I was just scammed at a Wendy's drive-through window. I figured out what the guy was doing while he did it, but let him continue because I was curious and the amount of money was small.
This drive-through has a outside intercom, a money window, and then a food window. One person takes the order via the intercom. A second person takes the money and gives change. A third person hands you the food and your receipt.
So what the guy at the second window does is quote a higher price. (In my case, the order was $5.94 but he said $10.94.) The intercom isn't very great, and most of the people who work there have strong foreign accents, so it's quite possible that many customers don't hear the price correctly over the intercom, and even if they do and they correct him, he can just pretend they heard him wrong. If they don't object, he pockets $5. Assuming this guy is paid about $8 per hour, he only has to pull this scam twice per hour to more than double his income. If he does it often enough, he's probably making more than the store manager.
The critical flaws in Wendy's process that make this scam easy are:
1. The price isn't displayed on a screen for the customer, either near the order intercom or near the money window
2. You get the receipt at the food window, not the money window. So if you check your receipt against your change, you've already moved away from the guy running the scam, and now it's your word against his.
Note that most McDonalds do both of these things correctly. Perhaps this partially explains why McDonalds does a lot better than Wendy's financially, despite having much worse food.
Anyway, I called the store, asked for the manager, and explained what was going on. I'll go back to that Wendy's soon and see if the guy who ripped me off is still working there. If he is, I'm never eating at that Wendy's again.
(Note that if, even if he does get fired, he still wins big. It's not like he can't find another $8 per hour fast food job in about five minutes, and there's no record of how much he's stolen so they'll never get it back. He only loses if someone actually prosecutes him. But Wendy's loses big, from customers who realize they were ripped off and then never eat there again.)