15 Things You Should Never Ask a Fast Food Employee
Fast food workers are used to answering hundreds of questions a day from hungry customers, but there are some annoying things that these servers wish you’d just stop asking. To get an inside look into what the guy punching buttons on the cash register really wishes you’d stop bugging him about, we scoured Reddit and found the most hilariously shocking gripes fast food workers have. To keep from getting on your server’s last nerve, avoid asking any of the following questions below just as you would steer clear of The #1 Worst Menu Option at 41 Popular Restaurants.
Don’t Ask for Fresh Fries
When McDonald’s overnight employees were asked if it bothers them when customers request a fresh batch of fries, Reddit user gunnry admitted, “It bothers [me] when customers demand fresh fries when a fresh batch came up a minute ago, so I’ll say it’s really not necessary and that they just came out a moment ago and they’re piping hot. Lots of people say they want no salt because then you HAVE to make fresh ones.”
Don’t Ask for Your ‘Usual’
You might be a regular at your fast food joint, but don’t expect the employees to know your favorite foods. User msrockatansky divulges, “I used to work at dunkin donuts and so many frequent customers would ask for their ‘usual’ like I had a mental rolodex of 20+ people’s coffee preferences or I cared enough to remember.”
Don’t Ask ‘What’s Good Here?’
Reddit user Mrubuto detailed what goes through their mind when a customer requests their opinion: “walk up to register. ‘..hmmmm what’s good?’ you’re at [expletive] McDonald’s! Nothing!” EmpirePenguin had a different take on the ‘what’s good’ request, explaining that it depends on the person: “Asking me to suggest food items I’ve never met you before, how am I supposed to know which, of the 40 food items on the menu, you would like?”
Don’t Ask for Free Food
Even though fast food is cheap, you still need to pay for it. It annoys tana-ryu when people “try to get free stuff by saying the other stores give it to them for free.” Some customers take a different tactic by requesting bigger portions. A former Chipotle employee revealed that when you ask for more meat the answer is no, “You get 4 ounces just like everybody else. You can pay for more if you really want it that badly.”
Don’t Ask for Complicated Substitutions
Reddit user Stalking_Panda shared which menu items are too much of a hassle for McDonald’s overnight workers to concoct: “Special requests come in a lot… ‘I want an egg muffin but sub the ham with steak and egg whites instead’ or an (insert sandwich here) but with weird ingredients from other sandwiches. Those ones seem to annoy people on the grill the most.”
Don’t Request Changes Out of Their Control
Reddit user corpulentFornicator and former Jimmy John’s employee reported that customers who ask for toasted sandwiches will often be disappointed. Jimmy John’s doesn’t “have toasters/microwaves and all of the sandwiches are served cold (subs are made very quickly as a result).” The user continued to explain that “Tons of customers would ask for toasted sandwiches and would flip out when I told them we couldn’t do it. It was freaking mind-boggling that people couldn’t understand that JJ’s specializes in cold subs, and that we don’t make exceptions for people.”
More Jimmy John’s employees chimed in that they have the same problem, user tiny-danza added that customers also ask, “But you have an oven, can’t you use that?” And user IHavePetChickens shared their solution: “I just started telling people that the oven was pre-set at 425 degrees and didn’t have a way of changing the temperature, so if I put their sub in it would burst into flame and burn the store down. Most of the time I would get an apology.”
Don’t Ask Them to Rush
Reddit user SaulKarath dished about customers who are in a rush: “I used to work fast food. I get that it’s ‘fast food’ but please don’t yell because you were running late to work and decided to stop for a meal anyway.”
Don’t Ask For Something On the ‘Secret Menu’
While there are multiple blogs devoted to secret menu hacks at your favorite fast food restaurant, that doesn’t mean the employees know exactly what you’re asking for. “Former Starbucks worker here,” begins user stac52, “Please don’t order anything off the ‘Secret Menu.’ It doesn’t exist.”
