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4 Easy Ways to Save Time and Money at the Drive-Thru

Picture yourself on your lunch break: You only get 30 minutes and you hit the closest drive-thru. It’s not the healthiest or the freshest, but it’ll do as you scarf it down on your drive back to the office.

But what if you’re confused on what to get? What if you took a long time to order, and then by the time you got your food, you drove off without realizing it was wrong? Turns out you aren’t the only one. The convenience of the fast-food drive-thru is high, but according to a survey from Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants, you could be wasting time and money if you don’t have a plan before you hit the window.

Want to get the most bang for your buck? Follow these quick and simple steps to make sure you get everything you want from the drive-thru.

1. Know your order before you pull up

The Frisch survey says 59 percent of customers say the drive-thru menu is confusing, and feel pressure to order faster when there’s a line behind them. Want to avoid being the one who’s holding up lunchtime for everyone else? Check out the menu before you get there.

Many restaurants — and almost all fast food places — have menus online so you can browse before you go. This will get you ordering faster and more confidently, which will save you (and your lunchtime companions) time later.

2. Check the bag

While most people do this, 35 percent of respondents in the Frisch study said they trust the restaurant to make their order correctly. When you grocery shop, you check your products for damage before you buy them. When you’re at a sit-down restaurant, you review your food before you eat it to make sure it’s to your liking. Why wouldn’t you do this in the drive-thru?

It takes an extra 6 seconds but can save you a ton of time and money later on. If not, you’re either parking your car to head inside the restaurant for your correct order, or you’re scarfing down someone else’s food as you head back to work. None of those options sound like fun, do they?

3. Niceties go a long way 

Just because someone is providing a service or product to you doesn’t mean they should be talked down to. The Frisch survey says 59 percent of customers like small talk at the drive-thru. Don’t you want the person who is making a meal for you to want to enjoy it? Be kind to the people who are serving you food — especially if you blindly trust them and don’t check the bag before leaving the window.

4. Just go inside!

If you see a long line for the drive-thru but still want to waste your time waiting rather than getting out of your car, you’re not alone. Forty-two percent of the survey respondents said they just don’t feel like parking and walking inside. One-third of millennials admit they just don’t want to deal with people.

Have you ever paid attention to the parking lot? If there are more cars in line for the drive-thru than those parked in the lot, you may have a higher chance of getting your food by simply going inside to get it. Don’t forget to be nice to your order taker while you’re in there.

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