This article was originally published in January 2019.
There are over 3,500 Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada, meaning that at any given moment, there are thousands of Canadians going through a Tim Hortons drive-thru. As it turns out, though, Tim Hortons employees claim that Canadians are using the drive-thru completely wrong. The good news is, we can do something about it.
In a Reddit thread, several Tim Hortons employees have revealed that there is a right way and a wrong way to pass through their drive-thrus. According to the employees, there are specific ways to place your order that will make everyone's lives easier.
The first tip is for ordering coffee, which everyone knows is the most popular product at Tim Hortons. According to employees, the best way to order your daily cup of coffee is by listing size, type, and then add any modifications afterwards. For example, the best way to order a special blend of coffee would be to ask for a large dark roast with two creams.
The type of coffee is especially important because one employee revealed they will always assume it's the original blend, served hot unless you tell them otherwise.
That tip can be applied to any ordering situation at Tim Hortons. There are also several other tips that are specific to drive-thru orders, too.
The biggest tip that multiple employees echoed when it comes to the drive-thru is to order food first. You may be in the habit of ordering your coffee and then your morning breakfast sandwich, but apparently, that's the least efficient way to do it.
This may seem surprising, but if you think about it, ordering food first makes total sense. Food takes longer to make, so if the worker taking your order can punch it in first, it buys them some more valuable time to make it.
There are other drive-thru tips that are less surprising, but still important reminders. For instance, if you're doing a big order, like anything more than a couple of coffees or meals, it's much better for everyone if you go into the store so that you aren't holding up the line. If you want to order donuts, but aren't sure what flavours you want, it's easier to go inside so you can see every single donut flavour currently in stock.
In general, if you're not sure what you want to order to eat or drink, just park your car and go inside the restaurant to order. If you're unsure what you want to order, chances are the people behind you will get antsy. Remember, the drive-thru is supposed to be for quick customers who want to get their food as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Another tip is to have your cash or card ready for payment when you get up to the window. Finally, they also suggest you stick around until the cashier closes the transaction. This means waiting until they say something like "Have a nice day" before you promptly drive away to ensure you have received all your food and change.
A lesser-known Tim Hortons life hack on how to order the right way is to ask for a sleeve or double cup if you want it. As one employee revealed, they aren't actually required to put sleeves on most drinks, so don't get mad at them if they "forget" to put one on your hot coffee.
Unless you order a bagged tea, which is the only drink they are required to put a sleeve on, you'll have to make sure you ask for one specifically if you really want it. The same goes for double-cupping drinks.
Employees will not be happy if you place your initial order and then decide to ask for a change once you've reached the drive-thru window. Not only is this inconvenient for the employee who's already begun making your food, but it also increases the wait time of the customers behind you, who may become unfairly annoyed with the employee.
Likewise, don't hold up the entire line by sitting in your car to check your phone, wallet, makeup, etc. once you've received your entire order.
Additional things to consider would be to let the driver of the car place the order. Sometimes it can be difficult for the employee to hear other passengers when they're ordering if they're not close to the intercom unless you have a very loud and clear voice.
Don't be rude: Never throw your garbage onto the parking lot ground, and don't stay glued to your phone when an employee is interacting with you.
Employees' final advice on how to be a helpful Timmies customer is to be patient. This should seem like an obvious tip, but if you want your drive-thru experience to be as pleasant as possible, you will have to be nice to them as well.
Follow these simple Tim Hortons life hacks and not only will getting your coffee or breakfast every morning be quicker and easier, but you will also become the most considerate customer ever.