If you randomly ask someone on the street, "What's it like to work in a fast food restaurant?" you'll likely get a negative response. It's a common misconception that being a fast food employee is terrible. However, unless you've actually worked in the fast food industry, you can't answer the question. There are pros and cons to working in a fast food restaurant, just like there are pros and cons to any kind of job. Here is the honest truth about working as a fast food employee.
It's Great Work Experience
Working in a fast food restaurant is excellent work experience. On a daily basis, you're dealing with customers, working face-to-face, being part of a team and having responsibility in a kitchen.
If it's your first job, it's fantastic experience to have on your CV. Working in customer service and a fast paced environment is work experience you can talk about when applying for your next job. Given the stigma attached to it as a line of work (often unfairly), it also shows future employers you are willing to give daunting tasks a try and those in the know understand how hard you have to work in the fast food industry.
You Might Get Sick Of The Food
Working with food everyday sounds like heaven but in reality, it's not. After working with the same kind of food on a daily basis, some fast food employees get sick of seeing it.
This is why you should avoid applying for jobs at any of your favourite fast foods. Even if you love fried chicken, seeing it everyday might eventually turn you against it.
Doing The Same Routines Can Be Boring
Being put on the fries all day can get boring.
Putting the fries in, cooking the fries, removing the fries, salting the fries, putting them into paper containers. It doesn't require much thought but repeating the same actions is tedious.
There are plenty of different roles in a fast food restaurant. The best managers make sure to rotate people around so they don't get stuck making fries for eight hours, shift after shift.
Shifts Are Flexible
One of the pros of working in fast food is the flexibility. Students and part-time employees can usually get a work rota that works with their schedules. If you want a temporary job, fast food is a good way to go.
There's The High Probability Of Rude Customers
To be honest, you can get rude customers at any kind of restaurant. Just from experience, angry customers tend to have a habit of showing up in fast food places more often.
Some people believe they have a right to speak to you more rudely because you're working on a till. Whilst this is a con, use these experiences as examples for future job interviews when you're asked how you deal with irate customers.
The Experience Makes You A Stronger Person
Dealing with rude customers isn't pleasant, but each experience turns you into a stronger person. Hurtful insults or a bad temper won't upset you so easily when you have more experience dealing with angry customers. You will be able to deal with the situation professionally.
You'll Find Good Friends
Bonding over terrible customers can make powerful friendships. So can working with a small group of people, under tough circumstances and managing to pull out a record takings shift out of the bag.
Most fast food restaurants have small teams and this gives you a great opportunity to meet different types of people and make good friends. When you're working a nine-hour shift on a Saturday, you need your friends to get you through.
There's No Tips!
One of the cons of being an employee of a fast food restaurant is there's no tips. In any other type of restaurants, staff get tips but fast food staff don't.
Very Good Chance Of Getting A Promotion
Whilst there's no tips, there are other benefits to working in the fast food industry. Some fast food companies offer promotion opportunities for current staff and graduates.
McDonald's is know to promote staff regularly throughout their European stores and they are great at having a young, driven workforce with the same driven management as a result of this.
There's No Homework!
With some jobs, work doesn't finish at 5pm. Once you get home, you're back on your emails until past sundown. When your shift ends in a fast food restaurant, there is no work to take home with you. Unless it's a take away.
Working On Your Feet All Day... Is A Recipe For Sore Feet
Working in a fast food restaurant means you're working in a fast paced environment on your feet. Finishing your shift and suffering with sore feet isn't fun. This is why it's important to get appropriate shoes for work. Shoes for fast food staff require durable arch support and cushioned interiors to support your feet.
In a fast food restaurant, floors get slippery with grease so buying slip-resistant shoes is a must. Many fast food employers will instruct their employees to buy appropriate work shoes before they start their first shift for health and safety.
Get your new work shoes
At Shoes For Crews (Europe) Ltd., our slip-resistant work shoes are worn by fast food employees around the world. See the list of companies who buy our shoes. When you're working in a busy fast food restaurant, it's important you wear slip-resistant shoes to give you effective grip on greasy and slippery floors.
Do you have an interview coming up?
To increase your chances of impressing when going for an interview in a fast food restaurant you need to show your customer service skills. Our guide has been used by waiters and waitresses. Download your free copy.