Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Order by Unique Number

Assign Unique ID numbers for your Drive Through Order.
  (+7, -3)
(+7, -3)
  [vote for,

You visit the website for the Fast Food restaurant in question. Once at the website you build your meal from the ground up. If you want mustard on the bottom bun, ketchup on the top, this can be specified. You can start with a selection of commonly ordered items, or you can fully customize your order. The website would have to be robustly created to allow for the number of choices you would want, especially for a Fast Food chain that offers a lot of choices, like grilled onions, grilled jalapenos, etc.

Once you have built your menu items, and assembled them into an order, the system references their large SQL database of orderable items and configurations and determines if a number exists for this order. If not, it assigns a number.

Once you get to the Drive Through, you just tell them, yes Web ID 106357 (or whatever your corresponding ID is). They punch that into the computer, it references the database, then they read back, that's a Double Cheeseburger with Mustard, Onion, Pickles and 2 pieces of cheese, with half French Fries, half onion rings, a chocolate shake, extra thick with two straws.

You confirm that was what you configured on the website, and pull around to pay for it.

There's also a chance here to just order online, pay for it there and go pick it up. But the real benefit here is that you can remember the numbers for your favorite orders and instead of trying to explain through the crappy speaker system that you want the bun toasted, you can just provide a number that breaks it all out for them.

Meanwhile, it can be linked to an internal system that walks them through how to most efficiently build your order.

Craenor, Jun 16 2008


       Nice. You could order from you PDA over a WiFi link as you approach the drive-thru lane; even pay in advance using your cellphone, by texting to a special number.   

       Why not extend the idea to include the whole meal, including fries and a beverage ?
8th of 7, Jun 16 2008

       You'd always end up behind the guy who wants a 1001011001, not a 1001101001.   

       Also, since you're encoding the entire order, the ID varies by quantity as well. At what point do you stop? If "00000001" = "one plain burger", does "10000000" = "ten million plain hamburgers"?
phoenix, Jun 16 2008

       Taking it one step further, you could link it to your On Star, or something akin to an EZPass. Then you could save your favorites in your EZ Pass Account. When you pull up, that links with the system, then they see only a short list of your favorites. You say, yes, I want my number 3.
Craenor, Jun 16 2008

       [phoenix], you're just being intentionally difficult.   

       The whole burger design can be defined in a #include<> file using standard objects.   

       The meal is just handled as a heirarchical object, or an arry of structures if you really must. Get the class definition right and it's all easy.
8th of 7, Jun 16 2008

       Me: "Give me a 4-4-5-6-g-r."

       Drive-Up Person: "Welcome to McDummels, can I take your order now? "

       Me: "I would like a 4-4-5-6-g-r."

       Drive-Up Person: "Could you repeat that, sir?"

       Me: "I want a god damned 4-4-5-6-g- r."

       Drive-Up Person: "Squwaaaawwkk I'm sorry, what was that number?"

       Me: "You go to hell. You go to hell and you die."

       My seven-year-old daughter from the back seat: "Daddy said bad words."

       Me: "A 4-4-5-6-g-r. The Ellspeth special. A 4-4-5-6-g-r."

       My seven-year-old daughter from the back seat: " Daddy, it's 4-4-3-6-g-r, not 4-4-5-6-g-r"

       I think it might be prudent to have a print button that will print out a list of numbers so that you can just hand it to them.
nomocrow, Jun 16 2008

       This could help create a temporary surge in business for the fast food chain, because customers will be keen to be among the first to use this facility, so that they get an easily memorable code for their usual order, like 45, or 5q, instead of being one of the latecomers who have to remember things like 3405qqu3.
imaginality, Jun 16 2008

       This does give the adventurous eater the chance to order their phone number, and see what comes.
theNakedApiarist, Jun 17 2008

       Of course you understand that you have to depend on a burger jockey who makes only $6 an hour to get your order right. They have a hard enough time getting the standard repetitive orders correct.
Jscotty, Jun 17 2008

       What [Jscotty] said. I can't get them to take off the cheese and get the price correct after that!
xandram, Jun 17 2008

       If it's just a number, why bother with the burger jockey at all? Just type the number into a handy keypad through your car window.
lostdog, Jun 17 2008

       Dont forget to have an area online devoted to reviewing and promoting specific numbers, along with statistics like most ordered and a graph of their ratings over time to monitor the impact of quality improvements the company may have made.   

       I would have to every now and then just give random numbers and see what I get. Fish filet ontop of icecream und some fries LOL smothered in ketchup!!!! lol
wuhisn, Jun 17 2008

       You can already call up a pizza place, place an order, and pick it up in-store, using your name and phone number as the unique ID. I like the idea of being able to re-use the number to order the same thing again, though, so bun for that.   

       I think an even better system would be to be able to add orders to your account online, and print out a barcode to be scanned that identifies your account. Then you can just scan the barcode and say you want the #3 from your personal favourites list, like [Craenor] described.
Bukkakinator, Jun 17 2008

       Kind of like VIN number for fast food?   

       But what if I enjoy the mystery of recieving something other then what I ordered? Can this system support wildcards? Can I perturb the UID in a random way that won't pull up bogus items?   

       Likewise, I think some folks enjoy tearing open their hamburgers to show the fast food workers that they were given one slice of onion, not two as they'd asked, and then building up a head of righteous indignation that will float them for the rest of the day.
mylodon, Jun 18 2008

       Chinese restaurant? I'll have a 5, 17, 99, 104 and two serves of 66. "And theennnn?"
sprogga, Jun 18 2008


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