WOOSTER — It wasn’t exactly business as usual on Wednesday as the wind-chill factor brought the area temperature down to feel like minus 32 degrees (about 8 degrees below zero actual temperature) by mid-afternoon. Area drive-thru workers were braving the cold and moving a little bit slower but still serving their customers.

“We can’t really close,” said Joe Doyle of Chasers Drive Thru on Cleveland Road. “We have deliveries to get in.”

Doyle said that Tuesday was busier than Wednesday because people were getting stocked up early for the cold blast. Expecting a frigid day, he was clad in snowboard pants, base layers and a water-resistant coat.

Manager Elaine Starner of Ice House Drive Thru on Bowman Street echoed what Doyle said about Tuesday being a busy day. But, even at minus 32 degrees with the wind chill factor, Starner said this wasn’t the coldest day she has endured.

Dressed in five layers of pants and six layers of shirts and coats, she recalled a day she worked when the wind-chill temperature reached minus 40 degrees.

“We sat a bottle of water out that day and it froze in seven minutes,” Starner said.

Starner’s cohort, employee Robin Kline, said that their customers are very generous. “They tip us well and they are appreciative,” she said. “Some of our regular customers have brought us coffee and some have brought us soup and chili.”

Zach Smith was experiencing his first winter working the window at Dino’s Drive Thru on East Liberty Street, and he was enjoying it.

“I asked to work today,” he said. “I dressed warm, and the cooler stays at 40 degrees, which is better than negative whatever-it-is now and I can go in there to feel warm. Plus, I have three heaters in here with me.”

Smith said his boss told him to stay in with the heat and not to be out stocking. “We can worry about that on Friday,” he said she told him.

“Zach really stepped up and volunteered to work and take that responsibility off of the plate of others,” said Mary Spencer, Smith’s boss and owner of Dino’s. “We really appreciate him taking a double shift to help the others out.”

Also braving the elements to take care of customers was Amber Zirkelbach at West Lincoln Way Drive-Thru. “It has been a lot slower today,” Zirkelbach said. “Most people are coming through for cigarettes. Yesterday, people were buying cases of beer so they didn’t have to come out today.”

Zirkelbach was battling the cold with three pair of pants, two pair of socks and five shirts.

 

Reporter Dan Starcher can be reached at 330-287-1626 or dstarcher@the-daily-record.com. He is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WoosterWriter and Twitter at www.twitter.com/danstarcher.