Wednesday, December 7, 2022


Craziness at the drive-up window


By Chuck Woodbury

rush-hour-763I had a dentist appointment today at 8 a.m. That meant getting into Seattle rush hour traffic. I have spent my life avoiding such traffic, and done pretty well. In all my working years, I bet I have been forced to commute in rush hour traffic no more than a few dozen times. When you figure that some people drive an hour going to work and then another hour coming home. . . my math says that’s about 500 hours a year — three weeks — stuck in traffic. That’s nuts!

What got my attention this morning besides the traffic was a drive-up line at a Starbucks I passed. Eleven cars were lined up. Eleven! If you figure two minutes per order, that’s more than 20 minutes some of those people waited — cars idling, fuel burning — all for a cup of coffee!

Can you fathom why anyone would do such a thing — wait that long? I can’t. My policy is that if there are no cars in a drive-up window or maybe one, I will go ahead and drive on up. Otherwise, I park, go inside, and usually get out a whole lot faster than if I’d stayed in my car.


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Rusty Austin
6 years ago

I’m with you. I’ll go inside even if it does take longer. We spend enough time in the car already. Especially for something as silly as a Starbucks…

6 years ago

A few years ago I was a regular walk-in customer of a Wendy’s. After standing in line way too long, one day I did a tally to see how many walk-up customers were being served, compared to drive-ups. The conclusion of my “study” was that the kitchen staff was intent on moving the vehicular traffic. More staffers were working on drive-through orders and about 3 cars were being handled for each walk-up customer. So, you can’t always tell which way is best.

6 years ago
Reply to  Ron

I live in Bathurst, NB, canada.
Here we have Tim Horton. I find that it takes about the same time whether you take the drive through or walkin. By the was mcDo serves a pretty good coffee now and refills are free. Have a good day.

Calvin Rittenhouse
6 years ago

You and me both, Chuck. If the line is “really long” (more than four vehicles), I might look for another place.

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