The Bizarre Way Dunkin' Cheats Its Drive-Thru Data

Big data and employee tracking have been altering the way people work for years. Business Insider points out that Amazon, perhaps one of the most famous employee-monitoring companies in the world, uses multiple forms of Big Brother-like monitoring to voyeuristically spy on the productivity of employees. From cameras that literally track when someone yawns to devices that alert managers when a worker is off task, there's a lot of technology built solely to try to turn people into more efficient machines.

Amazon isn't alone in trying to streamline employees into being forever faster and more effective. Supervising workflow has also long been a component of the fast food industry. A report by Vox chronicles the harrowing, painful, and depressing existence of someone working in fast food. According to the outlet, everything a worker does is tracked by one of the many fast food robots employed today. If the employee was a minute late for a shift, they were lambasted by a manager. If they took a break, the eye in the sky knew all about it.

One of the tracking mechanisms being used is the drive-thru detector, combined with a timer. A TikTok user says employees are trying to trip this detector in order to alter drive-thru data. Here's what Dunkin' Donuts employees did. 

Dunkin' employees cheat machines

In a video on TikTok, employees are seen leaning out of the window of a Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru with a flat panel of metal in their hands. They press it on the ground, then retreat back inside the building. This is a strange secret of the drive-thru and has led many to wonder why they're performing this unusual act.

"I know exactly what they're doing," said the man behind the video. He explained, "They're taking a piece of metal to set off the detection to bring the average time ... down." He explains that this is because "The only metric that matters is on average how long cars wait." By confusing the sensor, it believes people are waiting less time.

While this is technically cheating, the reasoning behind it is actually to improve the drive-thru experience beyond speed. The TikTok user said, "The people who make these rules don't think that customers are people, and the people who work there do." According to the TikTok user, this type of cheating provides more time for employees to "make people feel human and have even just a short conversation." As pointed out by Reddit, drive-thrus often ask customers to pull forward because each order has a time limit due to the sensors. These Dunkin' Donuts employees apparently took the matter into their own hands.