McDonald's drive-thru

McDonald’s worker leaves people fuming after explaining how the drive-thru works

We all love rolling up to the McDonald’s drive-thru for our morning coffee when we’re still too groggy to drag ourselves out of the car. We love it when there’s bad weather and we don’t have to go outside in the rain or snow. Some of us also love it when our sober friend brings us through after a drunken night out. This Mcdonald’s employee recently divulged some secrets about the famously fast drive-thru – and some people are not happy about them.

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Employee Reveals McDonald’s Drive-Thru Secrets

A McDonald’s worker, named @secretfitzz on TikTok, took to the platform recently to reveal a few little-known facts about the drive-thru. Her grand reveals, or dirty little secrets, if you will, have some people pretty upset. These are a couple of McDo’s (or Macca’s, or Maccies, or Micky D’s, or whatever you like to call it) small drive-thru secrets that may have you wondering whether or not you will still go. (1)

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Secret #1: They’re Always Listening

It turns out, the drive-thru employees can hear you all the time – even when they’re not in the process of taking your order. This means that every little side conversation you have, argument, or even if you’re just singing along to your favorite song – they hear it all. This one might be hard to believe considering it seems they can’t understand you even when you’re yelling into the speaker box, but it is. Other employees of the fast-food giant have confirmed that they can, and do, hear you.

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“When you’re sitting at a drive-thru speaker, we can always hear everything – even if you think your interaction is over,” explained one McDonald’s employee. “Be careful what personal details you reveal to strangers.” (2)

“Most of them are parents telling kids to shut it before they give them something to cry about, threatening to make kids walk home if they don’t hurry up and pick things, or we don’t need any f–ing ice cream type conversations.” said another.

Long story short: Be careful what you say while going through the drive-thru. Maybe it’s best if you just put all conversations on hold until after you’ve driven away with your order.

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McDonald's drive-thru employee
Image credit: @secretfitzz | TikTok

Secret #2: Smile For The Camera

The final, and perhaps more disturbing detail, is that they take a quick mugshot of you in your car before you arrive at the window. She says it’s so that they know who’s order is whose. 

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“Seeing the mugshots of random people makes my day.” she said.

Naturally, this one has people just a little bit creeped out. Many people commented saying that if this was true, they were officially never going through the McDonald’s drive-thru ever again. 

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Read: Burger King is banning 120 artificial ingredients from menus — see the full list

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More Realities Of Working The McDonald’s Drive-Thru

As it turns out, as much as many of us love the convenience of the drive-thru, we don’t know much about how it actually works. For those of us who have never worked a Drive-thru at any fast food restaurant, we really have no clue how stressful a job it can be. Many McDonald’s employees specifically have spoken out about some of the challenges of working in this position.

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Understanding Customers

You know how sometimes when the McDonald’s employee over the speaker can be hard to understand? Well, they’re wearing a headpiece and know to speak clearly and slowly. Now, imagine what their job is like trying to understand what people are saying on the other end. On top of that, they often have to decipher what it is a customer is actually trying to ask for.

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“It’s like people have no idea what they want, and expect us to automatically know,” said one employee. “It used to bother me but now I just fill in the blanks when the customers are too dumb/drunk to use their words,”

It Takes Experience To Do The Job

Working the drive-thru involves a lot of multitasking and having to do things as fast as possible. There are many things you need to remember and do, and a lot of pressure on you to get it right. Employees say that, despite the training you receive, you really just need the experience to be proficient in the position. Even that, they say, doesn’t make it less stressful.

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“Being in the drive through (as cashier or order taker) often involves having multiple tasks going on simultaneously, and that can be very challenging to get the hang of, and is largely a unique function that no other role in the store has.”

They Deal With Very Rude People

Most employees will agree that on average, drive-thru customers are much ruder than those who actually come in the store. This could be a function of many reasons. Perhaps it’s because these customers tend to be in a bigger hurry and are therefore more stressed, or maybe it’s because the late-night crowd often involves a lot of drunk people. Many also think it likely has to do with the fact that it is easier to be rude when speaking to someone through a speaker than when you are looking at them in person.

They’re Under A Lot Of Pressure

There is a lot of pressure on McDonald’s drive-thru employees. They are expected to upsell customers, and also they are expected to make the service as fast as possible. From the time a customer begins the order process to the time they receive their food, the employees are being timed. The goal is to keep the line moving and keep orders rolling out as fast as possible. This is why, if you have a larger order especially, they may ask you to pull into a parking spot to wait for your food. If they get you out of the queue, it doesn’t add to their average daily time.

The Bottom Line

Being a drive-thru worker is not easy. Let’s all cut these employees some slack and realize that they are doing their best dealing with a variety of challenges and customers, all for a very low salary. So be polite always, and if you don’t like how the drive-thru is operating, just go inside the store. You’ll likely have a more favorable experience that way.

Keep Reading: What Food Product Came Out the Year You Were Born?

Sources:

  1. “McDonald’s worker leaves people fuming after explaining how the drive-thru works” Mirror. October 8, 2021.
  2. “Workers Reveal What It’s Really Like Working At A McDonald’s Drive-Thru” Mashed. January 14, 2021.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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