McDonald’s is the biggest fast foods outlet in the world. It has grown from humble beginnings to near world domination. Its size makes it equivalent to the 9th largest economy in the world. It serves one-third of the global population. At that size, it takes an army to keep all those franchises running and profitable. It is a fast paced environment, not for the fainthearted. Even employees who have worked there for long have confessed to coming close to walking out mid-shift more than once.
But most do not. Most handle human beings at their most sensitive moments; when they’re hungry. They also manage to stay within the company’s boundaries all throughout. They are so apt at handling customers and keeping it tight that memes and jokes about employees of the Big Mac litter the interwebs. They are still coming. You know you are somewhere within the culture when people continuously attempt to outsmart each other in their attempts to make the funniest memes about you.
However, to work and hold it down at McDonald’s makes one adept at handling people and situations. These skills that cut across a lot of countries and cultural backgrounds are in fact enviable and rare. After baptism at the McDonald’s hot house, you do not just make a great employee there; you will most likely make a great employee anywhere. Here’s why we think the fellows at McDonald’s make great employees.
18. They Have A Sense Of Humor
Grumpy drive-thru servers? Not this guy at a St. Albans, Hertfordshire drive-thru. When this customer rolled up to ring in his family’s order, he was thinking of spicy chicken. He got the spicy part right. But also a 14-up, (that’s two seven-ups, clueless), a classical coke and a bad boy reference, all courtesy of the guy manning the station that night. He asks him whether he wants the chicken or beef bbq smokehouse meal, to which he responds beef. The server responds:
“It’s gotta be beef. And what drink on that bad boy?” To which he responds, Coke. The server, keeping it upbeat says,
“Oi Oi saveloy. A little classical coke!”
This goes on till he gets to the till and continues singing along to the official McDonald’s tune. Of course, the happy customers recorded the whole session and shared it online afterward.
17. They Know When You’re Cheating
But they couldn’t care less. Once in a while, we sneak soda into that water cup, thinking we are smooth, and nobody saw us. Or giving other patrons the eye when they try to judge us. As if they have never done it, or considered doing it but lacked the guts to. I’d say sorry for raining in on your parade, but of course, you should be aware that most of the time, they know it is soda. They look aside because: they have probably been in the same situation, they understand you could be interested in saving a few bucks or just are cool enough to let you think you are crafty. Next time, just know they are letting it slide, and try not to be too obnoxious.
16. They Have Hidden Talents
There are some that occasionally chime in when they are working. Others just wait till they are in the shower, like everybody else. Or they sing to their families at home. How else could you explain the huge number of submissions to a singing contest that the company organized for its staff? 3,600 workers submitted video applications globally for a chance to win the $25,000 prize money and a trip to Orlando, Florida for the finals. It is said that talent or extra skills contribute to a better person which translates to better employees. It seems like McDonald’s has the talent thing pinned down. All we can hope for is a melody once in a while as we munch away.
15. Graduates of a University With a 1% Acceptance Rate
It is called Hamburger University. McDonald’s employees who attend this school can earn up to 23 credits towards an associate or bachelor’s degree at 1,600 US colleges and universities, or a degree in Hamburgerology (no kidding). And here is what is crazier, the acceptance rate to the university is, at 1%, lower than that of Harvard.
Just like the general company, the Hamburger University ticks all the boxes of the great American story. The spirit of containership is evident in the actual setting up of the school, and the decision to name it thus. It is also evident in its humble beginnings; the basement of a McDonald’s restaurant in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. In its first year, it graduated 15 students. Currently, 7,500 students attend the university each year. Next time you go to McDonald’s, bear in mind the possibility of you being a member of the hospitality college elite.
14. They Make What People Want to Eat
So now, we sometimes complain of the McDonald’s salad. That it is too much. However, it is healthy. Moreover, it is a product of revamping after the restaurant chain faced accusations of its menu items being unhealthy. This is a key pointer to the McDonald’s game; they give people what people want to eat. Who doesn’t love it when that happens? And when they read the radar wrong, they change it quick.
13. Clowning Around …And The Kids Love It
To be fair, this boils down to the psychology of the customer and the whole marketing strategy thing. Appeal to the kids and the parent makes sure they get what the kids want. They may also happen to purchase something along with it. Some people may say that it is outright unethical, but clowns have been part of the marketing in mainstream America for a long time. They also deliver results, as long as there are no weird clown sightings. As a result, the Ronald McDonald is widely known as the brand ambassador. Someone even sent in an application with a photo of him dressed as the clown. Guess what, he got the job. That says something about the contribution of the funny guys and how they are willing to see it through for the company.
12. They’ve Got “It”
I am referring to control. Entitlement comes with most customers who walk into fast food joints. It is the combative mode, sort of, just waiting to be triggered. Being sworn at by drunks and having stuff thrown at them is not unheard of. Contextualize that with the high traffic at McDonald’s outlets. That is enough to make most people behave in ways they probably never thought they could. Now, at McDonald’s add the long hours to that mix. Most restaurants are open 24 hours. The only time they close is Christmas. There is also that not so small detail of most of their employees doing something else on the side. All these add up to a recipe for something not so cool. However, they manage to keep it civil most of the time. That level of self-control is commendable, and admirable to say the least.
11. They Get More Value For Their Money
There is the outside view. Then there is the perspective from inside. In terms of extracting some extra value from the big M’s food pairings, you should talk to the guys who can actually make and serve them. They know what the fine print says, and good things can be found in the fine print. Going by the occasional secrets shared online by current and former McDonald’s employees, you can get more value for your money. You only need to be familiar with a few menu hacks. These will not only enable you to save some money, but they will also get you freshly cooked servings. Asking for a burger less one ingredient gets a grill up note, which translates to a freshly cooked one. It is alleged that employees are required to make a burger fresh when ordered without one ingredient. How about you check the interwebs for those hacks.
