Last week, I learned the best place to eat drive-thru fast food late at night… the parking lot of the fast food restaurant you just visited.
What happens almost every time you go to a drive-thru late at night? There’s always something missing, because the late night workers don’t really care, because they know that you don’t care. You’re just trying to pick up some quick food to take home and eat while watch your Netflix show before passing out for the night.
Last week, I went to Taco Bell (with a friend, who will remain nameless, as requested). We ordered a bunch of stuff, because that’s what you do at Taco Bell. Also, that menu is so overwhelmingly gigantic (It’s like they add new items each week just to confuse us. Most items on the Taco Bell menu are made up words, and you don’t want to ask too many questions and look like a dummy. So, instead you just order everything). I try to keep it to
3-5 items when I do drive-thru by myself, because if I don’t give myself limits I will just keep ordering more and more stuff until there is nothing left to order.
What happened this past visit was we ordered our tacos, burritos and other stuff too, but we also wanted something sweet, so we ordered some Cinna Twists. As you know, Taco Bell is best when eaten fresh* (The word “fresh” doesn’t really mean anything in food lingo anymore. Fast Food companies have been using “fresh” to describe ingredients that are not “fresh” in any way. By “fresh” I mean eaten right away, because if you wait too long Taco Bell food transforms into something completely different).
*Remember back when Taco Bell had that problematic Mexican Chihuahua dog as their mascot? That was a fun time…
So, there we were in the car making our way through our bag of “fresh” goodness, and all of a sudden we finally reached the bottom and realized that there were no Cinna Twists. Lucky for us, we were eating our Taco Bell in the parking lot of Taco Bell, so we just hopped back in line to get our Cinna Twists. (Usually when you realize something is missing in your order you are already home with no pants and your shoes off. There’s no way you’re going back to Taco Bell once you’ve arrived in the NO PANTS ZONE, which is most likely on a couch in front of the TV).
Because we had the patience (and bravery) to get back in that long line of hungry hippos, we were rewarded greatly. When asked what we wanted, we told the lady that we didn’t receive our Cinna Twists, she just said, “Drive around,” which I thought was code for, “I don’t believe you,” or “I don’t know what you’re saying.”
When we arrived at the pick up window, the lady was smiling and she handed us a big Taco Bell bag, the kind that holds a whole family meal, and inside were about five to six orders of Cinna Twists. We said thank you and left before she could take it back from us.
What this whole experience taught me is that if you are brave enough to go through a drive-thru line twice, and say you’re missing something, you can probably get anything you want for FREE. The lady never checked our receipt or order, she just believed us (it was the truth, but I’m sure people lie all the time about not getting stuff). I’m sure you can even drive-thru on your first try and say that you didn’t get your Quesarito and be handed a bag full of Quesaritos. These drive-thru people get a whole butt-load of customers each and every night, and they can’t remember all of us.
I don’t think I will start stealing from fast food drive-thrus late at night, but now I know that if they ever mess up my order, I could just go back and tell them something is missing. Or, even better yet, I can check my bag when they hand it to me, even though it’s going the hold up the line for a few extra seconds. That’s probably what a normal person would do.