The Common Fast Food Faux Pas That Annoys The Heck Out Of Employees

Fast food employee smiling
Fast food employee smiling - Andresr/Getty Images

Keeping a fast food restaurant running smoothly is a delicate balancing act, and a lot can go wrong, from broken ice cream machines to the many mistakes that can happen with the drive-thru. There are a few things customers can keep in mind in order to avoid adding to the weight on employees' shoulders. For starters, avoid this one common fast food faux pas: not deciding on what you want until you reach the register.

This is a more disruptive habit than you might think, because in the time you stand there thinking, the cashier could have been taking another customer's order, or helping the rest of the team prepare meals. You have plenty of time to decide what you want to eat before you lock eyes with the cashier, especially if there's a long line. Neglecting to get ready to order annoys the heck out of staff members who are under pressure to keep things moving.

Similarly, avoid making complicated changes to your order while you're at the counter. Asking for no pickles or more ice is fine, but requesting out-of-the-ordinary additions or for items to be cooked a certain way creates confusion, and can lead to orders coming out incorrectly. Save those McDonald's ordering hacks for when the store is at its least busy. It's called fast food for a reason, so if you're not ready to think quickly, perhaps decide on another spot for lunch.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of American Fast Food Restaurants

How To Prevent Hold-Ups At The Register

customer ordering fast food on phone
customer ordering fast food on phone - Mixetto/Getty Images

If you're often an indecisive customer, there are some ways to avoid ordering mistakes, whether you're at In-N-Out, Chipotle, or somewhere else. It's easy to stand off to the side of the counter and peruse a fast food joint's menu before lining up behind the register. Still, if you can't read the overhead menu from where you're standing, or don't like the pressure of making a choice while employees wait and stare at you, there are some tools that can help you decide what you want before you step foot in the restaurant.

Firstly, you can browse a fast food restaurant's menu online before you go to the store, which can save you from the stress of on-the-spot ordering. Most fast food menus are the same at every location, but fast food brands usually have an option to view menus from specific locations, too, so you can figure out exactly what you want from your local store.

For especially loyal fast food fans -- or if you just want your order ASAP -- it might be an even better idea to download a restaurant's app and use it to order in advance. Many modern fast food establishments offer mobile apps where customers can view the menu and order ahead of time, so you can skip the line (and potentially holding it up) entirely.

Other Fast Food Blunders To Avoid

overflowing mcdonald's trash cans
overflowing mcdonald's trash cans - In Pictures/Getty Images

There are some other lesser-known fast food rules you should keep in mind. One tip is to never over-stuff the trash cans. While you might think it's better to shove your trash into a bin rather than leave it on a table, this can do more harm than good if the bins are clearly above capacity. Shoving greasy wrappers, half-full soda cups, and opened condiments into the already-overflowing trash leads to a much bigger mess later, as everything will fall to the floor when the bag is being changed. The bottom of the bag might even rupture, too.

If you notice that the trash is overflowing out of a bin, just tell an employee and they'll probably advise you to leave your trash on the table. Of course, if the trash can has room, use it, as leaving your trash out on the table for no reason will also not be helpful.

As a final but all-important etiquette tip, avoid getting too impatient. Fast food workers want to get your meal out ASAP, and demanding that your order be made a priority or otherwise acting rudely helps no one. If there's ten people in line in front of you, just accept it and wait. Be prepared when it's time to order, practice some common courtesy, and your favorite fast food lunch will be ready in no time (and prepped by happier workers, to boot).

Read the original article on Daily Meal.