When everything needs to be made and served in no time at all, there are just some things that fast food workers dread making.
“Making Crap In The Blender Is The Most Joyless Part Of My Job”
“I work at Starbucks, actually a Starbucks kiosk in a grocery store (the store licenses the kiosk, so I get the same kind of training and certification, but without the employee discount, and an extra nasty boss). I hate making Frappuccinos (TM). We only have two blender bin thingies, it’s impossible to not make a mess, and they’re just tedious to make.
Also, there are about 500 calories at least in those drinks, and I’ve seen some people get multiple a day.
Then one day our second blender bin thing just broke and we only have one now. There’s this woman who comes in with her kids that every knows as ‘Blender Lady.’ She has 3 kids and her AND all of her kids get completely different things that require a blender each. I can’t make two at once of anything. Literally have to throw it through the wash a bunch of times. Freaking sucks.
Making crap in the blender is the most joyless part of my job.”
“There Is No God”
“I work at Subway and, while nothing is absolutely horrendous, I hate when people choose the cheddar cheese slices. They are so stuck together that it takes me way too long to pull apart and I can feel the customer silently judging me for taking a good 30 seconds for CHEESE SLICES.
Also, meatball sub on flatbread with all dressed veggies is the one I have nightmares about. Don’t do it. Please. Flat bread is the enemy of spherical and saucy. It isn’t absorbent nor is it as compressible as the normal bread, so closing the sandwich is just gonna be an awful experience because the bread can’t just wrap around the meatballs to hold them there and the sauce is just sliding everywhere.
One of the worst things is people who try to skip the ordering process by being clever. Those people always made me want to throw their food at them. This includes:
-People who point at the marketing photos of plastic-looking sandwiches on the wall and just say ‘make it like that’ then refuse to answer any other questions.
-People who say ‘put everything on it’ and walk away. This wasn’t common but when it happened you better believe I put everything I could on their sandwich including every sauce and just started wrapping it up when they came back so they couldn’t see it.
And what you might not know when you’re ordering a sandwich is that there is a very short moment that occurs while you’re saying, ‘Uhhh, I want’ where I pray to the sandwich gods that you don’t want a double all dressed veggies. I have seen the look in a person’s eye as they tell me ‘Mayo, ranch, Chipotle, Buffalo sauce, Subway vinaigrette with vinegar and oil’ and have seen the true face of evil; there is no God, only more saucy toppings.”
“It Drove Me Mad”
“Wendy’s veteran. Probably the no salt fries were the most annoying thing to make. Our store’s policy was to fry up a new batch of fries, just enough for that order. While they were frying we lined the fry bin with our foil burger wrappers so that the fries wouldn’t touch any residual salt in the bin when we took them out of the fryer. It was a tremendous hassle and 90% of the time it was for some jerk who thought they had discovered the fast food cheat code for always fresh fries. Drove me mad when we go through all that and then when they pull up they’re all, ‘Hey, can I get a couple salt packets?’ To boot, corporate made a really big deal about drive-thru speed at the time. We were supposed to average below 90 seconds per customer or get an earful, and one single order of no salt fries would mess up the timer because they take three minutes to cook.
One evening I was working the register for the dining room and drive-thru gets a no salt fries order. Our grill guy takes some of the already fried and salted fries and puts them back in the fryer for a little bit then serves them as ‘no salt.’ The guys at my store had been doing this for awhile to save the drive-thru timer because they had correctly figured most of the customers just wanted fries that were hot, and they didn’t really understand there were people out there who shouldn’t be eating salt, or why those people would be ordering fast food, but I digress. The customer sees the grill man doing this through the drive-thru window and immediately after getting his food comes into the store and starts yelling at me while I have no idea what is going on. He then starts pointedly jabbing his finger at our grill guy behind the counter yelling, ‘I saw you refry those!’ Our grill guy is pretty tall and doesn’t seem to be in the mood to take a customer complaint and for a few seconds it looked like these two guys were gonna come to blows across my counter. I think it ended with the guy storming out screaming he was gonna get our grill guy fired — He wasn’t.”
