Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Best way to approach server at restaurant

We have many McDonald's stories. Here is mine. I discuss two different approaches. I need your vote for which approach is best.

I did not realize Eric Babb did similiar ASL Vlog in April. Check it out. It is great one.


NavyBeagle said...

I have been faith to McDonald’s until I started my serious diet a few months ago. I felt guilty to eat a combo from McDonald’s last Friday. I did not have time to cook. I know it was inexcusable. Anyway, I usually drive thru to make some order. What I do… stay at the order sign until all vehicles in the front are all cleared. Then I approach to the window with my written-ready paper order and gave it to the worker. Often, the workers puzzled then realized that I was Deaf. Now for the indoor orders, I usually order combo and sign “1” or “any combo #” then POINT to the menu and POINT HERE for eating here or POINT GO for To-go.

Anonymous said...


ginfpca said...

Tonight, we had our dinner at McDonald's because our five-year-old son told us that he was hungry and wanted McDonald's. What a concidence!

Anyway, we tend to have a note ready with the written orders before submitting to the person at the front desk or drive-thru. With this approach, we have no problem getting our orders. Sometimes the workers are unable to comprehend due to their inability to read, I ask for the manager and from there, no problems so far!


Lantana said...

Personaly,I do not understand the big deal about ordering at McDonalds from the outside driveup area. I have NEVER ordered from the drive-in menu and never will. What is wrong with parking your car, and walking in and ordering from the counter? It is a few extra steps and a tiny inconvenience and a little excercise that might help work off some of the calories.

Lantana, Lantana's Latitude

Renee J said...

I'm curious, David. Did you ask your ASL students for their input or feedback since they are the ones who get approached by deaf customers? I wonder what they suggest or ideas they might have... It'd be interesting to see what they say. I know they might be not so well-rounded in the area of Deaf World but I'd like to see if they would tell you how they really react when a deaf customer approaches.
Yes, we need to continue to educate them constantly on so many things in our Deaf World life.

- Renee J

FRED said...

Hello David,
I would do a number of things each time. On most accounts, I would just ask for paper and observe their behaviors so that I choose to attend the same or complain, whatever.

I think I would like to try your method and bravely do it. I don't think other language speaking people would do this concept, they would say " I SPEAK NO EN LISH" whatever the case may be .. except if they're tourist.

You same as me, have a number of McDonald stories.

I love drive throughs, just to cause them little trouble. Only one time I got a heated expression from the window clerk/sales person, but took my order after I told them I want the order w/o telling them I am deaf, they spoke to me, but I continue to point on paper. (Just one of those days, I do that.)

One of my favorite thing to do:
I wrote on paper ... (it varies)
1 Big Mac - no onions
1 small drink
To go.
Very often they will ask me if I wanted it for here or to go, I point to the paper that I wrote down, huh? And quite a few times, I would get a French Fries with the order, and I pointed to the paper, but gave me the fries freely, or yet I had to pay the combo that I didn't want. I almost often get the combo ... hummm

Anonymous said...


i usually type my orders on my pager (SK3) and show it to the cashier. i dont go to ANY fast food restaurant so i dont have any plm with drive thru. winks... if i do, i would drive to the window and give them my order.

Anonymous said...

I have retired as a McDonald junkie some years ago. I nowadays eat much healthy food. I know I know kids (and adults) LOVE junk food.

I DO go there as a last resort whenever I really need a meal. I would say "I am deaf" NOT "I can't hear". Then I say a specific number. No french fries. Thank you. I just want to get food right away, not make fuss about whether she can sign or not. It is why we have fast food restaurants. smile

A big problem is that there is a very high turnover of fast food workers and that most of the workers are high school students.
It all depends on the worker you meet. Some are responsive while others get stuck and do not know what to do... If they see a lot of deaf customers, they will know what to do. Some will learn basic signs.

In the past, I had NO problems getting food at a drive thru (passing the audio board and ordering food to the window worker). Today, I walk inside instead for exercise and fresh air. However, ordering at a drive thru is a big help for a parent who has a van full of hungry kids (and adults!).

Enough of fast food for now.

~ Just Deaf

Aslpride said...

