3 best practices for drive-through operators

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Multitasking is a way of life for drive-through operators. You have to greet customers as they drive up, take their order, get it ready, process payment and hand them their food. Meanwhile, you're likely also tasked with keeping an eye on the counter and taking care of any customers that appear inside the restaurant.

Whether you're just starting out on the job or have been working it for years, it's a one-of-a-kind experience that can't be had at any other job. Where else would you be able to immerse yourself in such a fast-paced environment where you're expected to and can handle so many responsibilities at the same time?

Presentation is always important
Though the majority of your tasks will be tending to drive-through customers, you'll still be within view of people who are ordering from and eating inside the restaurant. Therefore, appearance is important. Customers will see that you take your job seriously, which will leave them with a great impression. If possible, keep an extra uniform in your bag to ensure that you always have a clean set of work clothes to change into if there's a spill.

Just because people won't be able to see your shoes as much as your shirt doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice style for safety. Slip-resistant shoes can keep you safe, comfortable and looking good. Shopping for a pair that fits your needs and style has never been so easy with online stores that you can browse 24/7.

Be efficient and effective
Optimizing your workflow can be challenging, especially if you've grown used to a certain routine. However, customers' overall satisfaction with a drive-through relies most heavily on the speed and accuracy of the order.

Here are three best practices to keep in mind during your next shift.

1. Monitor your surroundings: It may be a short distance from the kitchen to the service window, but there are many slip and trip hazards that you can face. You or a co-worker may kick up the corner of an anti-slip mat along the way and not realize it until someone catches his or her foot on it. Avoid this safety hazard by always glancing at the floor ahead of you to ensure that there are no obstructions or spills.

2. Communicate frequently: During rush hour, being a drive-through operator can be downright hectic. Cooks are putting together food, operators are taking multiple orders and customers want their meals as quickly as possible. It's difficult to do, but communicating frequently will ensure that orders aren't doubled or missing an item. Additionally, communication is essential for safety. Nonslip shoes will help protect employees from spills, but letting everyone know about a trip or slip hazard will ensure that it's cleaned up as soon.

3. Live in the moment: Mistakes are inevitable, and sometimes, unsatisfied customers are too. Do what you can within your authority to ensure customer satisfaction, and once the situation is over, greet the next guest with a fresh attitude and a smile. Letting bad scenarios roll off your shoulders is an important skill that also has applications outside of the job.

There's no such thing as a slow day in drive-through operations, and some best practices can be overlooked. Hone your skills by keeping these three tips in mind and you'll find that your job is more enjoyable, safer and, above all, fun!

Brought to you by Shoes For Crews, the trusted leader in safety footwear to foodservice employees for more than 30 years.

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