“We Don’t Serve That”
“Used to work at Chipotle, anyone who got guacamole on their burrito was unwittingly ensuring the burrito would almost always be poorly wrapped because of how slippery guac is. Always get it on the side and use a knife to apply yourself. Just the other day I had a guy order a burrito with a ton of sour cream and salsa and guac and so when I tried to roll it the tortilla broke. I asked him if he wanted it double wrapped or if he wanted me to rewrap it in a new tortilla. He replied, ‘No’ of course. So I was like alright whatever dude, and proceeded to roll it up and send him on his way. Five minutes later he comes back and asks for a new burrito because his fell apart. My coworker remakes his burrito and as she’s rolling he proceeds to comment on how she actually knows what she’s doing. I don’t know if this guy was just an idiot or was trying to get a free burrito, but either way screw that guy.
Also if you ever order a Quesarito at Chipotle you are the actual worst. And I swear they always order them with little to no rice and extra sour cream and guac with nothing to soak it all up and then get mad when you can’t roll it properly. We only actually fulfilled the order when there was no one else in line, otherwise, we would say we don’t serve that and make the guy ordering it look pathetic.”
Can Never Get It Right
“I used to work at McDonald’s and making the oatmeal was the freaking worst because for one) you’d always end up burning yourself on the hot water and for two) the customers would bring it back every time because some people like it watery and others like it thick, and we’d have to keep remaking it and it’d hold up the drive thru or they’d make a scene about how we don’t know how to make oatmeal.
‘My oatmeal isn’t watery enough. Can you add just a dash of water?’
I go back to the hot water and add maybe 1 oz of water. I bring it back.
‘Now it’s too watery. You need to remake it.’
I’m pretty sure murder flashes across my eyes. ‘Of course. Let me start on that.’
I remake it, careful to add a little less water than last time.
‘It’s not watery enough. Add more.’
I go back thinking about how I’ll kill the customer, maybe throw the oatmeal in their face. I pull the lever where maybe .5oz of water comes out.
‘It’s too watery. Make me a new one.’
‘I can’t make it again. I can give you oatmeal in a cup, the apples, the raisins, and a cup of hot water so you can get it perfectly.’
‘I don’t want that, make it for me.’
‘I’m not going to. I can refund it for you if you don’t want it.’
Customer grumbles off. I get a call in complaint to the store. Screw you too. Too bad I was the manager they talked to.”
It’s Not On The Menu For A Reason
“Grilled cheese. When I was working at Chick-Fil-A people would order these because their kid wouldn’t eat anything else. The problem is we were not set up to make these so we would have to put the hamburger buns with cheese in the press that we used for chicken salad sandwiches so they would always end up flat as a pancake and burnt and the press would get covered in melted cheese.
I also freaking hated making chicken minis so much. The absolute worst of the regular menu items. I hate nuggets so much that I refuse to even eat them now. Grilled nuggets were the worst special order though (before they were an actual item). I’s have to dig through and find 12 nuggets that actually look decent, tie up the char machine for 3 minutes, and then they’re literally the most bland food in existence. I don’t think people realize that 95% of the nugget flavor is in the breading. At least strips were marinated so they tasted better grilled.”
One Pound Of Artery Clog And Bread
“Wendy’s triple (or the non-listed-on-the-menu quadruple). Wendy’s doesn’t use warming bins for burger meat, so everything comes directly from the grill. For fast food to be fast but not waste too much meat from overcooking, the grill person has to predict how much meat they’ll need in advance of the time it takes to cook. You can generally tell how much meat you’ll need based on the size of the line. But triples mess with that estimate and boinks up the grill queue for like 15 minutes if you aren’t prepared to make them, but at the same time, you get yelled at by your manager if you do try to prepare for them. Then if you end up making way too much the only option is to turn the leftovers into chili meat which you usually don’t need more of. Plus they’re so messy. They get grease everywhere and the buns don’t really contain the unstable mountain of slippery meat and condiments. Nor do the wrappers go all the way around the nearly one pound of artery clog and bread.”
“I worked at a sort of Subway but for pizza kind of place that offered unlimited toppings for one price. I hated people that tried to take advantage of it for multiple reasons. One, they always acted so smug about getting all these ingredients on the pie like they were really screwing us over. Like man, I don’t care I’m paid an hourly wage stop smirking and winking at me. Two, these things end up looking like mountains so the bottoms burned quick, the tops burned quick, and heaven forbid if you moved it in the oven, everything flies everywhere. Mandatory oven cleaning after. And then you have to cut them. Three, your pizza will not taste good, so what’s even the point? Buddy, you added the entire vegetable category minus the carrots we use for salads and nearly all the meats with extra buffalo chicken, it’s not going to end up tasting like anything at all. Anything over 6 toppings is pretty much mud. And don’t even get me started on cheese. We used a super melty mozzarella that spread out nice so it didn’t look like much when we put it on the pizza in front of the customer. So many people insisted that we double it, so what ends up happening is there is a disgusting amount of cheese overflowing past the crust and burning in the oven, smoking like a chimney. I swear so many people have a paranoia that everyone’s out to get them. Yeah, like the pizza guy laughs devilishly when he denies someone cheese or something.”
