Friday, February 09, 2007

Fast Food Pet Peeve

Me: Hi, I'll have a combo #3 with no cheese and criss-cuts instead of regular fries, and that'll be to go.
Cashier: [punches in order] Will that be for here or to go?

This happens to me at all sorts of different places. Are they concentrating too much on getting my order right to register that I already told them I wanted it to go? What if I kept it really simple, like "Combo #3 to go?" Is there any way to gently let them know that I already told them whether it was for here or to go without sounding like an asshole?


At Friday, February 9, 2007 at 7:13:00 PM PST, Anonymous clynne said...

This comes up in the LJ comm "customers_suck" fairly often. What usually happens is that they're running on autopilot, and just as they ask "for here or to go" their brain goes "oh, fuck, he said 'to go.'" At that point, the simplest interaction is to just for you to say "to go, please" (because if they try to correct themselves, they might talk over you, and then they'll have to ask you to repeat yourself, and since you're already repeating yourself... yeah.)

If you're in person rather than at a drive-through, you could try smiling or laughing gently, but you have to make sure not to do it in a snide way 'cause then you'll look like a smug douche.

IOW, eh, no there's pretty much no nice way here to say "er, DUH!"

At Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 12:16:00 AM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Yeah, this is a "customer service sucks" situation that can easily morph into a "customers suck" situation if the customer points it out.

At Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 11:06:00 AM PST, Anonymous doafy said...

I usually just wait for them to ask. I actually kind of pride myself on being a good drive-thru orderer. I usually have extremely clear interactions with the drive thru people. It's to the point where I enjoy ordering for the entire car (I accidentally typed "czar" Ha!) because it's a pleasant experience for me.

So I get through my food in an orderly manner, and then answer any requisite questions.

(of course, I rarely get the "here or to go" question in a drive through. I usually forget that you can actually eat inside in most fast food places.)

Also, Adam, usually they put in the "to go" part of the order right before they get the total, so they have various buttons to push. If I were them I'd probably not even register because my brain would still be on the "food" part of the order.

I dunno. I see your point, but I think you think you're being efficient when you're actually making things slightly more complicated.

At Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 12:35:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Yeah, I'm talking about going inside. I don't think there's generally a question (except at In-n-Out) about how you're going to eat in the drive-thru lane.

I usually prefer goingg in to the drive-thru lane because (1) I get to stretch my legs, and (2) I'm not sitting there idling in my car, which feels like being stuck in traffic.

At Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 2:54:00 PM PST, Anonymous clynne said...

I don't think it's sucky customer service, honestly, is my point. It's more of "you're doing something slightly out of the norm and by the time they realize they have to make the adjustment, they've already asked the question." Like Doafy says, it's probably more efficient to answer the "here or to go" question when they ask it, rather than giving it all at once.

That way, they can do things in the order their computer wants it, rather than having to stop and remember.

At Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 3:10:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

No, I'd call that sucky customer service. Whether it's the company's fault or the cashier's fault, I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be able to place an order for one person in which I make everything clear and have it not screw up the system. Essentially you're saying that treating the ordering process like programming a computer is not a bad thing. Why not have those touch screens where I just order off of a computer, instead? A human being should be able to handle a minimal amount of variation in the process. As it is, it feels like they aren't listening when they ask for my order.


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