Drive-Thru Worker Punches, Throws Drink at Hostile Customer in Viral Video

A video that shows the moment a California Jack in the Box drive-thru employee threw a drink at and subsequently punched a hostile customer has gone viral.

The video was posted to TikTok on Sunday by Alyssa Alvarez (@lovely91961). So far, it has garnered more than 5 million views and over 600,000 likes while showcasing the hostility many food service employees frequently endure.

In the video, which was filmed from inside Alvarez's car, the customer stands mere inches away from the drive-thru window and screams at the employee inside. The employee retaliates by throwing a drink at the customer's face, but this only seems to further anger the customer. Rather than leave, the customer sticks his head through the drive-thru window and continues to yell.

Several seconds later, the employee punches the customer in the face, but this doesn't deter him either. The customer licks his fingers tauntingly and punches the window, before finally walking away.

"F***ing p***y," the customer yelled.

It's not clear what led to the altercation. A video posted by Alvarez earlier that same day appears to show the beginning of the shouting match. In that video, the customer repeatedly calls the employee a "b***h," though again, it's not clear why.

Newsweek reached out to Alyssa Alvarez and Jack in the Box for more information but did not hear back in time for publication.

Alvarez isn't the first person to post a video of a drive-thru altercation to TikTok. In January, a drive-thru security camera captured an argument that occurred between an employee and a customer that also ended with drinks flying. The footage was posted to TikTok by someone named D'Mario, who is presumed to be the employee from the video. And a viral TikTok from December shows a customer throwing a drink at two drive-thru employees after being told she still owed money.

As it turns out, hostile customer behavior is rather common in the foodservice industry.

A May 2021 poll of food service workers revealed that 39 percent of food service workers were "were quitting over concerns about hostility or harassment from customers," stated the Harvard Gazette. A separate survey conducted by Snagajob-Black Box in October also found that 62 percent of restaurant employees experienced "emotional abuse and disrespect from customers," said Nation's Restaurant News.

Alvarez's viewers were notably critical of the behavior the customer displayed in the now-viral video.

"This is why there [are] shortages in customer service jobs," wrote Claudia.

"People like this made me quit customer service," said Amanda.

"Ppl love to embarrass themselves in public," commented tikipinky.

"Imagine waking up every day to that," added Miriam Silva.

Jack in the Box
A video that shows the moment a California Jack in the Box drive-thru employee threw a drink at and subsequently punched a hostile customer has gone viral. Justin Sullivan / Staff/Getty