My Respond

jwomick said...

wow..... sometime i use my Sidekick or pick towel paper wrote with the pen myself as get ready in line save my time instead waiting on cashier find something to give me write. but u have good point. i will go try it see what they will do to me if i use ASL... i will tell what my result :D THANKING FOR SHARING TIPS! :D we should thank to ur student for bring up question! :D

Joshua "Vampbat" Womick

Anonymous said...

Bring your own pen and pad.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you can do that to ask them if they sign cause what if there's a big long lineup you will get someone that's really tired and press for time to get orders out. I would give paper and pen to them, works both ways (respect)!!! how many of them will know sign language come on!!.. maybe in washington,dc or rochester possible..just my opinion.

Jay Croft said...

Occasionally I have to eat at a Wendy's. It's the only decent place to eat between I-65 Exit 5 B in Mobile AL, to Exit 170 Montgomery AL. (Yes, 165 miles. I'm not kidding!)

I grab a paper napkin, write my order, go to the counter and hand it in.


Anonymous said...


Wow, you have come up close. Now I can see you, your signs, and your facial expressions a lot better. Thanks smile

Susan said...

liked what you shared :)

My mother always have everything written down before she enters McDonalds or any take-away place.

I tend to try to point and mime, exaggerated lip patterns. Not good, I know :D sometimes it helped.

Let you know that Eric Babb did a good video clip on what you shared, it's in HERE

(hope the link works!) :)

tim said...

Good thinking of way to approach.
I used many ways to communicate to get foods Smile!

I was a little shock about your profanity sign language. Look at Colossians 3:1-10.

It hurts the audience because i can not show to my kids.. how about yours?

Anonymous said...

I always carry notepad and pen in pocket, be prepare....

Shrimpy said...

Well, I rather sign langs but one things They dont know how their own Langs but I can show them from poster like Pix. also Yea I did write down but I am not accpet it that kinda of it so They should know better Who I am ..Every time I come They knew Me so They Give me paper and pen- My breath out of it from them .I dont need paper and pen... I would like sign langs then write down .so I wish that person do know how sign langs but I cant Focrced to them . you know I have lots of experience that How I can though with it. so Every time I come in so They get ready paper and pen cause they know who I am .

Thanks for read my story

Domvera said...

Hey David,

Good Morning! I absolutely like your suggestions in approaching to the cashier. Remember in few months ago, Joey Baer asked our audience to discourse about what do you do when you approach the cashier? See how the cashier reacts as we are deaf person in writing. I liked his topic discussion as well as you do.

I used to live in Rochester, NY. There are few deaf employees at McDonald's in Henrietta, NY near NTID/RIT campus and Marketplace Mall on Jefferson Road. Most hearing employee knew sign language well and can use their facilating in communication with deaf patrons without writing down anything.

I wish everywhere like McDonald's can provide sign language through communication like Rochester, NY. If suppose, McDonald's receive more deaf customers often and expose them in ASL, is it possible for them to take ASL class? Why don't they go to your ASL class? It will increase the benefit of your credit for your college recognition. Why not?
That's important to keep exposing them in ASL and encourage them to take ASL class in order to faciliate in communication to access equally.

I used to love McDonald's in the past. Unfortunately, I have to watch what I eat due to have pre-diabetes. I certainly wish McDonald's food modification on health requirements for individuals with health concisious such as whole grain buns, lettuce, red onions, tomato, sliced of pickles, and any gourment cheeses along with Angus beef or turkey hamburger. Also baked fries and diet sodas with lime or lemon. It will control my appetite.

Thank you for bringing up into good discourse.

Nick Vera

Domvera said...

In additional to my recent comment, encourage McDonald's employees to attend David Martin's class to increase in ASL skills. Smile!


Mookie said...


Have you ever thought of any deaf parents with their sleeping kid(s) in the vehicles? Have you ever try to carry your sleeping kid while ordering but how do you manage to carry big food, or is that very wise to leave sleeping kids in vehicles alone while ordering at the cashier desk? What about another disablied deafie who may not walk very well? What about too many customers standing behind the cashier desk but a few vehicles standing at the Drive-thru?

