My coffee shop is a drive-thru hut, which also has a small walk up window. We thought it was clear that the walk up was reserved for those who were actually walking. However, during the busy times we are experiencing an outrageous amount of park and walk ups. This slows the process, causes car backup, and angers drive-thru customers. I have made a sign stating:
To Our Loyal Walk Ups,
We give priority to our drive-thru customers, to prevent backup into Brady Street.
We appreciate your patience, and your business!
(The sign also has cute pictures of people walking, jogging, walking dogs, biking, etc. as a border)

However, this sign does not seem to be doing the trick. How can I nicely, but firmly state: Walking up when not WALKING is called CUTTING! Help me be tactful, I am running out of patience!

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Jason Shipley said:
Have you though about having an employee walk down the line and take orders, having the orders earlier can give your production team inside more flexibility and allow them to pump out drinks faster. Also they could run drip drinks out and allow your regular coffee customers to get out of the line. If you have employees managing the line then your customers are less likely to get out and walk past them to the walk up window. It sounds like you're busy enough that an extra person should just raise your production capacity and should easily pay for themselves.

Thank you so much for posting this problem or issue. I mean bringing this to our attention. I am in the planning stages of my first drivethru and these situations are and will continue to be common problems that we need to work with and turn them to our favor, keeping as many customers as possible in the process.
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
Paige, Thank you for clarifying for me and others... It seems to me that you are in a difficult situation... The order in advance suggestion is a great one... That is how major fast food chains serve customers and get their serving times as quick as they do, as we all know... The one big question I have for you is the positioning of your 2 windows... If you can take an order and have them pay at one window and then serve at the other one you can speed up that "limbo" time... just like most of us do in our cafes... if not my feedback would include towing warning signs, especially on the sidewalk... and you may have to weigh the option of closing the walk up window during peak times... If people park across or down the street or in a valid parking lot we have to consider them as walk up customers, sucks I know, but its just like the dilemma of pulling into the lot of any shop that has a drive thru and deciding to park and go in or shoot thru the drive thru... don't get me wrong, I understand there's NO parking at your place... My other suggestion may sound extreme and you may not have room for it... Can your drive thru be converted into a parking lot with 4 or 5 spaces? then you could solely do walk up and the cutting would be no more... It sucks that no matter what changes you make you will lose customers, but you will also gain customers :-)... Definitely inform with signs of any changes and your customer base will appreciate it... Good luck to you...
It is my personal view that customers will ALWAYS do something annoying and disruptive. There is no way to change the situation without looking idiotic yourself.

I have 16 years of drive through experience so here's is what I would do. I would serve them in order of appearance just like I do at my double sided drive through. This will allow you to work on two drinks at once and thus both lines move quickly. If you can't work on multiple drinks at once then you need to work a slower shift. I really do not see the huge problem as long as their parked car is not interfering with the lanes of travel. Serve them with a smile and remember that they are paying your paycheck.

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