So this is how I learned to get my food fast at McDonalds during Mardi Gras.
I went into the McDonalds on St. Charles St. (uptown) to grab a bite between parades last night. Needless to say, it was so crowded that there was a line just to get IN and a security guard letting folks in a few at a time. (They also had a sign up saying no outside food or drinks could be brought in so I had to slam a just-opened 16oz beer before I could get past.)
Once in, I stood in a line to order my food, and then everyone who'd placed an order had to go stand on one spot down at the end of the counter and wait for the manager there to call out the receipt number. And naturally, many people weren't paying attention so he often had to shout the same numbers several times before the person came up and got their food.
Manager: "ONE EIGHTY NINE! ... ONE EIGHTY NINE!"
Manager: "ONE NINETY! ... ONE NINETY AND ONE EIGHTY NINE!"
Finally I decided that this could a fun game to play. (Beer...it makes everything fun!)
Manager: ONE NINETY ONE! ... AND ONE EIGHTY NINE!"
Me: "COME ON, ONE EIGHTY NINE! LET'S GO! GET UP HERE AND GET YOUR FOOD!" *drunk girl shuffles up at last.* "THERE WE GO! LET'S HAVE A BIG HAND FOR ONE EIGHTY NINE, EVERYBODY!" *some in crowd clap*
Manager: "ONE NINETY TWO!"
Me: "ONE NINETY TWO! YOU'VE JUST WON SOME FOOD! COME ON UP HERE! YEAH!
Manager: "ONE NINETY FOUR!"
Me: "SORRY ONE NINETY THREE--JUST NOT YOUR TIME! NEXT TIME ORDER SOMETHING THEY GOT READY, BABY! ONE NINETY FOUR, COME ON UP HERE...MAKE WAY FOR ONE NINETY FOUR, EVERYONE!"
Manager: ONE NINETY THREE!"
Me: "THERE YA GO, ONE NINETY THREE! BUT YOURS WILL PROBABLY BE HOT! COME ON UP AND GET IT NOW BEFORE I GRAB IT MYSELF!"
Yeah, it's kind of obnoxious just reading it, but in that crowd of Mardi-gras costumed drunks, it was going over good and I was getting a ton of laughs and applause every time I followed up the manager's monotone announcements with my circus barker/auctioneer ad-libs. Even the counter staff were watching and smiling. And the two armed security guards--one at each door, did nothing to shush me.
Manager: "ONE NINETY FIVE!"
Me: "ALL RIGHT! WHO HAS ONE NINETY FIVE? ROLL UP, ROLL UP WITH THAT GOLDEN TICKET AND GET YOU SOME FOOD!"
This went on for a few minutes, and the crowd was getting more into it, cheering and laughing as people danced up to get their orders, waving and bowing as they did so. Finally the manager tapped me on the arm.
Manager: "What's your order number?"
Me: "Two Hundred and Sixteen."
The manager took my receipt then stepped over to the rack where the other orders were being put together. He grabbed a couple items out of separate bags and put them in another bag. Then he came back with that bag.
"Here you go. Two sixteen. Have a nice night."
And I walked out to much applause and a few pats on the back. One of the security guards even held the door for me.
And apparently THAT is how you get prompt service at McDonalds during Mardi Gras.