Burger King Drive-Thru Workers Try To Cheat The Timer System

If an employee of Burger King or other fast-food drive-throughs ever asks you to back up before pulling forward, they're most likely attempting to re-set the timer sensors so it appears you're being served faster. [via consumerist]

The revelation comes from Amy Oztan, who writes the Selfish Mom blog.

Oztan pounded the drive-thru pavement and did some investigating:

I went back this morning, in the interest of investigation – not because I was dying for a Croissan'wich. Once again, when I got to the window, I was asked to pull forward and back up. I said "Why? Are you trying to stop the timer?" She said yes. I said something to the effect of "But that's cheating. How will the process get any faster if they think you're already really fast?" I know enough about fast food restaurants to know that they really study this stuff. There are systems that figure out when you should drop fries based on how many cars are in the Drive-Through lines. There are McDonald's that have outsourced their Drive-Through order-taking jobs to call centers. Corporate sure as hell wants to know for how long people are sitting in the Drive-Through.

The BK worker admitted that yes, it was cheating, but that the restaurant is given time goals each week and they're not meeting them. So I said something like, "But how will the times get faster if you don't acknowledge that there's a problem?" She told me I didn't have to pull forward if I didn't want to. I'm not really sure it was necessary for her to tell me that. Was the alternative for her to hold my food hostage until I pulled forward?

To avoid becoming a tool of the nefarious system, just say "no" when asked to back up before moving forward. Or at least ask for some extra fries for indulging the timer-tricking system.

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