Is dropping change on the ground at drive-thrus an urban myth?

I keep hearing about people just dropping change on the ground at drive-thrus.

Is this real or an urban myth? Who collects and keeps the money? Staff or is it claimed by the store? It could add up quick if a 100 cars a day dropped change.

I would never do it. 1. Somebody just counted out that change and to drop it on the ground seems rude. 2. My allowance in elementary school was 75 cents a week. I collected Soda bottles off the road and got a nickle deposit for each that I turned in. Change will always represent real money too me. YMMV depending on your age.

Any former fast foods workers here to comment?

From my days working drive-thru…

Yes, people are clumsy, they drop change all the time. They also drop bills and drinks and bags of food. For the bills, especially a $20, I would dive out the window for it, bags of food or drinks are replaced, as well as dropped change. At the end of a shift or during a slow period, dropped change would be collected from under the window.

Some people would find it amusing to send their small children ahead of their cars to collect the change, this was not only extremely dangerous to the child, but was also theft, as that is money that was supposed to be in my drawer, and it would come up short without it.

Most days it was less than a dollar dropped, but on particularly cold, windy or rainy days, when people didn’t like to open their windows all the way, there could easily be ten or more dollars in change on the ground.

Are you talking about people just being clumsy or people purposefully dropping the change after they receive it back? If so, why would they? Or are you talking about dropping coins the customer is giving to the teller (on purpose?), for what reason? Just be a jerk?

I’ve never heard this, so I’m lost without some added info.

I’ve been clumsy a few times. Dropped a few pennies or nickle handing it to the cashier. They were nice and said they’d get it later. I appreciated it too. I’ve come close to having the wind grab one of my bills. Thankfully I’ve never dropped my food.

I never deliberately dropped unwanted change. I briefly tried telling the cashier not to worry about handing me a few pennies change. It seemed to upset their routine and I didn’t want to get them into trouble with their boss. So I stay silent as I hand them a ten and a quarter for a 10.14 purchase. Its easier to let them just hand me a dime and penny.

The stories I heard were people just dropping the change and driving off. Quite rude if true. Maybe it is an urban myth?

I never heard of people intentionally tossing their change. Until here.:smiley:

If you’re talking about change you’re giving back to the customer, how is it supposed to be in your drawer? Isn’t it supposed to be in the customers’ wallets/pockets?

Yes, my comment in the other thread sparked this question. I had taken these drive-thru stories as true but got curious if they are urban myths.

The customer accidentally drops the $0.45 (or whatever) on the ground when it is being handed over, so the cashier gives them another $0.45 in change, knowing that he (the cashier) can collect the original (dropped) change from the ground later.

Gotcha. I was confused by that too.

I’ve never heard of (or seen) people just dropping their change and driving away. I voted “urban legend” on the premise people doing it on purpose. Of course clumsiness happens occasionally.

You hand them their change, they fumble and drop it, so you hand them replacement change. You then later retrieve the change from under the window and put it back into your drawer.

ETA, ninja’d

But no, I do not believe I ever witnessed anyone deliberately throw their change away, if they had, I certainly wouldn’t have replaced it.

A similar urban story is people throwing change in the trash. I find that equally unbelievable. Especially with Coinstar machines in stores. Turning change into bills is so easy.

But, the shift in economy has drastically shifted people’s concept of money. Minimum wage in 1974 was $1.60 an hour. Allowances were a buck a week. That buck could buy 4 candy bars. Compare that to a kid born in 1995. A buck didn’t even buy a candy bar after sales tax is added. I understand why a quarter seems like nothing in todays world. It doesn’t buy anything any more.

Never heard this but my problem is the cashiers place the bills and receipt in your hand and then the coins on top. Placing the coins first would make for less drops.

I worked drive-thru for 11 years and I never saw anyone deliberately drop money on the ground.

Ah, okay. That makes more sense!

I do not understand why they teach cashiers to lay the bills in their hand, put the big slippery receipt on top of them & then set the coins on top so that it is a 99% chance that it is going to cause this customer a problem.

IMO, they do it because they & their customers can no longer do simple math without a diagram & a picture with circles & arrows on the back & someone holding their hand.

Also for the surveillance cameras because as many as 40% of the cashiers either just plane steal or run little cons on the customers.

There you go customer, you gave me a $10.00 and the machine says to give you $3. & 17¢ in change, my ability ( maybe if they work for 'QuickTrip’™ ) to do simple math indicates that this is correct and yours should too.

So see, here are the 3 one dollar bills, your receipt, & a dime, a nickle, & 2 pennies.

See, all in a neat little stack that you are now going to try to deal with while holding onto your kid because he wants to go home, you have your tiny little bag ( what can you buy with $6.83 that would take over a tiny little bag? ) and my boss does not care because too many asshats need so much help with simple, simple arithmetic.

Me ←, I want the change first so I can put it in the nearest, easiest pocket without dropping everything and then the bills & receipt, I have an easy plan for them also.

I can move away to do everything if I can hold onto it. But you/I tipped our hands ever so slightly so the coins or even all the $$$ fell to the floor/ground it will now take me as long as I can drag it out crawling around looking for that last penny. <EVIL >

Yepper, people and how they think of money sure has changed. For the worse IMO.

But by Og, they all were not left behind & passed each grade no matter what… (Parents are not off the hook for this either. ) ::: Grump ::::

I didn’t realize that anyone used actual cash anymore in order to even get change. J/k, but I just use my card.

Back in the day I would pressure wash lots and concrete for many restaurants and the area around the drive thru would often have lots of change. I always wondered why and never thought deeply about it. The guy I worked with would get super excited and go collect it all, even stopping for a penny. Me, I’d have just washed it on down and not bothered, but he would always stop. I always let him do those areas since he enjoyed it.

When I worked in fast food, we always handed the customer coins first, then bills. Receipt would go in the bag with the food. In fact, one of my biggest peeves was a customer stuffing a wad of bills and change in my hand so the change would drop out.

Also, when you work drive-thru, it was an absolute requirement that you count change in your head without depending on the register. Speed of service counts, and when you have a number of cars waiting in line, you can’t leave customers waiting to order while you’re waiting for the customer two or three cars back in line to reach the window with his payment. You need to cash out and take the next car at the speaker.

I once accidentally dropped some change–I may have been handing it over, not receiving it–and the guy cheerfully dived out of the window and picked it up before I could do more than say “oops.” I’m guessing that if it was something that happened many times a day, he’d be a little more jaded.

But I’ve never heard of this. Why would anyone do that?

I wish everyone would just throw pennies away and hasten the day that we get rid of those useless coins.

I wish they would too because I pick up everyone I see.