Showing employees what it's really like to work at a McDonald's drive-thru - Mashed (2023)

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Showing employees what it's really like to work at a McDonald's drive-thru - Mashed (1)

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One of the best things about fast food is that it's usually fast, as the name suggests. Drive-thru is the most convenient location, especially inMcDonald's. The restaurant prides itself on its drive-thru capabilities, which have expanded since opening.driving for the first timeHe debuted in 1975. All those efforts must have paid off, becauseEat this, don't eat that!McDonald's was named one of the top eight drive-thru restaurants of 2020.

However, all the drive-thru technology and innovation in the world would mean nothing without the people who actually work at the drive-thru. They take your order, give you change and pour your drink - sometimes all at the same time. It's a role often taken for granted, but without a McDonald's employee, life would be much harder for anyone in a hurry.

But when was the last time you thought about a real job as a McDonald's drive-thru employee? From customers who are far more rude than those in the room to people who walk away without ordering, working at a drive-thru is no easy feat. See what it's like to work at a McDonald's drive-thru and the employees themselves based on reviews from employees and former employees.

Employees need to learn how to understand customers who don't know what they want

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Working at a McDonald's drive-thru isn't like deciphering the Rosetta Stone every time someone pulls up, but it isn't always easy either. consistsRedditOne employee described how frustrating it was when customers misnamed menu items, such as asking for a $2 milkshake instead of just ordering by type and size.

"It's as if people don't know what they want and expect us to know automatically," the employee explains. "If you order a sausage muffin, don't ask if it has an egg on it, because it will be obvious." There are sausage AND muffin eggs on the menu. Again, customers don't seem to read the menus with the ridiculous questions they ask."

Another employee, fed up with the same experience, found a solution: "This used to bother me, but now I fill in the blanks when customers are too dumb/drunk to use their words."they commentedIn reply to the original post. "Sometimes I 'recommend' entire orders to drunk customers, take money straight from their wallets, and so on."

Whether a customer mispronounces something on purpose or really doesn't know how to pronounce something on the menu, drive-thru employees need to come to work every day with a good ear and understanding.

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Working at a McDonald's drive-thru requires experience, even with training

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From the outside, working at a McDonald's drive-thru restaurant may not seem that difficult. However, it soon becomes apparent to those placed in this role that it takes more than basic training to do a good job with the lowest possible stress. Experience is needed.

ask for helpRedditA new McDonald's employee asked how the location could be made a "more pleasant experience" despite grumpy customers and chaotic multi-tasking.

The workers who had passed the ordeal were quick to strike. “Experience plays a major role in this.”one person wrote. They added, "The multitasking often required in a drive-thru [as a cashier or order taker] can be very difficult to master and is largely unique to other roles in the store. There is a function."

However, it's not easy to get there, and even when you get there, you're probably not sitting very well.another workerA Reddit thread says that "someone will always do stupid things." Ultimately, only time and experience will prepare you for situations where a customer tries to pay for a $30 order with a plastic bottle full of loose change.

McDonald's employees overheard several private conversations

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The staff don't just listen when you place your order. Employees basically hear everything from the moment a customer reaches the loudspeaker to the moment they reach the pick-up counter. WHERE. some drive by staffHe may even see you. As some McDonald's employees have revealed, this could lead to some very interesting anecdotes.

"When you're sitting in front of a speaker, we can always hear everything, even when you think your interaction is over," one explains.r/LifePro-tips. "Be careful what personal information you reveal to strangers."

Reports from people who have worked at the McDonald's drive-thru have magnified their experiences and show how often drive-thru employees are forced to eavesdrop, even when they prefer not to hear what customers are saying. Sometimes people sing on the radio when they should be singing in the shower; other times someone is mad at themselves for forgetting their wallet. Plus, there are some not-so-innocent things employees hear.

"Most of them are parents telling their kids to shut up before giving them something to cry about."report an employee. Other less charming conversations you hear include parents: "Threatening the kids to walk home if they don't get something soon or if we need a goddamn ice cream cone or something."

