, or sell the KFC “seven herbs and spices” recipe to the Red Chinese.  Pull yourself together, man!  It’s twenty yards, tops.  Hum the Chariots of Fire theme if it helps.  Holy shit, how utterly sad…

24 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 May 18
    Jason permalink

    You sir, are an idiot.

    “Hold the pickles, Hold the lettuce, Special orders… DONT upset us.” <Nuff Said

    And the only reason to take charge as an adult and tell your kids what they are having… is if you are the one cooking. If there is an opportunity to order what they want and have it all done fast and conveniently… let them have what they want.

  2. 2009 May 18
    A Texan permalink

    I reserve the right to ask for extra onions.

    If you don’t like it, I’ll be too busy enjoying my über onion burger to care.

  3. 2009 May 18
    Joe T. permalink

    Jason + A Texan = 2 pains in the ass!

  4. 2009 May 18

    Perfect! I have found that special ordering causes all kinds of kitchen confusion. I usually just say “with cheese and everything”, then I pick off the stuff I don’t want. It definitely increases the likelihood that the order will be right!

  5. 2009 May 18
    The Crotch Kid permalink

    Classic Kay!

    I agree with the being ready to order thing. I always stand back out of line perusing the menu until I decide what to order. One thing that is going against that is the workers immediately want to take your order as soon as you’re near. I’m sure it’s probably some store policy from on high, but causes a lot of people to step up to the counter unprepared. Another thing is that the menus need to have some sort of explanation of what the hell they’re serving in their meat and cheese concoctions. I always order the same thing at Taco Bell, the burrito supreme, because besides a taco, that’s the only thing I know what it is. And the zitsters have no idea when you ask them. Chimichanga, quesadilla, gordita, chalupa. You can see their little brains grinding as if they have never heard of such a question. “um, that’s ok, just give me the chicken burrito supreme.” Dear God people, I’m from West Virginia, not Texas.

  6. 2009 May 18
    Jill permalink

    LMAO!!! – this was hilarious.

    I want to add a peeve – how about the drive-thru when the person in front of you (in an SUV with many minions of children present) after being told the total $, has to look around on the floor for spare change to pay with for at least 10 minutes, THEN once they get their order, they decide to rifle through everything they just ordered BEFORE they pull up only a 1/2 a car length from the window, where they stop for another 10 minutes…….

  7. 2009 May 18
    Knucklehead permalink

    Knucklehead + Fast Food = logging excess bathroom time.

    No, thanks!

  8. 2009 May 18
    mockers permalink

    Heh, logging.

  9. 2009 May 18

    Reminds me of the time in Hot Springs, AR…

    Wendy’s…Jeff’s favorite from what I understand, it must have been Bertha and Billy Ray’s first time in “the big city” as they ALL(man, woman, 2 kids) tried to order pizza and corn dogs!!!

    Eugenics anyone?

  10. 2009 May 18
    airandee permalink

    I use to go to Wendy’s on a regular basis and I had a record of 5 consecutive orders where they screwed it up. It was a simple order: single with everything (including cheese) but no pickle, fries, and ice tea. No biggie size. Without fail they screwed it up.

    Someone plus tell me how to say this in spanish “single with everything (including cheese) but no pickle, fries, and ice tea. No biggie size. “

  11. 2009 May 18

    I hate tomatoes, but when ordering I always say with everything and pick off what I don’t want. It causes less confusion, I’ve found I usually get my burger all the regardless. I used to tend bar and sometimes had to wait tables. I hated special order people.

  12. 2009 May 18
    Stephanie permalink

    And…has anyone noticed that the menu on the left side is the SAME as the menu on the right side at ALL of the fast food places? The folks that stand there and peruse the menu behind the zitsters heads, from left to right, and back again…and then again…they deserve a serious case of whoop ass.

    Oh…and try ordering ANY breakfast “meal” at McDonald’s/Burger King, etc WITHOUT meat on it (like, just egg/cheese/veggies). The look on the order takers face is priceless. They look at you like you live in a yurt or something…

  13. 2009 May 18
    Carla permalink

    Friday at the local Subway the little people and I were zippin through line rushing to get in, eat and get out in 10 minutes. Deadlines people, Got the sammiches, hit the tables and Two very New very young (17-19), very clean, very khaki & Ties guys with name tags, listing them as Elder so&so & so&so with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, came through the line. It was like watching Saturday night live skit in Subway. They girl building subs says to them what can I get you, and they say, “Is everything on that board what I can have??” “Uhh, yeah,” she scoffs. The first guy is about to wet his pants with excitement, says, “Blessed be.” I snorted at this point, food forgotten, transfixed by the scene playing out in line. They took the next 10 minutes debating the choices and ended up with 2 foot longs each and three bags of chips each. They were two of the weirdest shut-ins I have ever seen. Ever. Like Water Boy in really starched dockers. I think that their parents should have the crap beaten out of them for sheltering them so badly that they get all ramped up over a selection of deli meats. That kind of excitment should be reserved for the bedroom. Or Major league sporting events.

