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Fast Food Pointers - Just So You Know

by Nat 4 months ago in advice

From a fast food employee

Fast Food Pointers - Just So You Know
Photo by Haseeb Jamil on Unsplash

Working in fast food was never my dream. The idea of struggling with rude customers and multiple orders made me never want a job in the industry.

Well, at the end of March this year, I noticed that a fast food place was hiring and the minimum pay for my position was $9 an hour. After submitting my application and holding the interview, I was offered the position. I've gotta say, I love my job. There are some issues every once in a while, but nothing that has made me want to quit (knock on wood).

As a food runner and drive-through worker, I've learned a lot about fast food that, as a consumer, I'd never even thought about. I'm sure it is the same way for most of you that have never had a job in fast food as well.

So, as a favor to you (and me), I want to give you some pointers for when you're ordering from your favorite fast-food restaurant. Remember, some of these can vary from each location!

If we say we can't ring something up for you, we're probably telling the truth.

Sometimes customers order things that we simply do not have on the menu, nor can we modify their order the way they want. In order to ring you up for a purchase, it has to be placed in the system so you can be charged for it. Plus, some things are just pre-made a certain way that we simply can't change. So if a worker tells you that they can't place a certain order for you because they simply cannot make it work, they aren't lying.

We are a lot cleaner than people realize.

This is one of those things that might vary from location to location. For us, the crew and managers clean constantly. Part of my job is simply sweeping, mopping, wiping down surfaces, and making sure the areas where food is kept are nice and tidy. Especially during the pandemic, we go out of our way to make sure things are disinfected and safe (including masks and gloves).

We are human beings, too.

Most people forget that those who work in fast food are humans with emotions. Yes, we make mistakes sometimes. We have dozens of orders coming in on our screens at once. It's easy to switch up an order, and I am shocked that it doesn't happen more often. If an employee messes up your order, just tell us (and please do not be rude about it). We're more than likely to fix the mistake, especially with a receipt (don't throw those away until you get home).

It takes a while to get an order ready to send out.

Food takes time to bake, fry, and construct. Not everything is pre-made and ready to serve. You need to be patient with us when you order certain items because we want you to enjoy your food, but we still need time to make sure it's edible. And yes, it does take minutes longer if you want something fresh!

Food isn't free.

There have been people that have practically asked me for free food or condiments. Unless you have a coupon or a promo, you will have to pay for extra condiments or items on your food. Everything costs money, even the tiny little barbeque sauce packet you get with your meal. If you want extra, you have to pay extra.

Yelling does not make us move faster.

If anything, it's more of a distraction than a motivator. If you yell at us, it upsets us (back to us being humans again) and will probably make us forget what we were doing. We will lose track of what we need to do: get your food out to you. So please, refrain from raising your voice at the eighteen-year-old trying to get your sodas in the drink carriers.


Those are really the biggest pointers I have for those who enjoy a quick trip to a fast-food place every once in a while. If you're really feeling generous, tell those who take your order how much you appreciate them! Without those kids behind the window or the cooks standing over the ovens, you wouldn't get your favorite burger or shake. Just think about that the next time you place an order.


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Read next: Why Denny's Is the Perfect Starter Job for a Cook

Just a teen with a dream of travelling and writing for the rest of my life (but if I'm being realistic, maybe just a few trips a year as a journalism teacher :))

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