McDonald's customers are much more rude than drive-in customers

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(Video) Employees Reveal The Absolute Worst Jobs To Have At McDonald's

There is a power in face-to-face conversation that allows people to treat other people as human beings, at least under normal circumstances. However, the drive-thru lacks the personal quality. Some unhappy McDonald's employees have learned the hard way that this shortage can hurt them.

consistsReddit, one employee speculated that this was "because it's a lot easier to be rude to someone you can't see with headphones on than it is to talk face-to-face." Some people would be rude to employees they couldn't see anyway. On a more positive note, the employee pointed out that there are also some really great customers who understand the stress of traffic.

It's also not always someone who makes direct spam comments. Sometimes customers show rudeness in more subtle ways. in anotherReddit-threadAs for bad drive-thru etiquette, one employee begged drive-thru customers to stop smoking as they walked by. Another member of staff asked people not to waste everyone's time arguing about lane order. Other tragic examplesrude crossingCustomers that employees often deal with include customers asking employees to wait before completing a phone call and customers walking away before completing their order. Then there are customers who order something and then insult the employee when they see the price, as if the McDonald's drive-through employee is the one who sets the price.

The pressure to reduce driving time at McDonald's is intense

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McDonald's employees know the value of speed, not just loose corporate language. Example: The workers had to use some finesse to create the feeling of a driver who was constantly on the move.

When answering customer questionsRedditAs to why customers are often asked to pull into a parking lot after ordering food through a drive-thru, employees explained that they are often under a lot of pressure to keep wait times extremely short. "A common reason for stopping when no one is there is to shorten the average travel time."explained an employee. "Each vehicle is timed from the moment it leaves the order table, so if you are parked your order time will not exceed the daily average."

another workerAdd to that the fact that we encourage them to complete each order within three and a half minutes. Stores in some areas compete with each other even during the shorter opening hours, they said. Driving speed is something McDonald's is proud of. In 2019, the chain reportedly reduced the average time by 20 seconds through various measures, including simplifying the menu and adding a diving. in 2020,restaurant divingIt was then reported that McDonald's had reduced the driving time again, this time by nearly 30 seconds.

McDonald's employees deal with people walking past restaurants

For a certain type of person, at some point in their lives, they decide that it's a good idea to walk through a drive-thru instead of driving through it, as originally envisioned by good designers. Maybe it was because they were drunk or the dining room was closed. Maybe they mistakenly think it's funny. Whatever the reason, McDonald's employees must be prepared to deal with the customers who come to their door directly, despite their fear of the situation.

consistsReddit, someone asked, "Is it rude to walk past a McDonald's drive-thru? I'm drunk and hungry and the lobby is closed." They were quickly answered with a resounding and decisive yes.

(Video) McDonald's Employee Exposes Surprising Drive Thru Fact

former McDonald's employeeexplained in another thread"The reason you need a car is because there's a magnetometer under the phone booth. Unless you have about 50 pounds of metal on your leg, the phone booth won't alert the crew inside that someone is there."

That doesn't mean it can't be done. If someone walked between two cars and tripped through the sensor, they could sneak in and pick up their own order. However, this is a serious safety risk for customers, not to mention the liability risk for the restaurant if an unwitting driver hits a walking customer. Officially McDonald'sNo service is provided to customers who come directly to the doorwhen driving.

McDonald's employees need to learn how to avoid awkward breaks

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Working at a McDonald's drive-thru is a job that requires the employee's total concentration during certain hours of the day and night and gets absolutely boring the rest of the time. Sometimes this means employees driving the car are forced to find their own entertainment, both to avoid boredom and the occasional embarrassment of quiet customers.

When it comes to embarrassment, employees rely on a few common expressions, said one employee who posted on Twitter.Reddit. These techniques include asking customers if they want a receipt or simply repeating the order. But if the employees arer/mcdonalds threadit is reliable.

"When I'm bored, I line up all the sauce packets, sort them, and approach things the same way."wrote a worker. 'As if I were to line up all the sugar packets so that they look the same. Or put them all in. Or would clean something that doesn't necessarily need to be cleaned, but can be cleaned.' Others reported that they remembered staying at the site for shopping or cleaning as a "pleasant" way to pass the time.

