Taco Bell drive-thru customer asks why we stopped using the first window

Tada Images/Adobe Stock @typicaltori__/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Right?’: Taco Bell drive-thru customer asks why we stopped using the first window

'but they keep building them with 2 windows!!!'


Melody Heald


Posted on Mar 10, 2024   Updated on Mar 21, 2024, 1:27 pm CDT

At some fast food restaurants, you pull up to the first window after you place your order in the drive-thru. This allows workers to focus on one task at a time. While sitting in the Taco Bell drive-thru, a woman asked why most fast food chains stopped using the first window.

TikTok user Tori Nicole (@typicaltori__) sat in her car. “Can someone in food management, like, tell me why we stopped using the first window?” she asked. Then, she flipped her camera to reveal Taco Bell’s first window which had an arrow pointed forward, reading in white letters “Please, pull forward.” After reading the sign, the content creator was confused. “‘Cause, you know, it used to be, like, ‘Oh, you pay at the first window and the second window, you got your order.’ What’s going on?” she asked.

This prompted Tori to propose the reason behind it. “Is it we ain’t got enough employees?” she questioned, placing her index finger on her top lip, thinking. She concluded the video by requesting viewers to explain this in the comments section.

“What happened to window 1?” she repeated in the caption.

@typicaltori__ What happened to window 1 ? #foodservice ♬ original sound – Tori Nicole

The Daily Dot reached out to Taco Bell via press email for comment. The video garnered over 163,000 views as of Sunday afternoon. In the comments, viewers shared their theories.

“its probably lack of staff & trying to limit times tbh but I think it was so useful,” one viewer wrote.

“They switched it back to ordering at a speaker and ONE person does the job of two,” another stated.

“back when i worked in fast food, we only open up that window if a) we have the extra staff for it and b) if it’s busy enough,” a third shared.

Additionally, some shared different observations they’ve noticed.

“but they keep building them with 2 windows!!!” one user commented.

“Right!? McDonald’s is the only one still using window 1 consistently,” a second noted.

According to Yahoo, the verdict was a lack of staffing. However, Expedite founder Kristien Hawley believed that technology would make up for it. “Hawley said tech-forward customers will increasingly speed through their own pick-up lanes, separated from Luddites who insist on something so passé as ordering and paying (gasp!) at a restaurant,” the article reads.

Update 1:27pm CT, March 21: Tori told the Daily Dot she initially noticed the lack of first window use during the pandemic.

“A lot of people listed lack of staff as the main reason. The second most common reason is managers only having a limited amount of labor hours and to keep food costs down they use fewer employees,” she shared via TikTok direct message. “Since they don’t have a full staff they only open the 2nd window and have one person doing payments, making drinks, and serving the food. Another reason sited is that when it gets later in the day or night places that use 2 window go down to 1.”

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*First Published: Mar 10, 2024, 5:00 pm CDT