Leaving your trash at fast food joints.

I bus my own table. I thought everyone did this at fast food places. I will even pre-bus my table in a regular sit-down restaurant. (Yes I stack everything neatly for the busboy.)

Last time I ate at one of those places I actually noticed my own weird way of eating. I set out my meal, put the tray to one side and then progressively put my refuse on the tray. You know take the lid of the OJ…on to the tray, lid off the coffee…onto the tray…unwrap and eat the chicken burger…wrapper on the tray.

At the end of the meal pick up the tray and dump the refuse and pile up the tray. It is fairly rare to see tables festooned with rubbish but the staff clean up so quickly who knows how common it is.

IIRC, back in the day when Wendy’s was new, there were no customer-accessible trash cans available. You left your trash on the table, and an employee was always there to dispose of your trash and wipe the table.
It’s not like that now, of course, but I can remember feeling weird about leaving the trash on the table. I was raised to clean up after myself!

I always bus my own table–the problem is when you are in a kind of quasi-fast food place, the sort where you stand in line and give your order but they bring it to your table but you refill your own drinks. Most of those, they bus, but it makes me nervous to walk away and leave my stuff unless I take pain to notice that that is what everyone else is doing, they haven’t all spied a trashcan/dish window that I missed.

Exactly. You’re not paying for any kind of table service when you buy fast food; that’s the point. Leaving your trash behind is just being a slob.

I wonder, too. I always clear my own table, and I’ve never noticed anyone else not clearing their table—which had me wondeing about the OP’s “there are obviously many people that don’t.”

Yes, I remember that too. The first time I was at a Wendy’s I had no idea what to do.

Would it have been like that in 1989, though? Maybe the practice lived on in Florida but had already died out in the north. We didn’t go to Wendy’s that often at home–when we did have fast food, it was almost always McDonald’s.

Wendy’s opened in the Baltimore area around 1980 or so, and I definitely remember not clearing our own tables. I can’t even begin to guess as to when they started putting trash cans out for the customers like the other fast food places.

I’ve been the person who cleans tables at a McDonalds! I bus my own tables and I’m afraid I would think less of someone who didn’t. During the lunch rush, my job was to keep the dining room reasonably clean and, as Student Driver pointed out, any time I spent throwing out other people’s rubbish was time I couldn’t spend wiping down tables and seats with cleaning solution.

I’ve also been the person who cleans the parking lot at McDonalds, which includes gathering up the cigarette butts people couldn’t be bothered to dispose of properly and tossing them in the trash. It wasn’t my only job, just something they had me do when things were slow, but it had to be done, and it was a rotten job.

I remember older people bitching about having to clean up their stuff at fast food places and talking about how they are “not an employee here” and such things, but it is a commonly accepted idea that in a fast food joint, you aren’t paying for fine dining. You are paying for food and a place to sit down and eat it.

If you want table service, then you should go to another place…

Exactly. Calgary has an extreme shortage of service-type workers, so a fast-food joint is lucky to have a couple of people to take your money and make your burger; cleaning tables is far down the priority list.

Like Siege, I once worked at a McDonald’s. But I used to pray that people would not bus their own tables. Why? well, it was often pretty quiet, and our manager nagged us to keep busy constantly. If there were no customers, there was nothing to do. But he’d tell you to stop standing around, do something. Half the time I couldn’t FIND any work to do. So, I was grateful when people left their trash behind, because it gave me a visible task to occupy myself with.

But that was a weird situation. Despite that experience, I always bus my own tables in the States. Here in Indonesia they don’t always have rubbish bins easily accessible to customers; there is a stronger expectation that the staff will do it.

The only circumstances under which I would not throw my trash in the bins would be if the bins were so overflowing that I could not do so without getting somebody else’s ketchup and grease on my hands. For that, the staff will have to attend to the bins. Otherwise, of course I bus my own table.

It’s common practice here in Singapore to leave the trash on the table - the staff will occasionally shoo you off if they see you clearing your own table, or intercept you on the way to the bin with profuse thanks and gently but firmly take the tray of trash away from you.

I know this because I generally clear my own table - it’s a habit I picked up.

On the other hand, I can see how a trash filled table would be a more obvious signal that the table needed to be wiped, rather than relying on the attentiveness of the cleaning staff.

Well, the trash cans aren’t in the lobby because they add to the ambience. Of course I bus my table.

If you have time to lean, you have time to clean! :slight_smile:

As for **Tamex’ ** question about Wendys - In 1989, they were almost certainly cleaning up after you. This added service has died off in the past 20 years. The last time I sat down and ate at a Wendys, (as opposed to takeout) I had a moment of confusion as we were getting up to leave, and I saw trash bins at the exits. I bussed the table, and nobody came running out to take the tray from me.

I bus my own table, of course. It would never had occurred to me not to.

I also once pitted a woman I saw in Dunkin Donuts who refused to cleanup her trash when her young daughter asked her to.

He has a point actually. :stuck_out_tongue:

What’s the worst that could happen?

I clean my own mess. But a multi million dollar corp makes out when I do. They could pay people to do it . They want to keep employee cost down. I am conflicted. Should I take my own orders. They should maybe get rid of the counter people and just have me punch into a computer and slip the money into a slot.