It’s A Lose-Lose Situation
“I worked at Popeye’s for about 6 months (WOULD NOT RECOMMEND). By far the most annoying thing customers would ask for is ‘extra crispy’ chicken. It’s not on the menu, and the only real difference between our chicken we keep ready and ‘extra crispy’ is we leave it in the fryer for an extra couple minutes. Did I mention it takes 15 minutes to cook a batch of chicken? And we can’t just throw the already cooked chicken back in the fryer as it breaks a bunch of health code rules, plus the chicken rests back to about 120 degrees so it would take another 8-10 minutes to get it cooking again. So the customer is annoyed because it’ll take about 20 minutes to get their ‘extra crispy’ chicken, I’m annoyed because you’re asking us to make more chicken when we have perfectly good chicken ready, it’s just a lose-lose situation.”
Who Orders This At A Pizza Place?
“Pizza Hut here. I hate making the soups. We don’t sell them often, so we don’t open any unless we absolutely have to, so you have to track down a bag, open it, portion it into the microwave dish, nuke it for ~4 minutes? If it’s a ‘bowl’ size, it goes in 2 cups, gets garnishes, then you have to run over, grab spoons and crackers from up front, and throw everything in a box. It doesn’t help that the people who order soup from us will often order 4+ bowls at a time. It’s just really annoying. Who orders soup from a pizza place? It’s not even good soup, it comes straight from a bag and gets microwaved to lava temperatures. You don’t want that. I’m sure we lose more money on it than we make because it expires fairly quickly once thawed (they’re shipped frozen) and opened.”
This Is Just Disgusting
“Dairy Queen, the banana split blizzard. It’s literally just everything you would put in a banana split but in blizzard form. That means everything is a liquid: liquid strawberry, chocolate, liquid pineapple, old bananas that have been sitting out forever. The thing comes out like soup, and then we’re required to flip it when we hand it to customers so half the time it goes flying. Disgusting. Unfortunately, we really had no choice but to flip them, have to show how thick the ice cream is, so a lot of the time we would just half flip the liquidity ones really quickly. Some customers do yell if you don’t do it
Also, special mention to the banana cream pie blizzard, once again the old bananas but this one had a liquid banana mixture we kept hidden away because all the employees would gag at the smell.”
They Think This Makes It Healthier
“I used to work at Burger King, and people would always order burgers with two bottom buns. Somehow this was supposed to make the burger healthy. First of all, I don’t even know if there’s really a calorie difference between the top and bottom bun. If so, it’s not much. Second, if you order a double Whopper with extra mayo, two bottom buns isn’t going to magically make it good for you. So thanks for leaving me with two top buns that I’ll have to throw away. I guess it’s not a big deal, but it always bothered me.”
They’re So Tedious
“I’ve worked at Taco Bell for a while, and the most hated thing on the menu is almost unanimously quesadillas. Now, by themselves, they’re not horrible, and they’re not even really that hard to make, it’s the quantity and the tediousness of them that kills us. Here’s a walk through of how to make a (chicken) quesadilla: Heat a 10-inch tortilla for 5 seconds on each side. One scoop of chicken, one ‘z’ of Creamy Jalapeño sauce, 2 oz of 3 cheese blend. Steam for one cycle, grill for ~17 seconds. Place in windowed wrap and cut into 3 equal pieces.
Now, that’s not so bad, but here’s the thing, most lines only have 2 steamer paddles and 2 grill platforms. This means that you can only have 2 quesadillas grilling or steaming at one time. What happens when someone orders 5? What about when there are multiple orders with multiple quesadillas? It’s just a huge hassle for the line cooks, as not much else can be done while the quesadillas are cooking because our equipment is taken up. This stresses people out because our window timer has 3 categories: ORDER: how long it takes the customer to order their food. Max time – 75 seconds. WINDOW: how long the customer waits at the window for their food. Max time – 75 seconds. OTD: order-to-delivery, from the start of the order to the departure from the DT pad. Max time – 3.5 minutes. These metrics are easy when we’re fully staffed and not too busy, but Fridays and Saturdays they’re near impossible without over staffing, and even then, it’s a stretch. This leads to a lot of un-steamed quesadillas and a lot of unhappy customers. Don’t let this sway you – get what you want! It’s our job to make it, just please be a little understanding if it takes a minute. Most of the time, the people working line are sweating like crazy to meet time constraints.”
