How To Ask For More Napkins Without Getting Punched Out

Need More Napkins At Fast FoodDid ya ever notice that fast food places barely give you enough napkins to wipe off a pinkie after gorging on their messy fare.  Seriously.  It doesn’t take an expert to know that napkins go hand in hand with sloppy food.  Take my latest experience at a burger joint.

“Can I take your order, please?” droned a pimply-faced teenage boy behind the counter.

No Napkins at In-N-Out Burgers

After receiving my food, I spread out all its greasy goodness:  burgers bulging with toppings, chili fries, drink, and condiments.  What’s that?  One napkin.  How can a diner survive with one napkin alone?  Oozing, dripping bounty was a hallmark at In-N-Out Burgers.

I turned to catch a quick glimpse of my son.  His approach to napkin scarcity was shared among the fourteen and under crowd.  What’s to complain about?  Who needed napkins?  As long as you are wearing clothes, just wipe the grease across your lips, down your face, and onto your sleeve!   What’s the problem?

Since I’m not comfortable using my arm as a napkin, I marched up to the counter and asked, “May I have a few more napkins?”

Totally serious, Pimple Face passed me one more.  Yeah, like that was going to make a dent.  I’m talkin’ lots more. A huge stack.

“Is it too much to ask for more napkins?” I pleaded.

That time, I swore, he went to a safe in the back of the kitchen and re-emerged with the prize napkin, doling it out like a gold doubloon.  I marched back to the table with my two measly napkins.  Since when did the guy behind the counter become the Napkin Police?

Need More Napkins at Subway?Need More Napkins

Now don’t get me started about napkins at Subway either.  Eating lunch there had become a personal challenge.  Inside the clear plastic bag were a tightly wrapped sandwich and one napkin.  To clarify my anger, let me explain that I ordered a meatball sandwich.  That sucker was so loaded with sauce and extras that just getting it to the table before it exploded was a challenge.  Once unwrapped, my dilemma was obvious and someone was going to pay.  I needed more napkins!  Racing to the counter, I slipped my hand behind and stole five more.

More Napkins at Taco Bell?

If it weren’t for the fact that I could feed an army of kids for $5.99 at Taco Bell, I would probably stop going. That place definitely claimed a napkin shortage.

At the drive thru window, I shouted, “Six soft tacos, one hard, nachos, small Coke.  Don’t forget the napkins.”

More napkinsThrough the muffled intercom, the order sounded all garbled.  At the drive-thru window I peeked inside my bag, one measly napkin; one-ply, brown and dinky as a moist towelette.  Come on.  Mexican food was a messy meal, what with all the hot sauces and toppings.  At the first speed bump, my lap will be one black bean away from looking like the Mexican appetizer platter.  Rolling down the window, despite the line of cars backed up at the drive thru, I demanded more napkins.

“Pull your car forward, lady,” says Taco Guy.

“Not until I get more napkins,” I said.

“You’re causing a problem.  Pull forward,” he yelled.

“More napkins!” I begged.  He tossed napkins into my car amidst the sound of honking before I zoomed off.

One small step for mankind, more napkins for me!

Check out another funny story, “13 Things Your Fast Food Worker Won’t Tell You.”

Do you have a napkin story to share? Go ahead, post a comment. I dare ya!

This story was previously published in the Pleasanton Patch.

About staceygustafson


  1. I’ve adopted a plan to cope with this troubling situation. When I go inside a fast food restaurant and find napkins unguarded, I carefully scrutinize the joint for security, and if it appears safe, I grab an extra handful . These I keep in the inaptly named glove box of our car – along with extra ketchup, spoons, forks and sugar. I have half a picnic in that compartment.

  2. Camille Thompson says

    Love this one! Yes, napkins are always in short supply. I, too, hoard them, like Julie. I have them crammed into the car door pockets for easy access. And, no, I do not keep gloves in my glove box.

  3. Hilarious!

  4. and by the way…. thanks for your insight, truly makes my day to know I am not the only one feeling this way about napkins! ha ha

  5. I suspect you might have to start to carry around your own personal supply of napkins so you don’t have to deal with the napkin police any longer!

  6. This is also a problem at casual sit-down restaurants. I’m asking for extras along with my food order. At least there, the waitperson is expecting a tip so I have some leverage!

  7. I guess the reason why they limit them is to help the environment? It that’s the case they should stop giving all those ATM and gas receipts. I think that would help the environment. Great post! Virginia- FirstClassWoman

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