Burger King blunder: would you like cash with that?

·3-min read
Burger King Rochester
Burger King Rochester

Any junk food aficionado will tell you that joy often lies at the bottom of the fast food restaurant's paper bags. However, ABC news has reported that for one Burger King customer in Rochester in the US, the delights of the paper bag were somewhat unexpected. When she drove away from the drive-thru, and delved into the bag for her spicy chicken sandwich, she came up with $2,631 in cash instead (which is just over £1,750).

The money was apparently routinely put into the paper bags to be taken to the bank for deposit. Janelle Jones only briefly toyed with the idea of keeping the cash to make up for the loss of her fast food, but according to the Metro, her religious beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness drove her to do the right thing and take the cash back. 9 News in Australia reported that she had been offered five free meals in recognition of her honesty.

What's particularly bizarre about this story, is that it's far from the first time this has happened.
Drive-thru bonuses

In December 2013, a couple in Nashville drove away to discover that instead of a McDonalds breakfast, they had been handed thousands of dollars which were meant to go to the bank. Fortunately staff realised their mistake, and recognised the customers, so were able to contact them and arrange for the money to be safely returned. The couple said they were already set on doing the right thing.

In July of the same year it was Taco Bell in Green Rapids, Michigan that made the same mistake. That time they gave their drive-thru customers $3,600 in cash. The group of three friends returned the cash as soon as they realised the mistake, and were given their order for free as a thank you.
In 2011, a KFC in Overland Park in Kansas handed a bag of cash to a 21-year old. He apparently didn't open the bag until he got home, at which point he called the police and asked to be escorted back to the restaurant to return the money.

It doesn't take a genius to work out the potential downside if you store your cash in the same paper bags as you hand out your takeaways in; you leave them lying around with all the bags of food; and then you rely on someone who isn't applying the entirety of their brainpower to their job manning the drive-thru to spot the difference.

These restaurants were lucky in that their customers returned the money, but how many mishaps is it going to take before the restaurants decide it may actually be worth investing in a few cash bags? And how long will it be before a customer who drives away with thousands of dollars decides that it's the restaurant's own fault for being too tight to invest in cash bags?

What do you think? Would you keep the cash? Let us know in the comments.

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Alligator at McDonalds Drive Thru
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