Fast Food Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on February 4, 2011

in Table Manners

table manner fast food etiquette

Just because fast food is convenient, does not mean you can forget your manners!  Make sure that when you are grabbing a quick bite you are not committing a social faux pas!

  • Just because the atmosphere at a fast food restaurant is casual does not give your kids the license to run insanely around the dining room.  If they are in a play area, that is fine; otherwise, keep control of your kids!
  • Unless there is a long line that gives you time to peruse the menu, if you do not know what you want to order, do not step up to the counter and cause a backup while you hem and haw.  Even if there is no one else behind you, the counter person needs to stand there patiently waiting for you to make up your mind while they could be doing something else productive.
  • Remember, this is a fast food establishment and people are there to get their food fast.  Don’t pay in pennies or other small change.  You will drive everyone around you crazy as you count it all out!
  • If there is going to be a wait before you receive your order, step to the side and allow those behind you to order while you wait.
  • If you receive your order and it is wrong, don’t take it out on the counter staff. Just like in a regular restaurant, chances are your waiter wrote your order down correctly but the chef made a mistake.  Politely bring the error to the counter staff’s attention and they will remedy the situation (the nicer you are, the less likely someone will be to spit in your food, too!).
  • Don’t waste the napkins and condiments. Even if you don’t care about the wasted money the restaurant spends on those unused ketchup packets and napkins you are throwing away, think about the environment.  Only take what you need!
  • If you spill something (and, hey, feel free to blame it on your kids, if you’re embarrassed!), tell the staff right away. Not only is it an eyesore in their restaurant, but, it is a slipping hazard for the other customers.
  • At the completion of your meal, put your trash in the bin and don’t leave it at your table.  While the staff is there to keep the place neat, they are not there to bus your table, like at a normal restaurant.

There are even etiquette rules for fast food employees (and, as consumers, we’d all really appreciate it if more of them brushed up on these skills!):

  • Make sure your appearance is clean at all times and if you work with the food, wear a hair net.  It’s off putting placing your order with someone who has streams of special sauce stains down their shirt.  It is even worse finding a stray hair in your food.
  • Even though you probably hate your job and are making minimum wage, think of it as a step on your ladder to success – fast food managers make bank!  That means, be kind and polite to all customers, no matter what the situation…or your mood.

Further Reading:

Photo: dreamstime/Redbaron

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

rachael December 11, 2014 at 4:29 pm

AND when your entire church congregation comes in 20 min before we close (& KNOW WHAT TIME WE CLOSE FOR A FACT) DONT BE RUDE AND LOUD about having to wait on certain foods to be cooked ESPECIALLY when you’ve been in line and heard us say it’ll be… wait time and 20 to 30 others ahead of you all ordered that exact food item and after they are served we are having to cook more. I AM CONVINCED A LOT OF people order that specific item on purpose so they can be rude enough to get ALL OF THEIR ORDER FREE cause its like you say wait time and the next 10 people ALL make identical orders for it.

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