If you’ve spent a decent amount of time in fast food drive-thrus, worked at one yourself, or scrolled through enough social media posts, then you’re probably aware of the “metal sheet hack.”
Clips of employees at massive chain restaurants can sometimes be spotted hanging these sheets outside of a drive-thru window before quickly bringing the sheet back inside. So what’s the point of this?
Well, some corporations want to monitor the efficiency of drive-thrus at various franchise locations and have specialized tech meant to measure the number of cars that pass through the drive-thru of a restaurant. This number is then measured against the number of orders that are taken place in a given day, so whoever is crunching these analytics can get a decent picture of the average turnaround time it takes for a particular McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc. to process these orders.
But human beings aren’t robots and sometimes issues arise that need to be dealt with even when there are customers waiting to place an order. And even though there are productivity goals to be met, sometimes, those metrics must be contextualized differently. And if you, as a customer aren’t sensitive to that, there may be some employees who will intentionally take longer to serve you, efficiency quotas be damned.
That’s what a TikToker by the name of Tyler (@tyler.comedy) touched upon in a now-viral clip where he calls out drive-thru customers for not understanding basic human etiquette.
He writes in a text overlay for the clip: “Stop saying ‘hello’ 1 millisecond after getting to the speaker it only gon make us take forever to take your order.”
@tylerr.comedy Be patient 😃 #fyp #fy #mcdonalds #mcdonaldsemployee #backcash #fastfood #fastfoodlife #fastfoodworkers ♬ Digits – BNM EFOSA
The McDonald’s employee appears to be talking about the type of customer who, as soon as they approach the drive-thru speaker, will immediately expect to place their order instead of waiting for whoever is on the other end of that speaker to let them know that they are ready to assist them.
According to Chron, McDonald’s drive-thru sales account for 65% of the brand’s business. When you consider that McDonald’s serves some 69 million customers in a day, this means that there are roughly 48 million folks on any given day waiting to place their order.
In the comments section, the majority of viewers judged those customers who start rattling off their orders as soon as they pull up to the speaker.
“They ain’t even get their for a sec and they be screaming hello,” one top comment read.
“Then you tell them just a moment and they start saying their order,” another alleged fast-food employee shared.
“And when they have the audacity to say “give me a moment please,”” one viewer wrote.
There were also a significant number of commenters who urged those who watched Tyler’s video to be “extra nice to customer service workers” due to “what they have to deal with on the daily.”
There’s been a multitude of reports indicating that stress levels among food service industry workers post-COVID have been dramatically increasing from month to month. CNBC reported that the food service industry still has hundreds of thousands of unfilled positions at large as of summer 2022.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Tyler via TikTok comment an McDonald’s via email for further information.