_As our world has become more fast paced_ conveniences have become

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_As our world has become more fast paced_ conveniences have become Powered By Docstoc
					Nathan Pierson
Position Argument

                               Drive Through Inconvenience

        As our world has become more fast-paced, conveniences have become more

important (and wanted) than ever. We want cell phones and on-line brokerages. We

want to shop from our computers and have La-z-boy’s with built-in coolers. We want

laptops and palm pilots. We want self-cleaning ovens and meals that cook themselves.

Meals that cook themselves have been around for awhile in the form of fast food

restaurants, and even more convenient, the drive through. We can get our prepared

“nutrition” and eat it too all in a short trip in our vehicles. The drive through’s intentions

are good; however, experience has shown us that the drive through isn’t as efficient as it

originally was meant to be and is essentially more of an inconvenience than a


        Some may say that there are advantages to the drive through. They claim that it is

nice when you are in a hurry and it is your only meal option, and most of the time it is

faster than running into the restaurant. It is a lot easier for soccer moms to use the drive

than to shuttle kids in and out of mini vans. Also, many people prefer to sit in lines in the

drive through rather than to stand in lines inside at the counter. When a restaurant is busy

it is much more convenient to get your food and run than to wait inside for a table, which

more than likely, will not be cleaned until the rush dies down. There are plenty of reasons

they claim that the drive through can be a convenience.

        However, we do not live in an ideal world and the drive through is not always as

efficient and convenient as some may claim that it may be. With experience in the fast

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food industry, I know the perspectives of the employee and the customer. Sometimes,

inconveniences can be placed on dumb and/or careless employees, other times it can be

placed on those who like to complain regardless of the situation, and sometimes the

inconvenience is due to simple miscommunication between an employee and customer

that can escalate to “Let me see your manager!” or “I’m never patronizing this

establishment again!” Orders are often messed up or mixed up with other orders, and the

quality of the food is not always consistent. Also, the drive through does not necessarily

speed things up. Unless a soccer mom has a van load of well-behave children, ordering in

the drive through can be hectic and very stressful to the soccer mom. Service to lines in

the restaurant are much more personal than drive through lines, and the probability of a

wrong order is less likely.

        From my experience in the industry when the restaurant is busy employees try to

keep the drive through line moving as fast as possible without being to slow in the dining

room.    This time management leaves employees in the kitchen with one important

dilemma: who to give lesser quality food to when they are left with different quality foods

(including food that should not be served), the dining room or the drive through? While

employees should not being serving soggy fries or old burgers, the managerial

expectations of speed dictates, and they will serve it to who cannot complain—the people

who drive off with it. It does not take long to realize that serving the best food to the

customers in the dining room is more important to employees than serving the best food

to the drive through, because the customers in the dining room can directly complain as

soon as they take a bite, whereas the drive through customer may be long gone before he

can take a bite, and by then they are usually too far away to justify going back, too mad to

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go back and complain, or consider the problem (soggy fries, wrong condiments, missing

cheese, etc.) minor. In this situation, an employee or employees can make food runs very

inconvenient for customers who expect good food and receive otherwise.

        Inconvenience at the drive through isn’t always the employees fault though,

customers can be at fault too. Many customers believe complaining will do some good;

however, when a customer at the drive through complains (usually about how long he had

to wait) he is only holding up the rest of the line, resulting in more of what he is

complaining about—and inconveniencing everyone else..            There are also many

pessimistic customers who feel the urge to ruin everybody else’s day if the drive through

process does not conform to them. It is inconvenient for a restaurant to conform to an

individual because the fast food industry is based on mass production and not

individualization. Most arguments at drive through are in vain, resulting in a mad

customer, an employee who is now less happy to serve you, and a hold up in the line.

        Not only do those who argue make the drive through process inconvenient, but

those who go out of their way to be annoying can make the process inconvenient too.

They either try to do something while ordering, or think they know how to make the

process more efficient. Some customers hold conversations while ordering, others blare

their music and wonder why that cannot hear what is going on, and others talk on their

cell phones. And then there is the occasional customer who thinks the speaker system is

so bad that they have to talk as loudly and slowly as possible. It is true that customers

sometimes find it hard to understand or hear the speaker, but inside the restaurant

employees can control the volume and can hear the orders loud and clear. Another thing

that would make the drive through less inconvenient is for the customers to know—or

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have an idea of—what they are going to order to speed things up; sometimes people sit in

the drive through for up to five minutes just deciding what they want. Similarly, there are

others who do know what they want and think that reading off a list as fast as possible

will speed things up. Speeding things up only slows things down because the employee

cannot punch their key pads as fast as the customer reads their order off. Another

convenience killer is large orders. Large orders are not meant for the drive through, they

should be placed inside or even over the phone. Most people in line for a drive through

are either couples or are by themselves and want a small order and they will not want to

wait for somebody to get their large order by using the drive through as an instant “feast


        The most avoidable and unnecessary inconvenience is an inconvenience

committed on purpose, for example, pranks. There are those people who feel the need to

answer the “Welcome to Such-n-such-a Restaurant, can I help you?” with, “no, I don’t

think so” followed by a drive off. Or people driving through the drive through backwards

or ordering nonexistent burgers. Little kids try to ride their bikes through the drive

through. There have even been people come through on horseback. It’s all enough to

keep someone from making a career out of fast food.

        All these conveniences considered, the drive through isn’t as convenient a

convenience as it should be. We have all had our troubles with it, and few of us have

ever gone through the line ended up happier once we were through the line. Drive

throughs would be much more efficient if they functioned separately from the dining

room, having separate food preparation areas and separate employee crews. Some Pizza

Huts are carryout and delivery only, so other restaurants could have drive-through-only

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franchises. Another solution is to have a more efficiently trained staff and rewards for

employees who make the atmosphere pleasant for all; for example, bonuses for a crew

that works during the time that a positive comment card is filled out for or priority

scheduling to harder working, dedicated employees. McDonald’s has a new approach

that shows your order on a screen and helps to reduce the number of wrong orders. The

ultimate solution to avoid the inconvenience of the drive through is to avoid the drive

through and fast food restaurants altogether, but if you must use them remember not to

have high expectations. So now we see why the drive through isn’t so convenient, and

we should learn to not take all our other conveniences for granted, especially when the

conveniences are actually convenient.

Nathan Pierson                             5                               Ewald 105H 12