What is it really like working at McDonalds

“Oh, and that’s a meal, by the way.”

How to infuriate a MacDonald’s worker? “Can I make this two separate orders?”

It’s the world’s biggest fast food chain, employing 1.9 million people. Today the word “McJob” has become a term of derision, but what’s it like to actually work there?

From free burgers every day to making 40 breaky rolls for a full bus load at 5am, here’s what it’s really like to work at Maccas:

‘A High stress job’

In a word, working at McDonalds is stressful. If the customer load isn’t stressing you out, then the commandment from upper management to cut labour as much as possible is stressful.


‘Makes you question the general public’

More generally, I was amazed at how furious people could get over food. One time I took a call from an angry guy who’d been through drive through. Seems that even though he asked for no mustard on his burgers, he got mustard. Annoying for him yes, I started with the usual thing: Take down his name and let him know he’d eat for free next time he came by. He yelled at me for 10 minutes. Non stop, yelled at me. 

“Thank you. I appreciate it”


“I was trained in the kitchen and every process was regimented down to the last little detail. I got a test at the end of my training that included questions like: How many pieces of diced onion do you put on a cheeseburger? (the answer was 17)”

“A productive shift”

“Working in the kitchen fucking sucks. Our location is really busy and management never schedules enough people. After even 3 hour shifts I come home and can literally feel the shower water sliding over the grease on my body.”

“I mostly worked grill, which I liked because I didn’t have to deal with jerks, and could zone out a bit so long as I stayed productive. Which was easy because I swear to god I could assemble burgers in my sleep. After 6-months I was so fast that I’d be in charge of the assembly table. During peak times there is no waiting for orders, just make them constantly because sooner or later someone would come by and order 50, and that way I would have a nice pile waiting.”

‘Lifelong friends’

“Strangely, working at McDonald’s was one of the most fun experiences in my life! I can honestly say it isn’t as bad as people imagine but that’s mainly due to the people I work with. As long as you can have a laugh with your co-workers it’s definitely bearable – and sometimes, dare I say it – fun.”

‘Higher standards than most’

“The kitchens are clean and organised. They have a lot of checklists and protocols to make sure the quality of the food is top notch. They have higher standards than most companies when it comes to health codes and when something doesn’t meet their standards they throw it away immediately.

“Where I worked, if you weren’t doing something/helping a customer you had a rag in your hand and were cleaning something.”

“When front staff can’t flat pack”

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What is it really like working at McDonalds
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