Why Fast Food Employees Don't Want You Waiting At The Register For Condiments

Nothing is more disappointing than getting home after a long day at work and picking up food from your favorite fast-food spot, only to realize your condiments are missing. That's understandable because a chicken sandwich is just not the same without Chick-fil-A Sauce, honey mustard completes McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, and spicy ketchup is arguably Whataburger's better half. 

However, there's a right (and polite) way customers should go about asking for condiments to ensure they get their favorite sauce with their meal and don't upset restaurant employees in the process. It's recommended that patrons ask for condiments when placing their food order, whether they're at the register or the drive-thru.

Fast-food workers don't want people waiting around at the register or drive-thru window for condiments because the line gets held up, and that's even more true when the employee has to leave their work area to get the customer their sauce.

Not asking at the right time can negatively impact workers' livelihoods

Some people worry workers will forget their sauces if they ask for them too early. A McDonald's customer on Reddit shared their so-called life hack, writing, "When going through McDonald's drive-thru, ask for your sauces when you receive your food. Not when you place your order, else they'll almost always forget." However, when working in fast food, it's important to keep the lines moving efficiently. Backed-up lines can mean losses in the thousands for businesses, and, unfortunately, this pressure is often inflicted on low-paid fast-food employees. (Some drive-thru workers are even timed.) Consequently, many chains are implementing multiple-lane drive-thrus, letting customers place digital orders, and experimenting with artificial intelligence to keep the lines moving. 

Long lines can cause these employees to feel overwhelmed, especially when understaffed, and this can result in mistakes and messed-up orders. So, to make their lives and jobs easier, always say "please" and "thank you" and ask for condiments early. Still, if you are worried about workers forgetting to put your sauces in your bag, double-check quickly upon receiving the order.