What You Don’t Know About the Drive-Thru Window


Whenever I hear or read about a behind-the-scenes look at the food service industry, I get a little nervous. There are some things that we, the consumers, just… don’t need to know. But, curiosity gets the better of me, always, and I end up getting sucked into threads and viral videos all about what we don’t know that goes on in the kitchen. For once, though, I’ve stumbled across an industry secret of an entirely different context. Don’t worry, you won’t be grossed out or worried for your physical health after this, you’ll just be infinitely embarrassed about nothing in particular.

TikTok user @zandergjura blessed (or cursed?) us all with the knowledge of what goes on on the other side of the drive-thru.

@zandergjuraI don’t think I’m allowed to show you this, but who cares #LoveStory #StrikeAPosay #OutPizzaTheHut #starbucks #michigan #xybzca #drivethru

♬ original sound – Zander

Uhhh, BRB, y’all, I gotta go think through literally every drive-thru adjacent conversation I’ve ever had in my life.

When dropping this truth bomb on us, Zander says he’s not sure if he’s allowed to show us this and I have to agree with his hesitation. Not because I think he’ll get in trouble, but because this knowledge is too much! I’m sure we all knew that there was a chance we were being listened to while we squabbled about how many scones we really need to buy (because no you will not just “have a bite of mine”) but I don’t think we knew just how clearly and consistently we were heard. I guess I thought there was some kind of button that the person working the window would have to press to be able to hear you, that they would just release it after you’re done ordering and you could go back to whatever deeply personal conversation you were having before you suddenly needed a latte. But no, oh no, that’s not how it works at all. At least, not at this Starbucks, and judging by the comments, not in most fast food places.

A number of commenters point out that “as long as you’re in front of the sensor” they can hear E V E R Y T H I N G you say. Even their entire team might hear it, depending on the place! People you can’t see listening to your life story from the other side of a screen while you sit in your car? Talk about a Dashboard Confessional (I had to say it). As if all that isn’t enough, Zander also revealed in this video that the customer can actually be seen via camera throughout the entire process. Ever get annoyed at the person taking your order and make a face at them? They saw it! Flip them off because you are just RAGING before you get your first cup of coffee? They saw that, too.

Customers, was this a revelation to you or were you ahead of the curve? Fast food workers, what are some of the funniest things you’ve caught people saying or doing while working the window? Let us know!