“I work at Chick-Fil-A and roughly 3 times a week this lady comes in. At work we call her the cookie lady. Why? Because every time she comes she orders a 1-count strip kids meal and a cookie, fresh. Obviously, we aren’t going to bake a fresh cookie for her so instead we try and make it as warm as possible in the warmer. So let me run you through the last time cookie lady came through. I’m inside on the drive-thru window and the manager is bagging the food for me to speed up the line. Suddenly one of the order takers comes over the walkie-talkie and says ‘cookie lady is here.’ The manager immediately looks at the kitchen and says, ‘I need you to drop 1 fresh strip and give me a cookie right now.’ Kitchen groans but they do what he asks and tell him it’s going to be about 6 minutes on the fresh food. So cookie lady pulls up to the window, I inform her that she’s going to have about a 5-minute wait on her food and ask her to pull forward so we can bring it out to her. She grumbles but seems satisfied after I hand her the drink to kill the time. So fast forward 5 minutes to when the food comes up. They’ve timed up the fries to come up fresh at the exact same time as the strip. The manager is standing in the kitchen, bag open. They drop the strip into a box that goes directly into the bag with brand new fries and a cookie that’s been held up to our chicken warmers for the past 6 minutes. The manager then proceeds to sprint to this lady’s car with the fresh food. 10 minutes later he comes back inside with a filled out complaint form because the food was not fresh enough and the cookie was not warm enough.”
Not Worth It
“I used to work at Cold Stone on the busiest Main Street of my college town, so it was frequently line-to-the-door busy. It would drive me nuts when people would order the hot creations. Two of us working, 25 people in line, and I have to spend 2-4 minutes making you your special cookie when that time could be spent making 6 people their ice cream. We were directly across the street from the local theater and the WORST was when a show would let out and 100 kids and their extended families would come in and all want milkshakes and smoothies. We had two blenders. And had to go all the way into the back to clean them. That job was not worth less than minimum wage.”
Half And Half
“When I’m making pizzas, I really hate when people order half and half pizzas. I’ll get an order for a pizza that’s half veggie/half meat lovers and I assume someone is vegetarian so I’m pretty anal about keeping things separated. I make a line down the middle. I’ll get orders for 3/4 combo and 1/4 veggie sometimes. One person even wants 3 different pizzas in one. The worst is when someone wants to split a pizza with two different sauces. If you order that during a rush, I wish grave misfortune upon your family. I also hate anything that changes the structure of a pizza. Thin/thick crust pizzas have to be rolled out and you end up wasting a lot of dough. Don’t order a thin crust pizza at busy times and expect it to be out in a flash.”
“I used to work at KFC when I was a pup. The absolute worst are those family buckets. Seriously. Screw those. The KFC standard was to throw in a mix of everything, or in other words, don’t fill it up with only wings (which everybody knows is the worst cut). The problem is when people order individual pieces of chicken or in boxes, they pretty much always request breast or drumstick. They’re the better bits, so you’re pretty much always short on them. So come time to throw together heart disease in a box, you either 1) wait for more chicken to come off the fryer and piss off the already hungry monster of a customer or 2) throw in mostly wings, and pray to god the customer doesn’t call and complain to your boss who already hates you because they hate themselves and the job. Also, to throw another spanner in the works, after a while working at that greasy pit, all of the chicken pieces start to look alike anyway, so you don’t even know what’s going into the boxes half of the time.”
“It Smells Like Burning Vomit”
“Worked at a Kwik Trip. Most of the food was pretty easy to prepare, and I had no problem with making it. But seriously, screw the Angus Steak melt. You have to pull the steak pucks out of the freezer, cook them, flip them and break them apart, add buttery onions, and cook again. Take it out, put the onions on the shredded steak, precariously top with cheese, and with a bit of prayer and magic, somehow get it onto the bottom bun without it falling apart. Which happened anyway about 50 percent of the time. The annoying thing is, it wasn’t always ordered, we’d put it out in the hot case on the days when it was the special and we’d waste a good chunk of them because hardly anybody bought them. I also hated the fish sandwiches because they stunk to the high heavens and came out hotter than the rest of the patties, so I always burn my fingers flipping them. And hot kraut, it literally smells like burning vomit. The only good thing about it is that when we’d dump it, we’d immediately take the garbage out, even if it was 8 oz in a literally empty garbage bag (the smell was too much to handle), and the lucky guy who took it out got an extra smoke break.”
