McDonald's is all about speediness and satisfaction. The faster they can get customers in and out of line, the better. In fact, workers even have to work under strict time restrictions when it comes to getting orders out in a timely fashion. If a customer is ordering in, then the workers only have 60 seconds from the time you order to get your food on your tray. The same principle holds for people ordering from the drive-thru, though they have 90 seconds to get those orders out. If you want to be kind to your local McDonald's worker, know your order before you start ordering. As soon as you start giving your order, the timer starts. If the times aren't where management wants them to be, then the workers will get yelled at. Just ask them for a moment before you order and they'll be sure to appreciate the fact that you gave them a heads up.
There's a hidden system to get the most for your buck, but you won't find it listed on any menu. In fact, some "deals" are really just distractions from cheaper options. Take for example the McPick 2 for $3 deal. If you choose two double cheeseburgers, it will cost you about $3.23 with tax, while two McDoubles will only run you about $2.77. The only difference between a double cheeseburger and a McDouble is a single slice of cheese!
If you really want to save money, you might want to turn to the kid's menu. For instance, if you ordered a McDouble, two small fries, and a drink, that would cost you about $5.50. If you ordered the Mighty Kid's McDouble meal and asked for double fries instead of apple slices, you get the same amount of food for only $3.69. That's practically a steal!
There's, of course, ways to save money on breakfast too. If you love sausage egg McMuffins you are looking at paying $3.29 for your morning fuel. To get it for a dollar cheaper, simply order a sausage muffin ($1.29) and a side of round eggs ($1). Sure you have to assemble it yourself, but it's definitely worth that extra dollar!
Maybe you've been having a bad day - work sucked, you've had your share of family drama, and you stubbed your toe on a coffee table. Whatever the situation, even if your day has been absolute crap, try to keep things civil when you start talking through the drive-thru speaker. Almost every worker at McDonald's has a headset that allows them to listen in on drive-thru conversations. The cooks listen in so they can get the order right, the managers listen in to make sure everything stays kosher, and the cashier for obvious reasons.
If you start going off on the drive-thru cashier, everyone can hear it and you can bet your money that those workers aren't going to be feeling too kindly towards someone who was mean to their coworker. It's unlikely that any of the workers will do something nasty to the food, but it is likely that your order absolutely will not come out correctly.
While McDonald's, like many restaurants, are supposed to only "hold" food in their warmers for a certain amount of time, that unfortunately isn't always the case. One employee explained that while policies were better adhered to during the day, at night it was a whole different ballgame. "If you're ordering at night, we don't waste any food during the graveyard shift. Your grilled chicken will almost certainly be stale if you get it at midnight."
Yet despite being fresher during the day, that also doesn't mean your food is getting cooked properly. He went on to explain that the grills can be even more problematic than the ice cream machine (holy crap, we know). As a result, there is a "very good chance" that the beef for your burger hasn't been cooked 100%, or in other words, you may be eating medium-rare meat. Luckily, he went on to say that the chicken rarely, if ever, experienced that same issue (thank goodness).
Then when it comes to allergies, beware! The cooks aren't very diligent with changing gloves, so there's a lot of cross-contamination. For gluten allergies in general, it's probably best to stay away from everything but the salad. And don't think your custom order is so much safer. There are many places along the way where an error can occur. First is the cashier not hearing you completely but pretending they can, which is even worse when in the drive-thru. Or perhaps they do hear you, but the cook made it and marking it "served" before your complete order even comes up, and once something is marked "served" it is removed from the monitor. Then there could be the issue of the baggers not paying attention and grabbing the wrong item. In essence, with everyone being in such a rush to keep up with those strict order times, if you have a medical need NOT to eat something, just don't go to McDonald's.
It's a fact of life that Coke just tastes better when it comes from McDonald's. It's fizzier, more flavorful, and just all around more satisfying than getting it anywhere else, and there are several reasons for this. First of all, there's the syrup. Because they have a special deal with McDonald's, Coca-Cola ships the syrup concentrate to the stores in steel containers rather than the plastic bags it's usually shipped in.
There's also the matter of the straw. It's often overlooked, but straws play a big role when it comes to the quality of soda. McDonald's actually researched the subject and found the perfect straw size. If it were bigger, it would be too fizzy, any smaller and the full force of flavor wouldn't be as impactful. McDonald's also serves slightly colder drinks than their competitors, which does wonders for carbonation. And, as a cherry on top, McDonald's uses a double filtration system for the water it mixes with its fountain drinks. That way, the water that's added to the syrup and carbonation is as pure as can be. Altogether, that makes for a very refreshing drink.