Instead of asking for “a snickerdoodle, [Nutella], or captain crunch [frappuccino] (or whatever other overly [sugary] thing someone has since come out with),” stac52 recommends that you “know the base drink and the modifications, and order that. If you just say the name, it’s up to the barista to come up with what’s in the drink, and it may not be what the last barista you ordered from put in there.”
Don’t Pretend to Have an Allergy
Food allergies aren’t something to toy around with. Don’t try to lie to your waiter or food service employee that you have a food allergy when in reality you just dislike a certain ingredient. Reddit user mountchichi detailed a time when a customer’s dairy-free request was contrary to his final order.
“One time I was on the line during peak making this guy’s burrito, and he gets to salsa and asks it to be remade because he can’t have dairy and some cheese strands fell in. I’m thinking he has some allergy or lactose problems, so I wipe down the line and remake his burrito. We get down towards salsa again, and he asks for SOUR CREAM. I look at my employees and we all have this ‘What the hell?’ look on our face, since we just went through all that trouble of removing any dairy from the line and he just asked for it.”
Don’t Ask Them to List Every Menu Item
Reddit user throwawayquestion20 who’s also a Pizza Hut server said: “Oh my God, I swear those people who called and asked about every single special and menu item gave me a special type of anxiety…We have a website with every local deal and menu item. If you must call in your order, for the love of God look at the menu online before calling. In my three years working there, not a single person was solely dedicated to phone duty, so people who do this are setting back other people’s orders.”
Don’t Order Your Food Drunk
Reddit user Sina117 shared that his girlfriend — who works at McDonald’s — had to deal with an unruly drunk customer.
“While working a midnight shift, a drunk customer asked for a quarter pounder with cheese, except with no bun. To confirm I asked, ‘So you want just the meat, cheese, and condiments?’ To which this gentleman framed his emphatic response, ‘Yup.’ When I gave him his order he informed me that it wasn’t what he wanted, even though he got exactly what he wanted. I turned around to get a drink for another customer when a bunless [quarter pounder] crashes on the wall by my head.”
Don’t Try to Haggle Over the Price
Sorry, but your server doesn’t control the prices. “It annoys me when you complain that the food costs too much. Jesus, I just work here, I make less than what your food is worth,” shared one fast food worker. Apparently, it’s a usual occurrence: user xproofx also shared “I hated customers who tried to bargain with the price.”
Don’t Ask Them How Long It’ll Take
Although they might seem like someone you can complain to, the server taking your order isn’t the same person cooking your food. User MajorHaterMathMinor dished that “Customers would often get angry at me and ask why I was [messing] up my job when their chicken nuggets weren’t ready immediately but it actually WAS NOT my job, I would literally be given the orders to hand out to people with their drinks.” So, please, if you’ve been waiting a long time for your food, don’t take it out on your server.
Don’t Ask for a Cheeseburger Without Cheese
Apparently, this happens all too often. User aigsup1234 shared that “Someone asked for A cheeseburger with no cheese. So I said ‘Oh you mean a burger’ they said ‘NO! A cheeseburger with no cheese’. I couldn’t deal with it so i said ok and rang them up.” The same thing happened to Quirkybumblebee and Taddare who said that so many times people ask “‘can I have a cheeseburger, no cheese.’ ‘SO a hamburger?’ ‘NO! I said a cheeseburger without cheese.’ :sigh:”
Don’t Ask for More Time Rudely
When you pull up to the drive-thru, your server expects that you might need more time to read the menu. However, they “have to answer the headset when it goes off,” Am3liaJ3nnie divulged. Because drive-thru workers have to answer promptly, it often elicits attitude from customers who immediately say “GIVE ME A MINUTE!” The Reddit user said they often don’t mind giving people time, but it’s certainly no reason to angrily ask for more time. Figure out what to order before you head to your favorite fast food place with our guide 20 Surprisingly Healthy Fast Food Orders.