I think it is time for you to order at the Drive-thru.

BTW, Big Mac does not taste so good. I wonder what kind of meat is that?


Lisa C. said...

I rather have my paper written ready before I order instead of having some employees who don't know the signs spend several minutes looking for pen and paper.
I don't think I'd go to McDonalds often since the french fries oil was bad for liver cells and I found out online that they have been saving the used oil for the potato chip factories. Thats why I stopped eating potato chips a few months ago.

Lantana said...

Yes, Yes, I have had sleeping babies in my car. And I have a mother who had a leg amputation.

When I was growing up, and in my early adult years, if we were going to be gone for any length of time we packed our own food from home. Cold meatloaf sandwiches,carrot sticks, celery sticks, and whatever we happen to have at the time in the fridge. Fast food is the big contributor to a nation of obese people. Have you heard?

I don't even go to the driveup window at a bank. It just isn't convenient for a deaf person unless you speak well.

When you drive up with a note and they have to prepare your meal from there, the cars behind you have to wait longer for you. They might be in a hurry, too. A drivein window is no place to be onery.

Pack yourself an energy bar and wait until you get to your destination to eat.


Mookie said...


Welcome to the 21st century. I understand where you are coming from. Instantaneously, this planet is constantly busy than ever before.

There are many mothers who do have their full time careers may not have enough time to make snacks, such as cold meatloaf. Most of the kids go to school and some to daycares (Any parent has to hurry since he/she does not want to pay late fee at the daycare before 6pm). Also, most of parents still have to commute 20-90 minutes each trip in metro cities or rural towns. Do they have time to order at the fast-food restaurant at the cashier desk?

Don’t you know that there are other peoples constantly to take care of their elderly parents when their kid(s) left the nests? I understand why elderly people can not afford much in this 21st century.

Any individual prefers to order at the cashier desk or Drive-Thru when he/she accelerates to gulp whole Wendy’s #4 Combo with no pickle.

There is nothing wrong to order at the Drive-Thru.

Of course, that sucks for having trans fat and extra calories in the food from the fast-food restaurants…

Jac said...

I usually have it pen and paper ready to write down, then hand it to order ready. Also, I had NOT mention them that I am deaf. Few of them already had knowledge some sign language.
You are right that to be equal each other in our language as ASL & English. I can add that Spainish, you notice many places had a spainish language on Menu, or sign, or some employees can speak spainish or can able to use ASL, either.
Good idea that good suggestion to all deaf try to not point to their ear to tell that they are "deaf".

Oscar the Observer said...


Yes, wow! I think I will start doing this! What a fresh perspective! We should not look at signing as talking to self if we sign to hearing people, but rather as simply speaking a foreign language as other foreign language speaking people already so proudly do!


Oscar the Observer said...

Had an opportunity to read through the comments. Yes, I have an idea, what about you come in prepared with paper (notebook, etc) and pen but at first sign ASL at first. And if they look at you clueless, be merciful and with a flourish bring out paper and pen (with written orders or whatever if events warrant it) :)?

Anonymous said...

I usually sign when I approach McD's order-taker. After a few trips to McD's in my neighborhood, when they see me coming up, they immediately take out paper and pen from under the counter and put on table. Cool? Feel like VIP!!!

Keri said...

That's a very good point about approaching hearing people and saying "I can't hear." I normally approach hearing people and ask them for a paper or pen if I don't have one. I rarely point to my ears unless the hearing person is insistent on speaking with me. But I'll keep in mind to avoid pointing to my ears.

On a side note, this is totally off the point but I couldn't find a contact information for you so here goes: Is it possible for you to change your Blog title from "Kiss-Hand" to "Kiss-Fist"? The kiss-hand always startles me because it doesn't make sense. Our palms are closed into a fist so your title should be "Kiss-Fist." Just my 2 cents, from one ASL teacher to another. ;)

Anonymous said... might get a server who can hit on nail with this one..excellent job

yeahh subway or taco bell offer the low fat meal or most balanced might want to switch?

michele said...

Yes, it would be great if we could have a laminated card with ASL and show it to the server. Or we can work with fast food restaurants and sell the laminated posters to them and the servers can look it up and learn ASL. That way they would know what to understand if they encounter a deaf person.

