Is McDonald’s the right place to work?

It's a great, flexible option for high school students that can help you develop a variety of skills.

Illustration by Katya Vibes 

Working at McDonalds is a very interesting experience. You get to see the behind the scenes of a very popular food business and the way everything works from the time you order to when you get your food. I’ve worked there for almost a year now and it has given me skills such as the ability to interact with anyone, to always have positive attitude towards everyone and everything, to develop good leadership skills, to prioritize restaurant needs and many more skills, too.

The training is very useful. My trainer taught me how to deal with different people in many situations and to work under pressure to get everything done in a timely fashion. I was trained to make all the drinks and the specialty ice creams like McFlurries or sundaes. One day during training I turned around for a split second and then back to see that my trainer had made me a custom milkshake (was really good)! The training I went through took about three days of training and about five hours each day.

I work in the drive thru station where I present the customers food make sure they don’t wait too long and are happy when they leave the restaurant. If they are waiting a long time I inform the customer that it’s just going to be a few more minutes and ‘pull’ them, telling them to move forward and park in one of the reserved parking spots where someone  runs their food to them as soon as it is ready.

McDonald’s is a very good place to work if you’re a student. The schedules are very flexible and appeal to people my age. It’s also a good environment to work in. Everyone’s friendly and the crew is very helpful when you’re stuck or in need of a manager. It’s a good way to experience the fast food industry and learn how the industry works, and how to do restaurant work, but to also have a better time working when you know how everything works. It’s a very good place to work for a starter job if you’re still in high school, but it all depends.

I personally like the social aspect of it: interacting with the customers and having quick conversations. If you’re not a social person, the back where they make the food might be better for you since they don’t usually talk to customers, but if you’re social like me, you will like either being cashier (we call that window) or being in drive thru where you talk a lot. It really helped me step out of my comfort zone and now I’m just able to start a conversation with anyone since that is what I do.

A con of working at McDonald’s for sure is that working around all the food makes you so hungry and it’s so tempting to eat it on your break or after your shift. I know I have eaten it more since I started working there. People always say that once you start working there, you won’t like the food but from my experience, it’s the other way around: since I have worked there I have wanted to eat it more because it was right in front of me, personally in the first 3 months I gained 10 pounds! Also eating the food didn’t really help my skin. I use to have clear skin but, then I ate the food lots and since it’s so oily it gave me a bunch of acne.

There’s a lot that goes on at McDonald’s. One night, a drunk man came in and started trying to fight one of the managers. He was yelling and complaining and it was just horrible. Then, there was a drive thru problem on 67-cent-hamburger day because the limit per person in the car is 3 but this man wouldn’t move unless we gave him 10, so that caused a dilemma and some delay, he eventually moved and just drove off with 3. Then he came back through the drive thru again. Otherwise, the most that goes on is trying to get the screens cleared and have all the food out within a few minutes, also angry customers getting mad since their food wasn’t ready within an impossibly small amount of time.  

Overall, it’s a been a great experience, it really works around my school and soccer schedule, so if you are looking for a job and need a flexible schedule, McDonald’s is a really good job for that. Despite wearing shoes that make your feet hurt after an 8 hour shift and to getting yelled at by angry customers, McDonalds isn’t a terrible place to work for a starter job.

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