Everyone is guilty of indulging in fast-food once in a while. Even though we all have our favorite spots and our favorite items, it doesn’t mean we’re getting the best experience possible. In the fast-food world, there are some dos and some don’ts, so let’s look at 10 HUGE MISTAKES Everyone Makes When Eating Fast Food. (Part 2)
10. Going At The Wrong Time
Whether it’s the middle of the night or in the middle of your workday, you never know when a fast-food craving is going to hit. Technically, you can satisfy that craving whenever you want, but you might want to wait a bit and go at the right time – this way you won’t end up with soggy fries or some stale, old cup of coffee. What a lot of people aren’t aware of is that there are ideal times to visit some of your favorite spots to ensure you get the best quality food possible. Broken down by First We Feast, these few tips will come in handy next time you’re contemplating a run to the drive-thru. For instance, the best time to go fill up at Krispy Kreme is at 6 a.m. This is when your guaranteed to find freshly glazed doughnuts rolling off the conveyor belt. The worst mistake you could make is to go right after the morning rush. Chances are, all you’ll find left will be the unwanted, first-made doughnuts that didn’t sell. For Chipotle? The prime hour is 3 p.m. Shocking, I know, but very explicable. Apparently, it’s the best time of the day to get the freshest burritos. For most other regular fast-food outlets however, the best time to go by is between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m – basically the rush hour. Since there are more people in the restaurant, new food is cooked and served constantly, leaving little to no window for food to sit around for long periods. Sure, the line might be longer, but at least your burger will be hot and fresh.
9. Eating Right From The Bag
One of life’s little pleasures is to sneak a fry or two from the bag as you’re driving home with your tasty fast-food meal. That’s totally acceptable and totally safe. However, what might not be the best idea, is to eat the entire thing before you get home. Why? Germs. Lots and lots of germs. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of hygiene and disinfecting. Especially since this particular virus can stay on surfaces for a long time, you never know who’s touched that bag before you. It also goes for the containers the food is served in. You should always take the food out and use your own plates and utensils. Not only for sanitary reasons but also for portion control. It’s a way to see the food you’re eating, and control the quantity as well. But opening the bag of food and digging into it without properly sanitizing the surface isn’t the only problem: it’s your hands! You need to properly wash them before feasting on your McD’s! The CDC says you need to wash your hands with soap, lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails, for 20 seconds. Not exactly something you can do from the comfort of your car. Besides, you’re hands should be on the steering wheel. Yes, the inviting aroma from the bag might be tempting, but if you can, wait until you get home. Better be safe than sorry.
8. Not Using The App
Chances are, your favorite fast-food restaurant has an app. Whether it’s to order online, get coupons, or even just to announce promotions, there’s an app for that. It’s become the new norm. While some chains do not offer a lot of deals, others go all out. So if you’re not using the app or rewards program at those eateries, you’re missing out on some huge opportunities – and a lot of freebies and savings. Not only can you get free items that you normally wouldn’t have access to, but you can also save some serious cash. For instance, if you download the McDonald’s app, you can get free McCafe items and access to exclusive coupons. At Chick-fil-A, you earn points, which can later be redeemed for some free food items. The best part is, you’ll earn points automatically, so you don’t need to remember to scan your membership code at checkout. It also tracks your points and shows you exactly how far you are from your next redeemable prize. The Burger King app even allows people at some locations to order ahead and skip the line when you pick up your food. And finally, at Chipotle, every dollar spent earns you 10 points, and once you hit 1,250 points, you get a free entree. Not too shabby of a deal. Sure, fast-food prices are already so low, but a fast-food run becomes even more justifiable if you can save a little extra on your purchase. So next time, don’t forget the app; you won’t regret it.
7. Throwing Away The Receipt
Most people, once they’re handed a receipt, simply crush it up and leave it somewhere in the car, left to join the other countless long lost receipts. Or they simply just throw it out. But very few people know just how much of a mistake that is. In fact, keeping and examining your receipt could end up saving you money as well as winning some free food – and who doesn’t like free food? Indeed, a lot of fast-food receipts have surveys on the bottom or on the back, inviting you to answer questions or to give feedback about your experience. It’s the best way for restaurants to know which products and services you liked the most and to find out how to better serve you in the future. In exchange, you could win a lot. However, not many people know that, so they don’t participate. That, can technically be a good thing – the fewer people who participate, the greater the chance of winning something. But free food and goodies aren’t the only reason why you should keep your receipt. It can also save you a lot of hassle if an item is missing or incorrect from your order. Instead of arguing with the employee, you can just show them the receipt, and the whole thing will be fixed. In conclusion, keep your receipts; it will do you more good than harm.
6. Texting While Eating
Nowadays, we take our phones with us everywhere. And we mean, everywhere. But while you’re out spending some quality time with your friends eating at your favorite fast-food spot, you might want to reconsider taking out your little device. In a study commissioned by Nutrisystem, it was discovered that nearly one in three Americans can’t get through a meal without being on their phone. That’s 29 percent of people saying that they are on their phone during meals – and that’s a problem. Apparently, using your phone during your fast-food meal – or any kind of meal, really – leads to a slight yet noticeable decrease in the enjoyment of your food. Bringing technology to the table can cause people to feel more distracted and less socially engaged, which can become a problem, especially when you’re dining with friends or family. You’re neither focusing on the company nor on how wonderful your food tastes, so overall, it just slowly becomes a very bland and boring experience rather than a joyful one. If you’re lucky enough to be eating out with your buddies, you might as well enjoy it to the fullest and put down your phone for 30 minutes and spend some quality time with them – and your food!