10. They Stay Classy Because Subtlety is Everything
They are good at keeping it cool, or pretending to when interacting with douchebags. Admittedly from some of them, they are good at serving the fake smile, and some payback. Not crude enough to spit on your burger, though! More like extra “forgetting” to add flavor syrup in your milkshake, or being quite generous with ice in your drink. Conversely, there is no subtlety when you are nice to them; they get extra nice in return. Extra sauce on your ice cream sundae nice, or a really full fry box nice. Still, it is better to be nice, or just avoid being rude to the stranger preparing and serving your food. You don’t want an extra squishy burger, do you now?
9. They Appreciate Honesty
We spoke about hacks, but they are no longer hacks if you are annoying to the staff. Asking for saltless fries is up there on the annoying scale. It seems it became saturated. But there is an upside to this. If you want fresh fries, just ask for fresh fries. Asking for fries without salt means the fry person will have to wipe the fry scoop, the station and clear the area to avoid any salt contamination with the new batch. This whole experience is equated to a pain in the ass by the employees, and we all know it is never great when people equate what you made them do to that experience. So, you want fresh fries? Say that, and everybody shall be grateful for it.
8. They Prefer Having A Job To Doing You A $2.70 Favor
They are responsible like that. Even if it means the $2.70 will cost them your friendship, they are cool with that. So, next time you hang out or meet someone who works at McDonald’s, don’t ask them to slip your free fries next time you go the restaurant. One, it is not cool. Two, you won’t be the first person to do that, so it is not as creative as you think, nor are you as special as you’d like to think you are. Keep your experiments of free meals for friendship to yourself and away from the McDonald’s staff’s ears. Everybody will be happy for it. Anyway, we love them for that. We like it when responsible people are making our favorite burger. Especially at the expense of pseudo-friendships.
7. They Want to Save You Time
Especially at the drive-thru. You see, that is the whole point, getting your meal and being on your way as quick as possible. However, there are some things that will hamper that. Like ordering extra sauces at a drive-thru. Ordering extra sauce means paying for it which means the person at the counter has to run to the till, wait for an order to finish being processed, ring in your order, grab change…you get the drift, right. Just order for the extra sauce at the speaker box to avoid this drawn out process, and the process will be as swift as a drive-thru is supposed to be.
6. They Have A Bigger Plan
In some quarters, working at McDonald’s, like working in most retail outlets, is considered the sort of unmotivating and therefore less rewarding job. Some tend to look down on these jobs and the guys doing them. However, they can never be more wrong. Working at McDonald’s requires sheer hard work. Then, some of the guys working there soon leave for studies elsewhere. Some are artists and musicians among other ambitious people. Besides that, the company has programs that support employee development. Most of the guys working there have reasons for doing so, and some are beyond the comprehension of most of the people who may be tempted to view them negatively.
5. They Love Themselves
They save the best for the best, so to speak. You like them nuggets? They do too, but mostly to play with the old nuggets before they throw them out. They also like experimenting with how best to combine those meals to make something nice for them during their breaks, making sure that employee meal allowance is put to the best use. I mean, what is the point of spending it on the same fries you occasionally smuggle on the fly, or the nuggets you once in a while pop into your mouth when you think no one can see you? They, of course, try to spread it out as much as possible, but if the willpower gets overwhelmed, they put extra on everything, and leave the basics to the customers. It is all cool, though; happy employees mean happy customers.
4. They Are Human
You probably didn’t know this. Maybe you see them as machines that just fulfill your food orders. But they are people. And they burn their fingers when they have to reach for something stuck in the toaster, or when a hand comes too close to a pan. They also like slacking from duty a bit, if they can. They especially dread the shift that coincides with the time clubs close because of the drunks and weirdos who usually come into quiet their alcohol-induced food cravings. Despite all these, they still manage to average an impressive time to prepare and serve food, and for that they deserve some respect.
3. They Are Mature And Patient With Customers
With so many people coming in, there are always bound to be funny or downright hilarious moments. However, because they are good at this adulting and smiling business, they won’t laugh at anybody to their faces. However, if you did something hilarious, they will laugh at you, but behind our back. So, next week ask for an actual drink to go with your Big Mac, because saying ketchup five times instead of an actual drink stops being somewhere between two and four and crosses over to sad. Nobody wants sad because no one can laugh at sad. Just get your orders wrong twice at most.
2. They’re Fast
Evidently, the rate of dispensing with tasks at McDonald’s is fast. It is part of the employees’ KPIs. It has a direct correlation to the company’s bottom line. Employees are trained to be fast. Still, training and actual situations are quite different. You can’t simulate everything in training. But the employees still manage to be fast under most circumstances. A slight variation of speed is greeted with unfriendly reactions. Customers expect them to be fast. Employees expect it from themselves. They manage to execute it and maintain the standards while they’re at it. That has to make a really good employee, if not anything else.
1. They Are Right On The Money
They know math. They know how to count. If they gave you an extra chicken nugget, it is because you were nice to them. Everybody needs someone to be nice to them once in a while. You may not have known that you were nice, but to them, you could have been. Or they had another reason to give you that extra nugget. So, do not go right ahead and do the mean thing of chalking that down to poor counting skills. If it was about math, I guess everyone could have been getting some weirdly numbered nuggets, and the way we love them nuggets, there could have been a huge hullabaloo about it. So, say thank you, enjoy your nugget and hope that next time you’re feeling all chicken, you get one more nugget.
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