David, do you advertise your ASl classes? if so, maybe you can hand your business card with ASL class schedule/fees and give it to fast food manager or whoever. They can sign up to learn basic sign langauge?

Your thoughts on this, David???

deafk said...

to Lantana -

I do drive thru. Number one is I have small children, and I do not want to bring them to McD. And then bring them back to vechile. So, it is more convience for me.

ok, thank you. deafk

deafk said...


curious, what about those people talking behind you? How do you approach them? I would say, hey, I m deaf, AFTER I realize someone was talking to me behind my back ... Should we change the approach?


Anonymous said...

Why are you so worried that hearing people will look down on Deafies if they point thier ears as they're deaf? Are you trying to "control" on us? I always tell I am deaf. They understood me and gave me paper and pen. Big deal!

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, David. you expect they know sign language??? pfffttt...Use your head!!!! Just bring paper and pen. plain as simple. by the way, please don't use sign "sh*t" okay? be cool It is not appropriate to use it.

Judge said...


Judge's Response - Click here

Anonymous said...

OH David! I agree with Tim. STOP USING BAD LANGUAGE. Shame on you!!!! Bad example for your kids and others!!!! WE demand you to re-do the video and cut out the bad language..shame on you. I am not proud of you David...

Jared Evans said...

This is what I always do at Starbucks when I come in for morning coffee. I start by signing and when they don't understand, I push them a bit more with some more signs before I ask them if they have paper/pen.

Interesting reaction by the starbucks staff when I go there again- they are excited to see me and try to sign with me. I see how their attitude improve over time.

I encourage all Deaf to do this as well every where they go!

Anonymous said...


I dont know if I should call you a professor or not but I am your student and am shocked to see you using bad word... Im gonna have to report it to your supervisor/chairman...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I dont know if I should call you a professor or not but I am your student and am shocked to see you using bad word... Im gonna have to report it to your supervisor/chairman...

May 3, 2007 6:46 PM

oooh...bad news.I agree with anonymous. You're not supposed to use bad language. tsk tsk. Maybe your wife will spank you. LOL

Lisa C. said...

The Big Mac doesn't taste good anymore because my husband said meat was made of rubber. Sounds good,huh?

deafk said...

hey, you anonymous, and tim, David signed only one sign that is bothering you. This sign, oh, is like "Oh, no, what can I do about this????" Maybe we invent the sign for that, eh? Give David a break, ok? Thanks.


Anonymous said...


he was using a bad language. It is not appropriate to use it. He should have know better than that cuz he's a professor at FCC. What about his morality and examples for his students and his own kids? Would you want your kids to know what kind of language you're using ? You'd probably won't use it in front of the kids. He should be ashamed of himself. He's just a loser. This is a public record. Anyone at FCC espcially his boss Jan Holly (I think) might look at his VLOG and realize he was using a bad language. Would that be a good influence on his students at FCC? Probably not. I am sure some of his students would not respect him at all for being using profane language. He asked for it.

Deaf Kitchen said...

Hello Davey and everyone! I've responded to this subject in 2 different vlogs on Enjoy!

BEG said...

Nice vlog, good point!

Which sign's the bad one?? I don't object, personally, but it's always useful to know how a word is regarded! I'm thinking the thumb into the fist sign?

(Learning ASL, over here.)

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha Ha..You're 100 certified Deaf and DUMB! Ha ha about stupid and fearless! Is that who you are? LOL

Oscar the Observer said...

Guess what? Today I applied your proposal twice.

#1. My mother was late in picking me up from college so I went into admission center and signed requesting paper and pen, and wrote out requesting the secretary that she call my mother. She spoke to her on phone, then after she hung up she spoke to me! I simply smiled and signed that I did not understand her and can she write? She continued to speak then after she realized that I signed repeatedly the same message and she stopped. She went ahead and --->typed out<--- in bold and about 20 point size that my mother would be here soon. I smiled and waved.

#2. As I walked out, an elderly lady passed me and spoke something to me. I signed to her that I did not speak orally but use sign language. She looked scared and stepped away and then walked away rapidly. I laughed to myself a little and I went to wait for my mother.

