A couple weeks ago I stopped by Arbys with my boys to get something to eat. We would have preferred to eat out somewhere a little more formal but we only had half an hour until we had to be at a meeting. I placed our order and after the two ladies in front of us. Usually a fast food order is delivered in under 5 minutes but this was taking longer.
A couple people came in after us and ordered their food after us as well as several drive through orders. They all got their orders after a few minutes of waiting. There were only 3 employees working and they were working hard but I was confused because we had been waiting 10 minutes and even more customers had come in after us they all got their food pretty quick. I've seen jerks give fast food employees a hard time and I'm a nice guy so I just waited patiently. I was still standing in the lobby in view of the girl who took our order so it's not like she forgot about me. 15 minutes later I was still waiting but now my arms were crossed. She just smiled and assured me they were working on the order. I did not put in a special order for Baked Alaska so I was baffled why it would take so long. At the 20 minute mark I asked her why nearly 15 orders for people who came in after us had been filled but not ours.
She asked my name again and it turns out another customer had the same first name so when they filled his order someone swiped our order from the computer as being completed. I was still baffled how she could watch me standing there for 20 minutes and not realize something was wrong. She apologized and threw in a free order of french fries when she finally got us our food. We inhaled our meal in under two minutes and ran out the door since we were late to a meeting at that point. It was one of the few times I didn't ring the bell on the way out.
I am not trying to bash Arbys. It is one of my favorite fast food places and they usually have great service. I was even hesitant to mention their name in this post since it is not like them to be so slow. What I really wanted to point out with this is the fact that you will always get served faster and avoid a problem like that if you go to the drive through instead.
Drive through customers are served much quicker than those who go in a fast food place for a face to face order. If they don't service the drive through quickly they have a traffic jam and can't take any new orders, but once you are inside and have ordered they can continue to take more orders so there is not the same urgency which is a little ironic since you are face to face with the customer instead of speaking to them over a speaker.
So the moral of the story is if you are in a hurry and are going to get fast food somewhere, use the drive through! Just make sure and check your order before you drive off.