A man’s “petty” revenge on the customer behind him at a Steak ‘N Shake drive-thru has won him rousing applause online.
The proportion of Americans who use drive-thrus has spiked since COVID-19 hit the U.S., when many restaurants closed. According to a 2021 survey by mobile marketing company Bluedot, 74 percent of U.S. consumers have used a drive-thru since the start of the pandemic, up 43 percent from April 2020.
In a video with 7.4 million views, TikTok user Nicole Christine captured her husband Kyle’s reaction to a customer honking behind them at the Steak ‘N Shake drive-thru line.
“These people back here behind me are being a**holes,” Kyle said to her. “I’m going to buy their meal and take it.”
“Don’t do that,” the woman videoing from the passenger seat says, but he doesn’t listen.
The cashier then opened the window and confirmed his order from the drive-thru window.
“Yeah, and whatever they have, too, I’m gonna go ahead and buy it and take it,” he told her.
“Behind you? Okay,” said the cashier, not seemingly fully understanding at first. “Because they keep honking the horn?”
“Yeah, that’s why,” Kyle said. “I want to buy it and I want to take it with me.”
“No, don’t do that,” the woman videoing said, but she was again ignored.
“Oh,” replied the cashier, her eyes widening as the customer’s plan sank in.
“Yeah, so they can go back around,” he added.
Visibly laughing, the cashier closed her window and went to seek advice from another employee. A man who appeared to be her manager leaned out of the window.
“Can I buy their order since they’re being a**holes and take it with me?” Kyle asked him.
“Yeah, I don’t care,” responded the blasé manager. “I’ll kick them out of the line.”
TikTok viewers were in stitches over the customer’s extensive efforts to mildly inconvenience the honker behind him.
“Oh I love a good Petty Betty moment,” said one amused comment.
Another added, “GENIUS!!! Even if the restaurant does remake their order, it’s the basic fact that happened to them, I love it!”
But even more popular than Kyle were the workers who nonchalantly took his side.
“Manager is awesome,” said one of the many viewers delighted by the Steak ‘N Shake employees.
“Obviously they made his meal again quick. Manager recognized more $$$,” another noted.
Drive-thru have become the site of much more violent disputes in the United States.
An Atlanta Subway employee was shot dead in front of her son on Sunday after an argument with a customer about “too much mayonnaise on his sandwich,” the restaurant announced.
In May, a dispute at a Taco Bell drive-thru in California allegedly led to a man shooting at another customer’s vehicle, striking him at least once in an attempted homicide.
And in 2019, a woman allegedly became so infuriated at a KFC employee over her lack of utensils that she fired through the drive-thru window.
Newsweek reached out to Christine and Steak ‘N Shake for comment.