But Wait, There’s More!
“I worked at a midwestern chain called Monical’s and it used to be an item we call Pepperrollies. They have their own special dough that is made just for them and you have to sauce them with pan sauce, then add cheese, then put pepperoni down, then top it with Colby and Parmesan. Then you gotta roll that dough up and cut out 12 of those. After prepping them for almost 2 weeks straight they aren’t that bad anymore, I just hate wasting all the food because they aren’t ordered a whole lot. Now the most hated thing we have is our ‘stuffed pizza.’ This thing is a pain and isn’t supposed to be on our menu anymore but still is for some reason. The stuffed pizza requires you to take a pan and stretch dough like normal but bring it to the top of the pan. Then you lay down a layer a cheese and whatever toppings are ordered. If they order sausage we have to use our pre-cooked sausage as our other sausage is raw and will not cook until that thing is black. That either requires you to have some pulled and thawed, which I never do because the 3 items on our menu that use it are not ordered often – maybe 2-3 times a month, or microwave enough to put in, which usually takes an extra minute or so just having to go get the other sausage to put it in a bowl and heat it up. But we aren’t even done here guys, all we have done is put cheese and toppings in this thing. Next, we still have to get an individual pan dough and put it on a piece of wax paper and spread that thing out thin enough to be a lid for this mess. Next, you need to attach the dough lid to the stretched out crust by pinching it repeatedly around the edge until you have covered this stupid thing. Now we need to get a different kind of sauce put on TOP of the dough lid, add some Parmesan, season it, and put it in the oven. But wait, we STILL are not done here. We have a stone oven that is around 600 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly higher. A thin crust pizza with only 1 or 2 toppings takes around 4 minutes to cook, but the stuffed pizza takes almost 20 minutes to cook. You have to gauge when it’ll be ready by how golden the crust is and then pull it out and temp it to at least 155F. It used to be 165 but too many people were complaining that they were getting burnt pizzas because they were. Now you have to temp two or 3 spots to make sure it all temps out right, and if not, throw that stupid thing back in until done. Then cut into 6 slices and enjoy your mostly-dough food.”
“We Get In Trouble If…”
“Hungry Jacks (Burger King in Australia) employee and I seriously hate our ‘Grillmaster Angus’ range. Now don’t get us wrong, they rake in LOTS of money. However, these burgers must be perfect or we get in trouble. There’s often higher-ups posing as customers that check. The meat has to be cooked to order, rather than on hold in heating units like the other meat, wasting 6 minutes when we already have a 2:30 time limit per order. Then all the toppings have to be perfect, and those untrained seriously have to weigh the burger on scales to make sure they add EXACTLY the correct amount of product. Almost 9 minutes into the 2:30 time limit it’s finally done. And then the next customer drones over the speaker box, ‘Can I geeet a Unngus beeeef bacon n chee…’ Well, time to cook another.”
“I worked at Tim Hortons for 6 months. There was a chicken panini sandwich that we all dreaded hearing people order. We were timed for drive thru service and the timer started when the guest ARRIVED at the speaker, not when they were finished ordering (oh yes, if you don’t know what you want when you get to the menu it’s our fault). The guests had to order and be served in 100 seconds or less to be adequate. The sandwich sucked because it had like 6 ingredients and required a 60-second panini press, so together that already took about 100 seconds to make. What’s worse is that the chicken made the bread soggy so it would often break apart and stick to the grill, thus ruining the sandwich and we had to remake it. Absolute nightmare of a menu item.”
Stupid Menu Item
“I used to work at Jimmy John’s and the worst thing to make was the stupid little Unwich. For those unfamiliar, the Unwich refers to any of our normal subs being wrapped in lettuce instead of being put on bread. They were an absolute pain to make as they took longer than a normal sub and we had to be careful to keep the flimsy lettuce shell from suffering total collapse. The whole process was stupid as anything. The WORST thing about the Unwich was wrapping it. You’d have to wrap the stupid lettuce leaves around themselves and then wrap half of it in paper because the pathetic thing couldn’t support itself. To make this mess of carnage even better, you had to wrap it AGAIN before giving it to the customer. In short, the Unwich is a mess that takes too long to make and is stupid and dumb and awful.”