Wow, it DID make me feel a lot better than pointing at my ear and shaking my head :D.

deafk said...


Again, you are not using your name. You are hiding from us. Are you honesty with yourself? Now, you said David is a loser, and he asked for it? You does not care enough for him. You want to punish him. I can see in David's context, and I do not see any anger in it or bad in it. Like in DeafKitchen's comment, one commented that we may take for granted does not mean we were using the word literally. I am sure David considers this, and I am sure he is learning. I am sure he probably would be carefully sign from now on.

Now, you anonymous, you said to the person deaf and DUMB. That is equal to the bad word! It is an insulting word. Watch yourself out!


Anonymous said...

I dont think David was using a bad word because that sign has a different meaning/expression in ASL. He was merely telling us what the employee might have thought about it when s/he did not understand someone signing to him/her. It is not like he was mad or offended someone.

There have been a lot of misunderstandings as well as misinterpretations. I wish I could help discuss how ASL and English words are different via vlog, but I am apprehensive because I have seen too many rude comments. David and other vloggers are very courageous. Keep on vlogging and sharing info about our precious language, ASL!

JungleForest said...

Interesting topic. :-) At any places go to McDonald's, seldom I drive thru to order when my children were with me. One of my children was volunteer to interpret for me for ordering.

At most time, I drive and park, walk over to McDonald's and usually tell someone that I'm deaf (point my ear and nod head), they understand my response and take a paper and pen. Sometimes I take out my paper and pen, write it down before next order and ready to go. Sometimes the cashier ask me something what else to order or anything. I gesture and facial expression so the cashier took my answer.

You brought up a good point about pathologic view on deafies by hearies. Look at ears instead of person wholly. I'm having a habit says I'm deaf before taking out a paper and pen. Once in a while, I approach a cashier at the counter, the cashier happen to know signs and I was overjoy and grinned, save my time. :-)

Good feedback, David.

drmzz said...

What I think about this McDonald's issue, hmm, I think it's funny that I should waste time trying to teach a GED or HS graduate the true meaning of my Deaf being?
Do it with those who are highly educated and are involved into systems that affects our lives like education, civil service, government and so on. They're the ones that tend to be biased and ignorant, IMO. Don't pick on the little people, got that?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I dont think David was using a bad word because that sign has a different meaning/expression in ASL.

WRONG! There is only one sign for SHIT. Period. No excuses at all. Whether he did or didn't do on a purpose.

May 4, 2007 2:00 PM

deafk said...


David admitted his mistake.. He made another VLOG to follow up for you Anonymous's sake!!

He is a nice guy....

Anonymous, please be considerate to another!! Do not judge or provoke one another. Thank you.

David, please do keep up with VLOGs.... You will do fine! grinning!


Anonymous said...

Oh please ! you know what you was signing S_ _ _ _ ! My son and I saw to you stop "off" VLOGS

Me =) said...

Catching up on volgs/blogs....I go to fast food drive thru often. I write what I want ahead of time. I feel equal to hearing people when I do that. I even do it if there are cars behind me. A few minutes wait wont kill them! I also go to bank drive thru with no problem.

todos la vie said...

Geez. I didn't know that all workers at McDonalds had GED or High School diplomas. Okay, let's stick with your analogy. Suppose that all workers at McDonald's (and they all only have GED or HS diplomas), they can not understand the true meaning of your deaf being. Okay, my mom was a high school graduate only. My dad dropped out of high school. I'm a deaf being raised by the category you described, but they didn't work at McDonald's, so they're off the hook? They should understand my deaf being, right? Just clarifying.

Anonymous said...

Hi,I belive that it is good idea but one day, I went to Burger King that I tried to sign to the person that she watched me and smile at me i can tell that she grinned at me. i got little mad at her for watching me signing for nothing so i know that manager and she saw that person do nothing for me so she asked me something to order foods so i ordered so it is hard to understand between deaf and hearing people.

drmzz said...

Todos, they just want to sell hamburgers and finish their shift. Forget about political
statements. I wouldn't think less of them, the same for grassroots. Want ketchup with that? ;)