Drive thru

Drive-thrus have become a popular place to go to when you get hungry while on the road or if you want a quick snack to bring home. This even applies to those who want to get food from their favorite restaurants but don’t want to dine in. Just like dining in, there are a couple of unsaid rules that should be followed especially since you could be holding up the line and taking up other people’s time. With that said, here are a couple of things you need to be mindful of while getting your food at your local drive-thru.

drive thru menu

One time-saving trick that will help you and the rest of the customers behind you is to know what you already want to order. We understand that this can be difficult especially when you are new to the restaurant and haven’t scoped out their menu. With that said it’s still best to have something general in mind when you line up. 

Say you are hungry for chicken, with that goal of getting chicken in mind you can easily scope out the drive-thru menu and pinpoint exactly what you want to order. In some cases, drive-thrus may even have a menu placed before the ordering kiosk to help with this task. This makes it easier for you to get what you want within as little time as possible and will help keep the line moving.


After you have made your order, it is best to have your payment at the ready. This will save you even more time if you can give the exact amount for a more streamlined process. This eliminates the need for the employee to give you change and also comes with the benefit of lowering the amount of interaction you need to do with them. With these health and safety concerns, it’s best to keep your face-to-face interaction with someone at a minimum especially through a high traffic area such as a drive-thru.

Horn honking

Being in a drive-thru queue isn't like being in traffic honking your horn won't make the vehicle in front of you move any faster or the restaurant employees move any faster. It's best to properly wait for your turn and do your part to make the line move faster by knowing your order ahead of time and by having the exact amount ready. Remember some drive-thrus are cramped and you might be sitting in line for a while with the same people you just honked at. so, it's best to keep the peace and just try and relax while waiting for your food.

don't tailgate

A drive-thru will have space for you and the rest of the vehicle behind you so make sure that you do not tailgate the vehicle in front. The line will move eventually and in some cases, the restaurants will even provide a place for you to temporarily park while they prepare your order so that the queue can keep moving. If you do tailgate you might end up in a minor fender bender especially if the drive-thru is at an angle. It is still best to give a little space in case the car in front might roll back a bit.

be courteous

While in line it is best to be courteous to your fellow drivers as well as to the staff of the restaurant. Remember they are people too and deserve to be treated with respect. Make sure to be polite and to communicate well if you want a custom order to be done. A little patience goes a long way especially since you will be stuck in line for some time while queuing to get your food.

a person wearing a mask

As a bonus tip make sure that you have a mask on and some disinfectant at the ready when going through a drive-thru. While it’s tempting to remove your mask in your car especially if you are driving solo, you will still need to put it on while interacting with the restaurant staff. As for the disinfectant, you will need it if you decide to pay for your food via cash. Money can be a source of transmission so make sure to clean your hands after you have handled it.

With all this in mind and especially with cases still on the rise, drive-thrus have become the popular go-to for those in search of a quick and easy meal. Remember that much like dining in person it can take time so be patient, you aren’t you when you’re hungry but you will get your food on time.

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