McDonald's workers park order, don't know how to react when customer shows up looking for it 30 minutes later

@audreysalvarez/TikTok Chatchai Somwat/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I swear it ain’t on purpose’: McDonald’s worker parks customer, forgets about their order for 30 minutes

‘Being told to pull into one of their spots just immediately ruins my night.’


Jack Alban


If you’ve ever been in the drive-thru and were asked to pull up and wait for your food, only to sit there for what felt like an eternity, then you’re not alone.

Not only are you not alone, but there are even McDonald’s employees who fess up to completely forgetting about parked customers, and feel utterly frozen when the same customer arrives later asking just where in the heck their order is.

That’s what Mickey D’s worker and TikTok user Audrey (@audreysalvarez) posted about in a viral clip that’s garnered some 2.1 million views.

The clip shows Audrey standing completely still and gazing at a receipt in what appears to be the kitchen area of a McDonald’s. She’s wearing a bright yellow vest, the kind that one would wear to direct traffic, and a McDonald’s branded employee hat. There’s also a bag of food in her hand, presumably the same bag that was supposed to be run out to a drive-thru customer who was told to pull up to the side and wait for their food to be brought out to them.

Trouble is, that customer was told to wait 30 minutes ago, and in the kerfuffle of completing other patrons’ orders, they were left by the wayside. Audrey writes in a text overlay of the video, “When the customer we parked 30 minutes ago come inside holding up their receipt.”

Her clip also cuts to another worker who is also standing completely still while gripping a receipt in her hand as she suppresses a smile. Audrey clarifies in a caption for the video that the “parked” customers she’s referring to aren’t necessarily always forgotten, writing, “They always come inside when we just sent someone out running to take the order.”


They always come inside when we just sent someone out running to take the order 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

♬ original sound – hemissme

Audrey isn’t the only McDonald’s employee, however, who has admitted to inadvertently leaving McDonald’s drive-thru customers twiddling their thumbs in a parking space after they’ve placed their order. Another worker for the chain expressed that they’ve done this as well, writing in a caption on their own TikTok, “Me finishing all the orders and remembering I parked a car that’s been sitting there for 20 min.”

Numerous TikTokers had varying reactions to the dread “pull up and park” request while at the drive-thru, either as a customer or employee. One person wrote, “Being told to pull into one of their spots just immediately ruins my night.”

Another said, “BYE I did this once bc I was waiting for an hour for a small caramel frappe and I felt so guilty.”

Audrey replied, stating that she feels terrible whenever she does this, “I always feel so bad afterwards, I swear it ain’t on purpose fr.”

But it seemed plenty of employees have been in the same boat as Audrey. “Had someone pulled up for a cinnamon roll…. i clocked out & went home and remembered hours later,” a user said.

Another customer shared how they “got back” at a restaurant for making them wait an inordinate amount of time. “Had me waiting for 30 mins one day, took 2 DoorDash orders for my troubles,” they said.

While many expressed their frustration with being asked to pull up ahead and park instead of just waiting at the window for their food, there’s a reason why workers do this—it all has to do with the drive-thru efficiency timer.

Taste of Home writes that “employees will sometimes ask you pull to the side or into a parking spot. It’s because most fast-food chains time employees to see how quickly they serve customers. If you’re asked to pull ahead, it’s because that timer is ticking!”

Fast-food employees have been recorded sticking metal sheets outside of the drive-thru window as a means of “tricking” these car trackers that gauge how speedily their orders are being processed. The metal sheet fools the system into thinking another car drove through; more cars means a lower average assistance time.

The Daily Dot has reached out to McDonald’s via email and Audrey via TikTok comment.

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