Most of us drop by a McDonald’s restaurant from time to time, and the experience is usually nothing memorable. For us, at least. As it turns out, the employees have been keeping tabs on the annoying things their worst customers do.
Everyone knows that working at a McDonald’s restaurant probably isn’t the most fun a person can have—even people who’ve never done it can guess as much. From working long and busy shifts to dealing with customers who barely even see you as another human, it’s a job that can take its toll on someone both physically and emotionally.
Have you ever wondered if you’re one of those customers that an employee can’t wait to see leave the drive-thru? Former and current McDonald’s workers like Jen Cavazuti of Spoon University recently shared some of most common things customers do that McDonald’s employees hate—hopefully you won’t recognize anything you’ve done on the list.
Ordering Coffee Like it’s Starbucks
Surprisingly, McDonald’s has quite the range of coffee beverages, and most people will tell you that they aren’t half bad. What some people forget, however, is that even though they’re ordering a Starbucks-like drink, they are not, in fact, at a Starbucks.
“This is McDonald’s,” Cavazuti said. “We don’t have any milk besides cream or 2% for your coffee. It’s just not happening.” Unless you order a latte—and even then, there aren’t multiple milk options—your drink is being made with a pre-blended mix.
Parents with Wild Children
It’s not necessarily when a parent has a wild child that’s annoying—it’s when the parent doesn’t actually, you know, parent their child when they’re acting up. The PlayPlace is a perfectly acceptable place for them to run free, but it’s not okay to let your child run around a crowded restaurant, bother other patrons, or throw straws and ketchup packets all over the floor—after all, those condiments are pretty valuable.
Heaven forbid someone actually says anything to them about their child’s behavior, though, because it usually turns into a heated lecture on why they don’t need any help parenting their kid.
Parents, if you’ve ever had an encounter like this, listen up. No one is saying you’re a bad parent overall—they just want your kid to stop causing mayhem. Pay attention to them and just tell them to knock it off if they’re getting out of control, and don’t be surprised when people bring it to your attention if you don’t. Fast food or not, they just want to eat in peace.
Asking for Free Food
If the food that you receive is truly subpar or just not what you ordered, you have every right to hand it back and ask for something else. However, asking for free food just for the sake of it is not cool.
Would you walk into one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants and ask the staff for another steak at no charge? Yes, the food at McDonald’s is considerably cheaper, but it still costs the restaurant money to purchase it.
However, employees might throw in the occasional freebie for the customers who make their day—just don’t go in expecting it. “I work 10 hour shifts starting at 5 a.m.,” Cavazuti said. “I’m not a happy camper. So if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice back. I won’t charge you for whipped cream on your coffee (shh, don’t tell).”
Ordering Salt-Free Fries
Alright, it’s not necessarily the act of ordering salt-free fries that annoys an employee—it’s when you order them and how you act afterwards. For anyone who doesn’t know, ordering fries without salt guarantees that they’ll be fresh, because each batch is usually salted by default.
The crew can easily just add salt to the rest after they’ve taken yours out, but the catch is that you’ll actually have to wait for the fresh fries to be cooked. “I’m fine with giving you salt-free fries, but if you are in a hurry, don’t expect them to be ready,” Cavazuti said. “You’re going to have to wait 3 minutes based on your request.”
Oh, and people who order salt-free fries right before closing? McDonald’s employees believe there’s a special circle in hell for people like you.
Complaining About Costs
If you think a few bucks is too much for a double cheeseburger, that’s your prerogative. The cashier at your local McDonald’s is not the person to take that frustration out on, though. As someone on the lowest level of the restaurant totem pole, they have absolutely no control over how much the food costs.
“Email the manager, call corporate, fill out a survey, but do not tell me that you think our dollar coffee is too expensive,” Cavazuti said. “You’re being ridiculous.”
Thinking Correct Orders are Wrong
Any McDonald’s restaurant has a fast-paced work environment, and there are times when the staff will legitimately mess up an order. However, you’d be surprised at how often customers think their order is wrong when it really isn’t.
If you order a black coffee and then complain that there’s no sugar in it, the problem is that you don’t actually know what “black coffee” means. Same thing with ordering something “plain.” “If you ask for a plain hamburger, there won’t be ketchup or mustard or onions or pickles because you said you didn’t want it,” Cavazuti said.
Most people would consider themselves fortunate if they’ve never had to work in a fast food restaurant. It’s easy to see why—the hours are long, the shifts are busy, and there are many people who mistakenly believe they’re better than anyone who would work there. It doesn’t make sense when you think about it though. S
Someone believes the food is good enough for them to eat, but thinks the actual person making it is beneath them?
Without the person in that kitchen, you’d have to make that burger and fries yourself, or go to a sit-down restaurant and pay even more for it. It’s actually estimated that around 1 percent of all people in the entire world eat at McDonald’s each day, some because they want to and others because it’s their best option due to low prices. You may not want the job, but be kind to the person that has it.
Treating the Parking Lot Like a Trash Can
Aside from the obvious environmental impacts of littering, it’s also just plain rude to do it in a business’ parking lot. There’s not even any good reason to do it—any McDonald’s you go to will have a trash can at the end of the drive-thru lane and one up by the entrance.
It just takes the small effort of walking the 20 feet to it to not be a jerk—if you’re in the drive-thru, you wouldn’t even have to get out of your car! Not to mention that it’s then the job of an employee to go out and clean up after you because you couldn’t be bothered to do it for yourself. Be the adult that you should be and just throw your trash away.
Expecting Things You Didn’t Ask For
Especially when they’re going through the drive-thru, some customers always take a second to look through their bag to make sure the order is right. No problem with that, right? The weird thing, though, is when people ask questions about things that they never actually brought up.
Things like “Did you put ranch in here?” when they never actually asked for any to be included. If you want ketchup, dipping sauces, salt packets, or whatever else it happens to be, don’t be surprised when an employee doesn’t magically know you’d like it. They can’t read your mind—ask for it.
Expecting Sit-Down Restaurant Service
Yes, there really are some people out there who are surprised when their McDonald’s cashier doesn’t bring their tray to their table. Why would anyone expect that? The self-service aspect of a McDonald’s is one of the reasons why a fast food restaurant can even exist!
When you go to one, you’re not going there for table-side service—you’re going there to get cheap food quickly. The price for those conveniences is not being waited on like you would if you went somewhere more expensive.