As a close friend and former roommate of a QSR (quick service restaurant or “fast food”) crew member and manager, this one strikes a special chord with me.
Consumerist.com reports on a really stupid pet trick being pulled by some QSR drive-thru workers. They are asking customers to back up and pull forward to restart the speed of service timer. A very low-tech and suspicious method of gaming the system.
The article does mention the prospect of in turn gaming the drive-thru jockeys out of free fries or similar such things. I find it difficult to take a real stance on the ethics of such a manuever. Hopefully, it will not matter soon; I am aware that at least Taco Bell, and possibly all other Yum! Brands QSRs (KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s, A&W) have an amount display set up below the drive-thru window, which assumably cycles through to the next customer when “cheated” in such a fashion. I’m wondering why Burger King et al don’t adopt similar technology to squash this type of statistical shenanigans.
If the numbers are to matter, if the management of a QSR actually gives a damn about real speed of service and not just making the numbers look good to the next higher manager, this type of cheating needs to be dealt with by termination, first time, no exceptions.
And to the workers resorting to this in a vain attempt to save their jobs: If you can’t stay up to speed, stay out of the kitchen.