5. Not Knowing What You Want In Advance
With so many delicious options at fast-food restaurants, sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what to order. Everyone has their go-to favorites at certain chains, but sometimes, you might want to mix things up a bit and try something new. If you do want to do that, you should always figure it out and decide before you get to the counter. Why? Because fast-food menu boards are designed to manipulate you, and without proper preparation, you might end up falling for it. You see, fast-food menus are chaotic on purpose. The confusing menu layouts make it difficult for you to find exactly what you’re looking for, and everything is written in tiny letters. The closer you get to the counter, the easier it gets to read. But then, boom, it’s time to order, but you didn’t have time to look properly. So, what do you end up doing? In a panic, you order the first thing you see on the menu. Except those fast-food menus are designed to make customers buy the bigger meals, like the combos, and then you end up with more food than you wanted. If you know what and how much you want before having to make that snap-decision, it will not only save you money but also save you from feeling bummed out at the end of the meal.
4. Changing Your Order At The Window
Speaking of knowing what you want, it’s also important that you stick to what you ordered, once you’ve order it – especially when you’re at the drive-thru window. Just as you’re pulling up to the pick-up window is not the time to change or add anything to your order, which is why being prepared is always a good motto to follow. And the reason why? Well, you’re not the only one in line. By taking up the extra time at the window telling the employee that you’ve changed your mind, not only makes their job harder but the people behind you angrier. Obviously, if it’s a mistake on their part, or it’s a question of dipping sauce, there is no issue, but if suddenly you don’t want that Whopper with extra bacon, then the problems begin. They have to re-enter the entire order to charge for the additional items or changes, and everyone waits longer while growing more impatient. Now, not all fast-food drive-thrus are created equal, but wouldn’t you rather just avoid the confusion altogether? If you really want something else, it wouldn’t hurt to just drive back around and make another order! Besides, you can snack on the fries you just ordered while waiting.
3. Not Double-Checking Your Bag
Yes, fast-f00d drive-thrus are supposed to be fast and efficient, as we’ve just made it very clear. However, there is still time to check if everything you asked for is indeed in the bag. One of the biggest mistakes people make at a fast-food drive-thru is driving away as soon as they have their order, assuming that everything is in there. Well, to err is human, and it is more than possible that something was forgotten. Order specifications can be misunderstood or simply mistakes during the bagging. Besides the food, there are other things that can be forgotten. One of the most commonly left out fast-food items? The napkin! Many big chains are informed not to provide or even offer any condiments or extra components like straws and napkins unless they’re asked for. So, while drive-thrus are usually all about ‘convenience’ and speed, a couple of extra seconds to check your order will not result in you slowing down the entire line. An estimated 30% more errors occur on drive-thru orders, than with in-store counter orders. So yes, not double-checking could result in having to come back with your receipt and having to do it all over again.
2. Waiting In Line
Who would’ve thought that one day, waiting in line at your favorite fast-food restaurant would be considered a mistake? Well, it’s not a mistake, per se; it’s just not always the most efficient way to get your food anymore. While we just looked at what not to do while you’re in line, here’s the trick when you don’t want to wait in one. If you go on almost any fast-food app, you’ll most likely see some other more practical and speedier ways to get your food, without having to wait in line – lineups are like so 2017. The best part is, it’s not hard! All you have to do is order your food in advance, show up, and voila! You just saved yourself some time and passed by everyone else in line! In some places, you might even be able to order your food over the phone, like in the old days. However, they might not always start preparing your order until you’ve actually shown up at the restaurant, so you might still have to wait a bit, but it’ll be for a shorter time. When ordering online you can also ask for it to be delivered curbside, meaning you can patiently wait in your car, close by, without being stressed by the timer at the drive-thru. Over are the days when you have to wait forever in line. Now, you can get just about anything with only one little app.
1. Ordering Certain Items
No one wants to hear that their favorite item at from a fast-food restaurant shouldn’t be ordered. It’s heartbreaking, we know, and some people simply ignore it and keep ordering it anyway instead of facing the truth. Reddit is the perfect forum for employees, past and present, to rant and sometimes warn others about certain fast-food menu items. Back in 2014, there was a lot to say about what we should and shouldn’t get at their fast-food restaurants. At Panera Bread, for instance, if you love the Mac & Cheese, you might be disappointed to hear that it’s just not worth it. It’s a pre-made pasta dish that is and we quote “nasty.” On the bright side, they did say that the rest of the menu was pretty decent, so you should be good to go with just about anything else. At Little Caesars, it’s the Crazy Bread, Jalapeno Bread, and Italian Bread we should stay away from, mostly because they’re not even dressed with real butter. The spread comes in a huge bottle, is not refrigerated, and probably shouldn’t be consumed by anyone. Again, those specific items might differ from one location to another. Sometimes, it’s all about management, but just to be safe, you might want to think twice about ordering certain items.