Life as a Fast Food Crew Member

Some people think that working in fast food is an easy job. One of the reasons is that workers get paid minimum wage. In reality, most fast food jobs are actually really difficult and stressful. People may think of it as “getting paid $7.50 an hour to flip burgers,” but it’s so much more than that.

Not only do workers have to take orders and make the orders happen, but also they have to make sure that each and every customer is satisfied. They have to make sure that all of the tables are clean and that everything that’s needed is there. They have to make sure each order is done the correct way and that the hot food isn’t cold. You could say that working in a fast food restaurant is much more than flipping burgers.

Michalia Steeves and Brittany Hill are fast food crew members. They knows a lot about what it’s like to work in an atmosphere of fast-paced working, co-workers who aren’t perfect and they even mentioned how motivation is often needed.

There’s a common phrase that most people who work in any type of customer service know. This phrase is “the customer is always right.” There’s a continual debate on whether that’s true. Michalia believes that the customer is not always right. “Some customers just don’t order the right items or forget to order something. Then they blame it on the employees for getting it ‘wrong,’” she said. “The only thing to do in that situation is fix the order.”

Brittany believes that the customer is always right. “I do believe in that phrase,” she said. “If you take time to argue with the customer, it could cause the company to lose money and it could cause you to lose your job for not supporting the customer’s needs.” Arguing with a customer is an example of a mistake, especially if people lose their jobs over it.

Some mistakes could happen anywhere, to anyone, especially in the fast food industry. Most mistakes that happen in fast food restaurants deal with customers’ orders. There are many possibilities as to why there would be a mistake. Sometimes the cashier could ring in the wrong order. The sandwich maker could make the mistake of not reading the order correctly. Customers might say it wrong or change their minds about what they want. The cashier also could have rung in something at the last minute. According to Michalia, most mistakes happen “if a trainee is training on sandwiches” or “sometimes it’s the cashier that types in the wrong order.”

Brittany agreed that there are many mistakes that can occur. “The cashier could give out the wrong change,” she said. “That mistake causes the company to lose money.”

When people make mistakes in customer service, it often irritates customers. Michalia explained a time that she upset a customer because she couldn’t hear her when she was ordering. “One time, I couldn’t hear a customer, and I kept asking her to repeat herself, and she just got angry and told me I needed to listen. I apologized, then asked her to speak louder”.

Brittany also explained a time that a customer was upset. “The customer got the wrong iced coffee, and he made a big deal about it,” she said. “I got the manager and the manager refunded him the money, made him a new coffee and apologized about the mistake.”

Apologizing is always the first step to solving a problem. Sometimes if you apologize, it calms customers down. If you don’t, then the customer could possibly get angrier. When customers are angry, it could lead to employees getting irritated, or it could make them feel under pressure.

Angry customers aren’t the only ones who make employees feel under pressure. Just being at work and being counted on to do certain tasks, in general, could make them feel under pressure, especially when

there’s a time limit on when the tasks have to be done. “When it’s very busy and I only have an hour left of my shift, but I still have a bunch of tasks to do, it puts me under a lot of pressure,” Michalia said. Most employees feel as if they’re under pressure all the time, especially when there’s a small staff and they have to do twice the work. Working in fast food can be very stressful, especially working with certain people.

All people have pet peeves, but in the work environment, they have to hide their irritation. Some of the customers get on people’s nerves, but usually it’s the co-workers. “I strongly dislike when people try to tell me how to do my job, especially if they haven’t worked there longer than me,” Michalia said. There are many people who would agree with her statement. Nobody likes people who think they know everything, especially if they don’t actually know anything about what they’re trying to criticize. “When someone criticizes something I’m doing, it makes me not want to help them when they’re falling behind on their tasks. I do help most people with that if they absolutely need it, and if I’m not busy.”

There are lots of pros and cons about working in fast food. Some of the most popular cons involve the low money payment, and you don’t hear about the pros. Many fast food restaurant employees have a lot of fun with their co-workers and managers while at work. Obviously the job gets done, but nothing will get done well if the job is boring. Having fun while working is sometimes a motivation, too.

Brittany has her likes and dislikes about working in fast food. “I love working with so many people. It’s important to be friendly to your co-workers, because if you aren’t, nothing is going to get done,” she said. “There are a few things I dislike about working in fast food, but one of the things I dislike the most is the fact that it’s at least 85 degrees in there, in the summer.”

Michalia also has her likes and dislikes about working in fast food. “I enjoy making sandwiches because it’s exciting because I enjoy satisfying customers,” she said. “I don’t like when the manager schedules me for more than five hours on weekends when it’s busy because it gets overwhelming.” Michalia also admitted that she needs some motivation while working, sometimes. She said, “Usually when it’s not busy and I get all of my tasks done, I’m able to leave early, so I look forward to that.” Being able to leave early is one of the biggest motivations, or even knowing that your shift is over soon. Most employees work twice as hard if their shift is almost over and they don’t have all of their work done.

Finally, a lot of people don’t choose to work in fast food, it just happens. Some people like it because they like the idea of customer service. Most people are just there to work and get a paycheck. Michalia says that she likes working in fast food because of the customer service. She also likes getting a paycheck so she can “move out and be able to not have to depend on other people.”

Brittany admitted that she’s very friendly to the customers, but she’s mostly there for a paycheck. “I needed a job so I could pay bills,” she said.

Overall, working in fast food is not what some people think. Even if they worked in fast food for a month, they still have no idea what it’s like. It’s difficult, but it’s worth it for the paycheck, being able to meet new people and being able to help the others.