The Joy that is Working in Fast Food:
This actually has nothing to do with McDonald’s, but it does have to do with fast food. My personal experience with the fast food world has taken the form of Del Taco (a West Coast Mexican/American chain). I also am not going to comment on the quality or the healthfulness of said food. What I am going to do is take you on a little journey to the joy that is the world of fast food and what kind of work that idiot (who can’t get your order right because he speaks no English) on the headset goes through.
First lets start with the basic point of the job. To provide efficient, correct service in 90 seconds or less. Think about having to do every aspect of your job in 90 seconds, with a smile on your face. Then do it knowing that the person you are serving is thinking that you need to hurry up and are taking forever. That’s the stress of the starting goal without ever having to do anything. Then work with inferior equipment and loud engine noise complicating listening to people who either scream so loud it is unintelligible, or who mumble or have strong accents or any other speech pattern that makes listening difficult, add in the honking of other cars in the line anytime someone takes too long. Those of you with special orders, if you want it right order it that way. For example, “I want two hard shell tacos with no lettuce, extra cheese, a double del with no sauce add ketchup and a large fry well done.” As opposed to “I want two tacos, a large fry, no lettuce on the tacos, the fries well done, a double del with ketchup instead of sauce and oh yea add cheese to those tacos.” When you have to go back and forth through the order several times it ups the chance for mistakes.
Now let’s get to the customers that make the whole job worth it. The people who think that 60 seconds is too long to get their order. The people who have to know how many ounces of chicken come in a taco or better yet those who need their burrito made to exactly, not even within of an ounce, but exactly the weight it should be. Those people who put their own hair into a mostly eaten burrito to be able to complain just to get free food. The people who eat like three year olds leaving a mound of trash and lettuce strewn everywhere. The kids who manage to destroy the place while only having bought 4 tacos and 5 water cups for 12 of them. The guy who comes in every night saying that you messed his order up yesterday and he wants it replaced. The people who (at 5 in the morning when you’ve been there since 11pm and are dragging) tell you “if you don’t like your job you should get a new one”. Those people who can never get enough hot sauce.
Anyone who wants to tell you a fast food restaurant is dirty is only partially right. It gets messy but there is more cleaning that goes into that place than you could imagine. The vat of oil gets strained nightly and poured into the vat again when it has cooled to a temperature of 185 degrees. The walls are scrubbed nightly, the vents cleaned weekly, the floor cleaned not I said cleaned not mopped, nightly. The process for cleaning a floor at Del Taco is to take buckets of soapy water and throw them on the entire floor then scrub the whole thing down with brooms, take a hose and spray the floor till the soap is gone, then you push the water into the drains with a giant squeegee on a broom handle. The tea containers, the soda taps, and the shake machine are disassembled and sanitized nightly.
The best part about Del Taco is the hours. You get your schedule Tuesday for the week ahead, it is never the same, so you can never plan to do anything ahead of time. You most often work a 5.5 or 6 hour shift, getting an 8 hour shift is like a gift. Granted they have gotten better lately but the breaks are non compliant with different shifts having different break rules.
So the next time somebody says “Welcome to Del Taco, would you like to try our spicy chicken burrito today?” Think about what their day consists of and treat them like a person rather than a speaker box.