Mind your manners, even at the drive-thru

Nov. 25, 2012 @ 08:11 AM

The McDonald’s arches “flung a craving on them,”say my grandchildren.

Where did they pick up such strange talk? Why from their country-raised grandfather, Fred of course. So, McDonald’s it is.

I know, I know. McDonald’s food is not tops on the fresh, most nutritious food list. But they have salads, oatmeal and fruits. They have coffee drinks I really, really love. And now they have calories on the menu. Ignore. Also, my grandchildren don’t go here very often, so occasionally is OK.

And at most locations they have playgrounds for entertaining the kids.

Putting McDonald’s and etiquette in the same sentence may sound strange but I  have rules for the drive-thru.

First and foremost this group already knows what they want miles before any McDonalds. Evelyn, my 12 year old granddaughter, will write down all orders for perfection.

Quiet is demanded while I order. NO radio, iPad, iPhone activity in my ears. I tell the crew it’s rude to the person on the other end of the speaker – even if you can’t see them – to not give them your full attention.  

Say hello or good morning, depending on the time of day, and end with a thank you. No yelling or interruptions to the orders. Once you’ve made your choice, it’s a done deal.

And, of course, Fred reigns supreme and we will not waste gas. If the drive-thru line is too long, we park the car and go in the restaurant. What constitutes too long a line is decided by granddaughter Evelyn.

Greet the cashier pleasantly. If the clan is with me they have to obey these rules:  no  fighting, throwing things at each other or sticking objects in various openings of their siblings’ body parts.

Thank you is all Evelyn and I want to hear from anybody when the food is handed over.     


Monroe, N.C. resident Jeanne Howell teaches etiquette to business and private groups. She may be reached at jeannehowell20@gmail.com.