The bicyclist and the drive-thru lane

The in basket: Ray Smith e-mailed in October with a strange tale.

“Today I rode my bicycle through the drive thru at the Burger King at the intersection of Highway 303 and Fairgrounds,” he wrote. “After getting no response at the speaker where orders are normally taken I proceeded to the pick-up window.

“The order taker informed me that a bicycle will not trigger the sensor that tells them someone is there. I was then informed that they could not take orders from a bicyclist.

“I inquired ‘Does that mean you will not take my order?’ I was told they couldn’t take my order because there was a car behind me. I said ‘There was no car behind me when I rode up.’ The reply was ‘Sorry I can’t take your order.’

“Is there some kind of requirement, by law, that says a bicyclist cannot be served in a drive thru? What about motorcycles or snowmobiles? (I recall reading an article that McDonald’s takes orders from snowmobilers in northern climates where the snow gets deep). “And finally, Is this just a Burger King policy? So much for ‘Have it your way.'”

The out basket: I asked Ray why a bicyclist would want to use a drive-through and he told me, “There was no convenient or designated place to park and lock my bike. From personal experience I have found you can’t secure your bike to whatever might be handy, I have had my locking cable cut and the bike hauled away by security personnel for securing it to a fence. It was also a nice day and I preferred to stay outdoors.”

Jeff Rose of Sound City Foods, which runs that Burger King, had this to say, “Drive thru lanes were built, primarily, for cars.  With today’s active lifestyles and fuel prices, guests are traveling to our restaurants using a variety of methods.

“It is true that a bicycle will not trip the sensor indicating a vehicle is present but once Mr. Smith was at the pick-up window we could have and should have served him.

“I would, however, advise caution using a bike in any drive thru as most guests are not accustomed to seeing a bike in the drive thru lane.”

They’re happy to serve motorcyclists in the drive-thru lane, he said. “Bottom line is we want to provide a safe experience for all guests.

“Please send along my apologies to Mr. Smith and my contact info should he want to contact me directly.”

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