  14. 2009 May 18
    Limey permalink

    Someone plus tell me how to say this in spanish “single with everything (including cheese) but no pickle, fries, and ice tea. No biggie size. “

    ¿Uno avec mucho (es queso) no mas gherkino, pomme frito, the iceo. No mas grande.

  15. 2009 May 18
    Uncle Buzz permalink

    It’s amazing – I mean the number of epsilon minuses working at the junk food shops. If they get your order right, believe me, it’s sheer accident.

    To paraphrase Grouch Marx: I would never eat anywhere that would have me as a customer.

    “Get me a bowl of turtle soup, and make it snappy!”

  16. 2009 May 19

    I thought of Jeff one day I went to Wendy’s at my lunch time. I wonder what he would have done? There was only one person in front of me. He proceeded to order 15 separate meals with 15 separate transactions. Oh My God, I was losing my mind behind this guy. I am usually not a rude person but…..I said what are you ordering for a bus or something!!!! It took 25 minutes to get my two dollar order and there were about 20 people behind me at that point. ARGGGHHHHH. Not cool at lunch time! WHATTA DOUCH

  17. 2009 May 28
    bikerchick permalink

    When it comes to fast-food drive-thru’s, I always think of the scene from “Lethal Weapon II” with Joe Pesci character (Leo Gets) getting the much hated tuna sub….”You get FUCKED at the drive-thru! They know you’ll be long gone when you realize you’ve been FUCKED at the drive-thru”

  18. 2009 June 4
    Buck permalink

    Excuse me, but the writer is SPOT-ON with his assesment…although I don’t practice such matters at the counter, but at the drive thru. To quote Joe Pesschi, “They always FUCK YOU at the drive-thru.” It’s true, if I visit the McDonalds in Hurricane, West Virginia I can expected seven times they’ll screw up the order. It’s just as sure as the sun rising in the east, they’ll have an “issue” you won’t notice until your 10-miles away.

    Buck Out

  19. 2009 June 6
    hawaii2000 permalink

    Here in Kona, fast food is a joke. No matter where you go, they’re ALWAYS out of something.

    “Sorry, we’re out of straws.”
    “Sorry, we’re out of napkins and lids.”
    “Sorry, our shake machine has been broken for a week.”
    “Sorry, we’re out of chicken. Only burgers today.”
    “Sorry, you can order anything on the menu except anything we have to use the grill to cook.”
    “Yes, we offer 8 kinds of bread but, sorry, right now we only have pumpernickel sesame oat bran.”
    “Sorry, we’re short on employees today so the dining room is closed. Please use the drive-thru. Unless you don’t have a car. Sorry.”

  20. 2009 June 8
    P-Star permalink

    Amen, brother! Everyone that goes to Starbucks (and anywhere else) needs to read, understand, and follow these instructions, especially in the morning.

  21. 2009 July 10
    New to PA permalink

    Having worked at my father’s Dairy Queen for far too long, I have to agree with all of these. Also:
    I hate people who find the need to shout their order in the drive thru. Really, people. We can hear you just fine.
    People in the drive thru who tell the employee to “hold on!” while they finish their conversation on their cell phones drive me nuts as well.
    My biggest pet peeve?
    people who can’t shut their kids up, and literally scream at them in the middle of an order, then resume their normal tone and volume of voice with us and act like we couldn’t hear them throw a tantrum.

  22. 2009 July 11
    John permalink

    Very entertaining post and very entertaining comments!
    I’d like to point out something though.

    I am not a frequent fastfood visitor so I do not necessarily know what is what on the menu. Things DO change from time to time. So, if I wait in line for a few minutes and get to the point where I can see the menus, I will take an extra 30 to 60 seconds to look over the menu before placing my order. I WAITED in line so all the people behind me who are waiting need to suck it up. Or show up 10 seconds before me so you’re in front :).

    Is it me or are the drivethrough menus are cramped and hard to read? And they don’t put up a copy a few cars back with size 180 font, no they put only one right where you order, tiny font, columns and columns of text and no pictures. Sigh.

  23. 2009 July 11
    John permalink

    Maybe I should start my own fastfood chain where your menu choices are as follows:

    1 type of something with chicken
    1 type of something resembling a burger
    1 type of something with fish
    1 size of drink, choices of sprite and coke (or whichever brands are clear and dark)

    It is the same stuff 24/7, no fries, no special orders, no fancy-pants anything. And pricing is everything $1 each, tax included. You ask for “2 with chicken and 2 sprites” – that’s $4 even. No need to futz around with change, etc.

  24. 2012 September 27
    Chandler permalink

    After reading the above comments I am safe to say that the majority of these people have never worked in fast food. If you order a sandwich without something that is quite alright and easy to handle. But you must understand, if you want fast service then you need to stick with the standard. The more normal the faster (unless ordering plain). You people have a complete lack of knowledge for the back line of a fast food chain.


    Not all fast food chains have 10 people behind them like McDonalds, oh and sometimes that same person listed above also MADE YOUR SANDWICH. So be more considerate. You never know what’s really going on back there.

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