Halting the changes could cost McDonald's payroll

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At any McDonald's drive-thru restaurant, employees often wait for the short break when the driver pulls up at the window. When the customers finally arrive, there is always a huge gap between the collection counter and the cars waiting to collect their change. When this happens, the missing change usually appears on the employee's pay stub.

"If we're short by more than a dollar in my store, it's taken off the payroll, and if we're constantly short, even if it's just a few cents, it's recorded," explains a street clerk.Reddit. another move by the workerAdd toWhen customers are just looking for coins, they usually don't care about loose change, but people are going to get a dollar.

It's not just McDonald's in the US where employees may be withholding their pay for missing change.another move by the workerEmployees at a branch office in Canada noted that their manager would let them go for just a few dollars, but if it was more, the employees would be charged with theft.

"It's just seen as a cost of doing business to an old, friendly manager, and usually my drawer gets a few bucks from people who refuse to give change."explained an employee. "Under the new manager, if it's more than $1, he's actually going to take it off your paycheck."

McDonald's employees were forced to sell their products

Showing employees what it's really like to work at a McDonald's drive-thru - Mashed (10)

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There is no McDonald's without strong sales. Makes sense, because that's what running a business is all about, right? However, for the employees driving the car, the need to be consistently profitable can make it difficult to increase sales as much as possible.

consistsRedditone employee noted that their new manager had put up signs saying that employees should not say "that's it" or "nothing else" at the end of an order. This raises the question of what an employee should say to end an interaction with a customer. The answer, according to many other employees, is to try and get customers to add another food item to their meal.

"This is where you upsell"Another employee explained. "Do you want to eat more today?" “Would you like a piece of apple pie? "If they say yes, add the item, calculate the total of the order and send them to the first window. If they say no, calculate the total of the order as it is and send them to the first window."

Upselling, restaurants workentice you to spend more money, is not standard for all locations. Some employees responded to posts on Reddit saying they shouldn't upsell at all. But the art of selling out with apple pie or a drink was common practice for many of the responding agents.

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McDonald's employees deal with forgetful customers

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One thing about serving customers who stay in a moving vehicle is that they can continue to drive that vehicle without picking up their order. As you can imagine, this can make McDonald's employees feel uncomfortable. When this happened to a McDonald's employee, they asked about other stories that happenedReddit. As it turns out, it's not as uncommon as someone who has voraciously ordered from a drive-thru restaurant might think. How could anyone give up food? In some cases, some customers left unexpectedly for surprisingly reasonable reasons.

"There was a memorable case where a guest called to say her husband had been hospitalized."relevant employee. "I came back a few days later to apologize for leaving and causing a mess. I was able to change the order and still get my money back."another workerOne customer remembered ordering a Coca-Cola, paying for it, and leaving immediately. They thought customers would come back with such a simple request, but during the employee's eight-hour shift, that never happened.

"There's a lot going on, just let your manager know they're gone and hopefully he'll come back or call."Employee added. "In my store, we just give them fresh food and we don't call them when they come back." At least better than people who don't leave the car.

For McDonald's employees, the late night rush is very real

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Few understand the stress of a late, last-minute order at McDonald's quite like an Uber Eats driver. Unfortunately, 'fast' is not always a good word, because the peaks are real even in the early morning hours. Take the example of an Uber Eats driver who was insideReddit"Waited over 25 minutes in line at a drive-thru for a fruit parfait." But isn't he actually the guy who ordered the McDonald's fruit parfait? At least I hope soDon't forget to tip your Uber Eats drivers.

Unfortunately for late eaters, after-hours orders can take a while, both because of the frequent late-night crowds and fewer employees. A staff member posted onr/IAmAThe busiest time is between 10pm and 10pm. and close by. No, the clerk added, they don't judge people who come in at 2am and order a disgusting amount of chicken nuggets. Who do they judge? Only those who order "healthy" food late at night.

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How do employees feel about McDonald's? ›

About 74% of the employees at McDonald's work eight hours or less, while 8% of them have a very long day - longer than twelve hours. The Majority of McDonald's employees are satisfied with their work life balance and do not feel burnt out.

