Chick-Fil-A Employees Can't Stand These Redundant Orders

Fast-food drive-thru etiquette — it's a thing. And there are do's and don'ts to drive-thru ordering. Among the things that make the people who work the drive-thru at your favorite eateries unhappy are ordering items from other restaurants, blaming the window worker for a wrong order, changing your order at the window, not having payment ready, and, of course — the granddaddy of all service workers' pet peeves — talking on your cell phone and giving the "just a minute" gesture.

Why, you ask, is this so important? After all, it's just a simple lunch order, right? To you, perhaps. To the diligent attendant tapping their fingers as you ask every person in the car what they want while parked in front of the speaker, not so much. You are one of about 16 million people ordering at a drive-thru window that day in America. According to Food Truck Empire, six billion orders are completed via drive-thru in this country each year. And Chick-fil-A, despite being one of the companies whose response to the COVID-19 pandemic was most effective (per Forbes), sports the longest drive-thru lines in the nation. So, yeah, the pet peeves of these fast-food warriors should be of concern to you. 

With that in mind, what drives Chick-fil-A employees nuts? One thing they get a good eye roll over is customers' redundant ordering.

Fast-food workers deserve a break

According to a December post on the Chick-fil-A workers Reddit page, things like asking for fries with a kids meal, which inherently includes fries, can drive them a little bonkers. The post, titled "Little PSA..." — likely directed toward the dedicated legions of chicken lovers who have elevated the happy chicken eatery to the third most-popular chain in America — states that "There is absolutely NO NEED to say sweet and spicy sriracha. SRIRACHA IS SRIRACHA!" It's kind of like asking for wet water or cold ice, isn't it?

Chick-fil-A, like most fast-food establishments, is in the midst of a hiring crisis, per Business Insider. A full 75% of restaurant operators say that finding staff is the key challenge they are faced with, while 78% say they don't have enough staff to handle their daily business, as reported by Restaurant Business Online. So it would behoove all of us to heed the needs, and peeves, of this embattled group of service providers. 

When you're smoking at the window, playing your stereo too loud, demanding fresh fries, littering, or being a jerk at the double drive-thru, your dutiful Chick-fil-A attendant may acknowledge you with the requisite "my pleasure." But rest assured — it's probably not.

Is it really a pleasure?

Chick-fil-A's trademark "my pleasure" response is something that apparently becomes so ingrained that it can be hard for employees to shake when they're not donning the bright red uniform. The phrase made it into Chick-fil-A lingo as a result of founder Truett Cathy's visit to a Ritz Carlton and his delight at being met with the response, as opposed to the more run-of-the-mill "you're welcome," according to Business Insider

Though the phrase doesn't appear in Chick-fil-A's official training manuals, it's part of a company culture that is rooted in taking customer service above and beyond the norm, per Taste of Home. Using it is, according one Reddit user who "wears the red," is one of the four core values that need to be remembered when serving guests, with the other three being eye contact, speaking with a friendly tone, and smiling.

The 140,000 Chick-fil-A team members are hired for that smile, and its readiness, not their work history or resume. When choosing new employees, hiring managers, according to one self-identified Chick-fil-A employee on Reddit, reportedly lean heavily on their assessment of the prospective employee's personality. 

Exuding friendliness is obviously a plus, but is that effervescence ever too much? As Chick-fil-A customer Gregory Alan wrote on Facebook, "I don't need to make friends and have small talk with the order taker."

Chick-fil-A's employees are known for their friendliness

Some Chick-fil-A customers also noted on Facebook that Chick-fil-A sets itself apart by asking for customers' names, rather than just assigning them order numbers. Remember the Bob Seger hit "Feel Like a Number?" The powers that be at Chick-fil-A are apparently hoping that instead of humming that ditty while enjoying the Chick-fil-A experience, you'll be singing Andrew Gold's "Thank You for Being a Friend" instead.

The conciliatory nature of those friendly Chick-fil-A worker translates into patience, too. It serves as assurance that the eye-rolls elicited from customers' ordering faux pas are concealed, at least to our faces; these fast-food warriors roll with the punches, problems, and mispronunciations. 

The Reddit PSA post about redundancy at Chick-fil-A also included some of the ways the adoring public butchers the pronunciation of Polynesian sauce, ordering things like "playground sauce," "Himalayan sauce," "Pomeranian sauce," "poly-Asian sauce," and "the p-p-p ... the Asian joint." One self-identified Chick-fil-A employee wrote that at their store, team members were given shirts sporting the many monikers the Polynesian sauce had been given. 

If customers' inability to pronounce sauce names correctly brings a chuckle (or a light-hearted face-palm) to the fast-food workers standing in the cold in an effort to expedite the drive-thru experience, we're happy to oblige. Really, it's our pleasure.