How Much Do Fast Food Workers Hate When You Customize Your Order?

No pickles, extra pickles, no onion, all the onion... how specific can you get with your drive-thru order?

According to Reddit, a McDonald's customer recently got more than they expected when asking for extra pickles on their sandwich. The crew at this McDonald's, taking this request to heart, added 25 pickle slices to a single burger.

In the drive-thru lane, we all want to have it our way. But is there a limit to how much we can ask fast food workers to customize our order? After all, the middle of the lunch rush, when there's a line of cars around the corner, might not be the ideal time to explain to the employee that they forgot to remove the tomato on your burger. On the other hand, these workers have seen everything, so your strangest requests ("can you remove the burger patty from my plain cheeseburger?") might just be harmless and, at best, entertaining. What do fast food workers think about special orders?

How much can I customize my fast food order?

Atom Eyez, a former McDonald's worker, said the chain is super flexible when it comes to order customizations. Eyez recalls some wild orders, including McDoubles with four beef patties, Big Macs with nothing but mayo, and Chicken McNuggets as a substitute for the chicken in a McChicken sandwich. Considering McDonald's recent promotion of "secret" menu hacks, it's not surprising that the fast food giant wouldn't shy away from fulfilling outrageous requests.


"Management will always make sure you do everything how the customers want it, even if it's ridiculous," said Eyez. "Unless they pull up asking to buy raw meat—people have—then that's when we turned them away."

Another former fast food chain worker, Timothy Reis, said Burger King truly adheres to its longtime slogan, "Have it your way." The chain basically allows patrons to customize their order as much as they want. But for the workers, there's a downside to that level of flexibility.

"For me it was frustrating, because my work was reflected in drive-thru times, which is how long a car is in our drive-thru from ordering to pulling away with their food," said Reis. "So it made me look bad, because those requests took longer."


The ideal time and place for special orders

Time of day is the crucial factor when it comes to order customizations. Both Eyez and Reis said the only time special requests were a nuisance was when the kitchen was already overwhelmed with orders. In those cases, there was a good chance the cooks would forget to do exactly what was asked, or they might not give you very much more of a certain topping, because they were in such a rush to complete orders.


Both of these former fast food workers also noted that asking for "more" of something on an order didn't cost the customer extra, unless it was additional sauce packets. Both Burger King and McDonald's seem to value their sauce packet supply pretty highly.

Although management draws the line at sauce packets, as a customer you should take a second to evaluate how extreme your order customization will be before putting in your request. If you're going during prime lunch or dinner hours and there's a line of cars behind you, just imagine how busy the kitchen must be. Unless your customization has to do with a food allergy or something along those lines, skip it when the restaurant is busy.

You deserve to have it your way. Just don't be a jerk about it.