Drive thrus are great time savers. The idea actually began in the US as early as 1930. The first recorded use was by the Grand National Bank in St. Louis, Missouri!! The tellers only accepted deposits. Then it moved on to restaurants and other establishments. According to Wikipedia, there’s even a funeral home where mourners can drive by and view the remains of their loved ones!!

Today, when we think of drive-thru, coffee & fast food outlets come to mind. In this blog post, I have my etiquette tips on good authority (my son!) who worked for Tim Horton’s. He personally experienced all of these scenarios except the “line jumping”.

1. Speak clearly and not too quickly into the microphone as it has excellent reception so you don’t have to yell. Avoid speaking too quietly either. If you have a difficult accent, try to enunciate as much as possible. Don’t get impatient if the attendant asks you to repeat the order.

2. Try to know the order ahead of time so you aren’t making the person wait instead of saying “I want one muffin…no wait, two. Ah, actually, I need 12” or “What kind of muffins do you have again?”. You get the point.

3. Have the money/debit card ready as the attendant has already told you the amount of your order instead of hunting for payment when you approach the window. Some customers even wait until their food is ready before offering to pay. Both of these practices really slow down the line-up.

4. Position the car close enough so the attendant doesn’t have to bodily reach across to retrieve the money or give you the order.

5. No line jumping especially at a Tim Horton’s drive-thru – you’re taking your life into your hands!! Enough said…

6. Turn off the cellphone while placing the order. The attendant has a hard time trying to understand your order if there are two conversations. Remember there’s no face to face communication.

7. Those who drive big trucks, kindly turn off the engine. It’s very difficult to hear the person giving the order over the engine roar.

These attendants are doing their best to deliver good service and fulfil our orders. Let’s make their job a little easier.

 


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Maria and her Etiquette Program have been featured in several media outlets including:

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