It’s a little embarrassing that I’ve called in so many to-go orders at the same restaurant there are people on the staff there who recognize me when they hear me. On the other hand it’s good to know that it’s a nice enough place to work that there’s not a lot of turnover. One summer I worked at a now defunct Shoney’s for just under three months and I outlasted at least half a dozen other people, including one manager.
Also I like picking up to-go orders. Every experience is slightly different. A lot of places now have a special section where you can park and even text your spot number to the restaurant and someone will bring it right out to you. I prefer to go in, especially now that we’re into winter and most of the staff wear short sleeves. I’m not going to make someone come out in the cold just to hand me some sushi. Most of the same places that have a special parking section also have a small alcove next to the kitchen. Sometimes someone else will be there and we’ll chat a bit. One night a guy who was also waiting asked me, “Is the food good here?” He worked for a delivery service and was picking up someone else’s order and thought he might get something for himself.
The delivery service mishaps and misses I’ve seen are also why I pick up my own to-go orders. One night while I was waiting for my burritos three different drivers came in and asked for an order that had been picked up by someone else twenty minutes earlier.
The other night I picked up a to-go order as a break from holiday leftovers. There was another guy there when I came in and a woman who worked in the kitchen came out and asked him who he was picking up for.
“Ghengis Khan,” he said, and laughed. She didn’t bat an eye—just said, “Oh, yeah, I think yours is ready.” Then she turned to me and I said, “Oh, yeah, I’m picking up for Spunky The Wonder Squid.”
“You sure?” she said. “Because you look like Chris.”