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Today is June 28, 2021

Drive-thru etiquette and other helpful hints

Drive-thrus have been in operation since 1947, and people haven’t stopped using them ever since. In fact, during the pandemic, the drive-thru helped many restaurants thrive during a challenging time in the industry.

Restaurants that were able to stay afloat due to drive-thrus and other takeaway options can thank Red’s Giant Hamburg in Missouri for the success of their drive-thru operations. Red’s is generally considered to be the first true drive-thru, according to Money magazine. In 1948, a year after Red’s opened its drive-thru, In-N Out Burger opened a drive-thru and put to use a state-of-the-art two-way speaker box.

Since the early days of drive-thrus, many different businesses have utilized drive-thru windows. Banking has been streamlined thanks to drive-up ATM machines and drive-thru teller windows. People can pick up vital prescription medications from drive-thrus at their local pharmacies. Drive-thrus at coffee shops keep busy commuters moving and caffeinated.

Visiting drive-thru windows has become second nature, but customers can employ various tactics to make using them go smoothly.

· Cease your mobile phone conversation. As you pull up to the drive-thru speaker while on the phone, end the call or ask the other person to wait a moment. Give your full attention to the person taking your order.

· Know your order. Be sure to ask everyone in the car what they want before getting in line. According to a QSR Magazine study in 2018, the average serving time for the top 10 fast food chains was 234.08 seconds, or roughly 4 minutes. Transactions are sped up by customers being ready to order when asked and having their means of payment available when the drive to the payment window.

· Visit drive-thrus in the morning or afternoon. The wait for drive-thrus for breakfast and lunch are less lengthy than they are at dinnertime. However, the optimal time of day to go through a drive-thru is mid-afternoon, when average wait times are 173 seconds and service tends to be friendlier.

· Speak loudly and slowly. Drive-thru customers should realize that it can be challenging to hear orders over traffic and the rush going on inside the restaurant. Speak clearly, loudly and slowly when engaging with a drive-thru attendant.

· Don’t add items at the window. Adding items at the payment window after an order has been placed can disrupt the flow of things in the restaurant.

· Sort items outside of the drive-thru lane. Do not pass around purchases while in the drive-thru lane or look through the bag and hold up the line. Pull over into a parking lot space and take care of business there.

Drive-thru capabilities have revolutionized certain industries. Customers can do their part to make the experience even better.

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How to shop for an insurance policy

Adults need insurance for a variety of reasons. Insurance provides a safety net when accidents or injuries occur, and the right insurance policy can help policy holders make it through such instances as smoothly as possible.

Television commercials promoting insurance companies often tout low rates, but shopping for the right insurance policy is about more than finding the lowest rates. The following are some tips consumers can consider as they shop for insurance policies.

· Research ratings. Various groups rate insurance companies based on everything from the usefulness of their websites to how satisfied their customers are with the claims process. J.D. Power conducts surveys of customer satisfaction and product quality for various industries, including insurance. The results of those surveys can be found at www.jdpower.com and can provide valuable insight into insurance providers, giving prospective policy holders a good idea of how their interactions with an assortment of agencies may go.

· Emphasize customer service. Customer service reputation should bear considerable weight when shopping for an insurance policy. Many policy holders want readily available access to a human being when they have an insurance question or need to submit a claim. When shopping for policies and seeking estimates, take note of how easy or difficult it is to speak with an agent at each company. Is the quotes process entirely automated, or is an agent walking you through the estimate and carefully explaining each component of the policy? Rating agencies rank companies based on customer service offerings, and those ratings should not be overlooked.

· Seek recommendations. Word-of-mouth can go a long way toward finding the right insurance provider. Ask friends or relatives which companies hold their policies and how easy or difficult it’s been for them to file claims in the past. Google reviews and other online review boards also can be great resources to see how existing or past policy holders feel about a given provider. Pay attention to how quickly claims are settled and paid out, as policy holders, in most instances, should not have to wait months or years to be reimbursed for costs covered by their policies.

· Avoid being fixated on cost. Cost is a significant consideration when shopping for insurance policies, especially costly policies like homeowners and auto insurance. But cost should not be the deciding factor. A company that offers especially low rates may only do so because it offers very limited coverage, while a more expensive policy may provide more extensive coverage that helps policy holders make it through accidents or injuries with their savings intact. Carefully read estimates to determine how much coverage you will be getting with each policy.

Adults need insurance and have many options at their disposal. Finding the right fit requires careful consideration of a host of factors