How to Survive Your First Weeks at McDonalds

At some point in your job hunting, you’ve seen the ad for McDonalds. You clicked on it and saw the perks which includes free uniform and discounted meals. You applied for it because why not. Then suddenly, you got the call to do an interview then the orientation, and now you’re in the crew room, listening to every beeps of the machine and shouting of the crew.

McDonalds is a pretty good place to work, atleast based on my opinion. I’ve worked for McDonalds for two years now and two stores. When I left my first store, I told myself that I would leave the fast food business and go another route. But alas, I found myself applying to the closest McDonalds by my dorm and here I am, still working here.

The first month of working in McDonalds is definitely the most difficult part, as with most jobs. This is the time when you have to learn different steps of the job and work with everyone. Hopefully, this list can help you adjust better to the job.

  • Learn everyone’s name. Working at McDonalds means working with a whole lot of people. You’ve got your front counter team, drive thru team and kitchen team. It leads to easier communication and rapport between all team members. Also, it’s easier to call another crew member by name rather than “Hey” or “You”.
  • You won’t remember everything you’ve learned during training. Training in service consists of three 4-hour days and kitchen is two 4-hour days. In these days, you will be shown how to make drinks, punch order and prepare order (for service) or do grill and table (for kitchen). As a crew trainer, I wouldn’t expect you to memorize how to make all the McCafe drinks or sandwich boxes within the four hours that I trained you. The easiest thing to learn and master what you’ve been taught is to do it many times. Don’t be scared of asking other crew members for help.
  • Expect a lot of shouting. In your first few weeks, you might be still doubting yourself on whether or not to call a sandwich to kitchen even though you’ve waited for 500 seconds already. Then the crew beside you saw your timer and you just heard them call (shout) for the order and you realize you could have done that too 200 seconds ago. During rush hour, you’ll hear a lot of shouting and calling from DT, service and kitchen. Kitchen calling for their levels, service calling for their drinks and DT calling for their ask me’s. If you’re on the side and you hear all the shouting, you would think that everyone’s a mess. But for some reason, it gets the job done.
  • There’s a lot of beeping. And you’ll probably hear them in your sleep. The fry machine beeps. The oven beeps. The CFN fryer beeps. Seriously.
  • If assigned in fries, follow your screen and common sense. Dropping fries is dependent on how many customers you have. No customers? Maybe just one basket just in case. Full house? Drop 6 baskets, listen to the beeps. I’ve seen people drop 2 baskets because their screen said only 4 medium fries. But please look at front counter, there’s a line-up. Look at DT, the cars are lined up. Use your common sense and make sure that you drop the fries in a way that you’re sure that you will be able to cater to the demands of the customers. The last thing you want to hear is, “Waiting fries!”
  • Buy good, non-slip shoes. The first shoes that I’ve bought were from payless and although was good enough for me not to faceplant because of fryer oils on the floor, they weren’t the most comfortable. I knew I needed something that could help me stand for long hours comfortably as well as force some sort of arch to my foot. I settled on a Sketchers non-slip shoes and it has definitely lessened tiredness on my foot after a long shift. Working here includes a lot of walking, bending and standing so make sure that you’re using shoes that are comfortable for you.
  • Always communicate to your team members. We always say in my store, “Guys, communication…”. You already did that iced coffee for the order? Tell your partner so you won’t have duplicates. A pull forward order needs extra ketchup? Tell your runner so they can put it in the bag. A good communication between each members can help make the work flow better.
  • Be a team player. Make sure that you know how to connect to fellow team members and that you can work well with a team. It’s difficult at first to feel like you’re part of the team because everyone has already established a flow around each other. However, the more you incorporate yourself, the more you’ll feel more part of the team.
  • Expect rush hours to be busy. And when I say busy, I mean busy. Where all seats are taken and DT is packed. That’s when you hear all of the shouting and running around. Crew be bumping towards each other and no one cares about those fries on the floor. You’ll hear people complaining in the lobby about waiting for a long time and you’ll see the crew losing their patience. By the time rush hour is done, everyone goes to drink water and savour the down time.

There you are. Hopefully, some of these could help you adjust better to McDonalds. Welcome to the McFamily. 

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