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Diatribe: Sloppy Drinks At Drive-Thru Windows.

06/23/2013

Sloppy Drive-ThruI like to think that I take good care of my car.  There is never any litter on the floor, I keep the windows clean and I have a dashboard duster in the garage that I use periodically to keep tidy.  Once each month, I pay to have it detailed and vacuumed.  They include a “new car smell” air freshener and I drive away each time with a renewed sense of pride.

I rarely, if ever, eat in my car.  On the other hand, I usually have something to drink with me at all times.  A bottled drink is preferred but I’m not opposed to a cup with a lid and straw … unless they come from McDonalds.

The fast food chain uses automatic fountain drink machines at their drive-thru windows.  Apparently, these machines are synchronized with the register at the first window.  When a customer orders a large Coke from the drive-thru, for example, the information is sent to the drink machine where a large cup is dispensed, ice cubes are added and the cup is filled with Coke.  If an order includes a “small Sprite with little ice”, the machine will accommodate the special request.

In theory, the automatic fountain drink dispenser should be the most efficient means of preparing drinks as filling the cups manually requires an extra set of hands and extra time.  When the machine is used, the drinks should be ready to go as soon as the food is assembled.

These machines have been around for years yet every time I order a drink at the drive-thru of my local McDonald’s I’m handed a wet sloppy mess of a cup that I don’t particularly want to set down in my clean car.  And to add to my exasperation, more often than not when the hand me a drink they don’t give me a straw!

“The straw is in the bag,” they tell me.  Naturally, when I’m the thirsty enough to order from a drive-thru they give me the drink before the food (and, thus, the bag) is ready to go.  So, no straw and no napkins to wipe off the sloppy cup.

But I love the large Diet Coke from McDonalds because it comes in a Styrofoam cup that I can use for the rest of the day, their ice cubes are always fresh and clear and it only costs one dollar.  Such a dilemma … no?  I’d like to think that, after all the years of use in all the hundred of drive-thru windows, someone would have figured out how to adjust the machines so they don’t fill the cups so close to the brim that they make a mess every time.  I can’t be the only one who notices this!

How often are YOU handed wet sloppy drinks at drive-thru windows?

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6 Comments
  1. I’ll add this to the myriad reasons why I don’t ‘fast food’.

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  2. Rick permalink

    Yes, I sometimes hold the cup outside of my car until I’m handed a napkin. It makes me crazy.

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  3. Have an extra napkin in your glove box or have one ready for when they hand you the drink. They’re not going to change so it’s up to you to change if you want to keep a clean car. IMHO! 🙂

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  4. Does a wet sloppy drink make you sloppy drunk? When our kids were little, our van smelled like McDonalds. When we took the seats out to take large things somewhere, we would always find French fries under the seats. Yuck.

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  5. If they didn’t fill the cup to the brim with drink, some people would complain about getting cheated!

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