What is it like working drive thru? ›

You have to punch in orders on a computer with about a million worn down buttons that you can't read, and pack up orders and collect money and hand out food, all while the damn headset keeps beeping back to back and people just start ordering all fast before you're ready and then pull around before you can say anything ...

Does McDonald's treat their employees well? ›

Out of 6680 McDonald's employee reviews, 67% were positive. The remaining 33% were constructive reviews with the goal of helping McDonald's improve their work culture. The IT team, with 80% positive reviews, reports the best experience at McDonald's compared to all other departments at the company.

What is the ideal McDonald's employee? ›

You'll need a positive attitude and good time management skills. McDonald's employees need to be friendly and customer-focused, and they should have basic math skills. New employees learn how to use the cash register, serve customers, and prepare food on the job.

How stressful is it to work at mcdonalds? ›

Over the 4 years i worked for Mcdonald's i can honestly say there was only about 52% of the time i actually enjoyed my job tbe other 48% i sent being so stressed out i had bad anxiety. Some managers are helpful others not so much BUT one things for sure never ever think any of them are your friends!!

What do you enjoy most about working at mcdonalds? ›

Possible Answers are:
  • I enjoy working with people and am eager to work in a challenging, fast-paced environment like McDonald's.
  • McDonald's offers exceptional value to its customers, and I would be proud to represent them as a result.
  • As a huge corporation, McDonald's offers numerous opportunities to learn and grow.

What is a drive-thru crew job description? ›


Crew member job duties include but not limited to cooking food, preparing other menu items and ingredients, operating a cash register, running the drive-thru, cleaning the restaurant, and completing other assigned tasks.

Why do people prefer drive-thru? ›

Those who prefer drive-thrus also appreciate the comfort of staying in their car (61%) and avoiding long lines (52%). But going in-store has its perks, too, like avoiding long lines of cars (72%), getting to see what you want in person (64%), and stretching your legs and walking around (62%).

Is being a drive-thru worker hard? ›

There is no one answer to this question as it depends on the individual's experience and what they deem to be hard work. However, some general things that may be considered hard work at a drive-thru include taking customer orders, preparing food items, and cleaning up after customers.

Are McDonald's employees happy? ›

The employee experience below at McDonald's USA, compared to a typical U.S. based company. 73% of employees at McDonald's USA say it is a great place to work compared to 57% of employees at a typical U.S.-based company.

Do McDonald's feed their employees? ›

Employees get free food!

The chain offers free meals during lunch or shift breaks at some of their locations.

What is the McDonald's employee controversy? ›

A BBC expose released yesterday revealed claims of a 'toxic culture' behind the counters at the fast food giant, including shocking claims of teenaged girls being routinely groped and harassed, racial slurs and even an outbreak of a sexually transmitted infection at a branch in Northern Ireland - the result of multiple ...

Why should we hire you? ›

“I should be hired for this role because of my relevant skills, experience, and passion for the industry. I've researched the company and can add value to its growth. My positive attitude, work ethics, and long-term goals align with the job requirements, making me a committed and valuable asset to the company.”

What does McDonalds call their employees? ›

McDonald's crew members work in the kitchen of the company. The primary responsibilities of the crew members include food preparation, customer service, hygiene, and cleanliness.

What McDonalds position pays the most? ›

The highest paying jobs at McDonald's are shift manager, team leader, shift supervisor, and swing manager. Shift manager jobs at McDonald's earn an average yearly salary of $27,926, McDonald's team leader jobs average $26,420, and McDonald's shift supervisor jobs average $26,157.

How does McDonald's support their employees? ›

In the U.S., we offer healthcare and retirement benefits, as well as paid time off and parental leave, to Corporate Staff and Company-owned restaurant employees working more than a certain number of hours or, for paid parental leave, based on position.

How does McDonald's manage to have a happy culture for all employees? ›

In our workplace, we promote flexibility, opportunity, equality and development. McDonald's employees come from all walks of life, but share a common approach: positivity. We know that happy employees help to make happy customers, so we want you to enjoy your work.

How do McDonald's employees greet customers? ›

Greet the customer (Example: Welcome to McDonald's, may I take your order?).


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