Drive Through Restaurants in South Florida

(C) 2020 Dart Humeston

There is a tremendous difference between South Florida (Miami/Ft Lauderdale) and the Boise area regarding drive through fast food joints. Burgers, taco shops and of course coffee shops. Today I am only describing the fast food drive through experience in South Florida. Stay tuned for Part Two, the Boise experience.

The stark difference between South Florida and Boise is the customer service at the windows.  Ordering at any drive through in South Florida is an exercise in insanity. To start with, while there are thousands of drive through places, only three have working speakers.The odd sound that is heard coming out of the drive through speakers when you approach is often mistaken for alligators mating in your engine. Many people get out of their cars and pop their hoods to see if their engine is on fire, or if perhaps another five boxes of uncounted votes from the last election are lodged in their fan belts. (Which actually is pretty common.)

A small percentage of drivers pull through the fast food lane to apparently fall asleep or just die. People have to get out of their cars and manually push their vehicles to the side.

When the person who is identifying as a Human Being inside the restaurant actually speaks to you, it often sounds like complicated invasion plans for a Caribbean island. Which, since this is Miami, it could actually be what they are. There are approximately 3,737 languages spoken fluently in South Florida, not counting English or Latin. So while it might seem the person is welcoming you to the restaurant and requesting your order, they could very well be asking to see the hair on your armpit. So you just assume they asked for your order and you lean out your window and scream “Large Burger and Diet Coke” hoping they can hear you from their window as the microphone at the drive through is dead or missing entirely.

Their response in whatever language should be long enough to be repeating your order back to you. If so, you’ve won the lottery! Drive to the next window. If it is only one or two words or much longer than expected, just shoot yourself in the head. The people behind you will be kind enough to push your car to the side. If you try to engage in a conversation, repeating your order, listening to their five minute garbled response, shouting back and forth you won’t get anywhere and eventually the person behind you will get out of his or her car and shoot you in the head. Then everyone will push your car out of the lane.

Another charming thing about South Florida is the number of senior citizens working the fast food lanes, and by that I mean people who are so old that they died three years ago and have been lodged in the fast food window ever since, except for brief moments when they go to vote. So, besides the fact that they are speaking a language you’ve never heard of, the speakers are garbled, they are also dead. This makes communication harder than neutering an alligator with only one chop stick. The best thing you can do is hold out your hand and receive your sack of surprise. One out of a hundred times you might receive something similar to your order, but most of the time it is just a sack of uncounted ballets from the recent election. Use a generous portion of ketchup.