It seems like anytime you go to McDonald's, their ice cream machine is either down for maintenance, broken, being cleaned, or something. Whatever the case, it's never available for your ice cream cone, shake or McFlurry needs. There are so many things that can go wrong with these machines and, as it turns out, very few McDonald's workers actually know how to work it, especially when something goes wrong with it, which can sometimes put it out of commission for a day or two.
First of all, if delicious frozen treats have been in high demand that day, the machine will need to be refilled, which takes at least 10 minutes so the ice cream mix inside can freeze. Workers often tell customers that the machine is broken while it's doing this. Sometimes, depending on the customer or the worker, they might just ask you to wait until it's finished.
There's also the chance that the machine is down for cleaning. If the machine hasn't been cleaned in a long time, then problems can crop up quickly. Plus, the machine will lock you out of it until it has been cleaned, which can easily be used as an excuse for employees to say it's broken. This is only compounded by the fact that the cleaning process is long and laborious, or as one McDonald's worker put it, its a "300-step process to clean the shake machine, literally." By the way, McDonald's calls their milkshakes "shakes" because there's not milk in them, so they're legally obligated to make a distinction.
While this may, of course, vary by location, it might not be too shocking to learn that many employees aren't so big on cleanliness. In fact, the floors are probably the filthiest thing in the entire restaurant. As one worker put it, "It takes me an hour to rinse all the junk out [of the mop]. When you see someone mopping the floors, all they're doing is spreading the dirt around a little. If you drop food on the floor, leave it. The three-second rule does not apply here."
There are also some workers who aren't that big into washing their hands. Another employee recounted how many of her fellow employees weren't big on washing their hands often (or possibly at all). Thankfully the grill crew was a bit better in that regard, but they aren't the only ones touching your food.
There's been a "life hack" floating around the internet for years about how to get fresh fries at McDonald's. All you have to do is ask for fries without salt and, since the salt is added while the fries are in the fryer, the workers will just have to fry up a whole new batch, thus satisfying your craving for fresh fries. The only thing missing is the salt, which can be remedied with a packet of salt.
The only downside of this is that most restaurants either keep salt behind the counter or on the condiments island which is usually parked right in front of the cashier's station. The workers can see you grab the salt, which means they are too happy they just did all that work for nothing. Here's the thing, the cashier would be more than happy to make you a fresh batch of fries if you just ask them, so there's no need to lie and make them do the extra work of making sure there's no salt on the fries.
There's just something so addicting about McDonald's fries - that perfect crunchy outer layer with a steaming hot, soft inside is just so delicious. The best part though? The perfectly applied salt, of course! When done correctly, McDonald's fries are coated in the exact right amount of salt, not too much, not too little. To achieve that, there's a special salt shaker that McDonald's workers use to get that lovely balance of salt called the Accu-shaker.
All the fry cooks have to do is hold this handy device a few inches over a basket of fries and let gravity do its work. If you've ever found yourself with fries that are too salty or don't have enough salt, the worker might not have held the Accu-shaker at the right angle, which can cause salt to build up in the device, eventually either clogging it or causing all that built up salt to come spilling out on some poor, unsuspecting customer's fries.
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There are three distinct shifts at an average, 24-hour McDonald's location: the openers, the mid-shift, and the closers. Every shift has its own duties and responsibilities. The openers, who arrive at 4 am and stay until 1 pm, get the store ready for the day. They heat up the grill, brew the coffee and tea, prep the salads, and just generally get things ready for the breakfast and lunch rush. This shift is mostly older people and women. The mid-shift, those who come in at 9 am, is generally reserved for the overachievers. That's when inspections, walkthroughs, manager meetings, and training is more likely to happen, so the restaurant wants to have their best foot forward.
The closing shift usually has the people who mess around the most. That shift has a lot of young adults and college students, so they're more prone to workplace romances and goofing around. So, if you're not pleased with the service you get from one shift, try going in at a different time - there'll be an entirely different crew with an entirely different mindset.
Working with the general public always entails dealing with a weirdo or two, but McDonald's workers in particular definitely face their fair share of verbal creepiness.
One former McDonald's worker recalled the times they witnessed a customer getting a bit too frisky with a coworker, writing, "I don't think I will ever understand why people think it is appropriate to tell a food service worker that they 'have a beautiful heart-shaped butt.' That's an actual comment I have heard people make. I have heard some people that won't stop even when the worker makes it clear that they aren't interested in flirting. The 'butt' comment was given to a fellow worker who had been talking with the man about how much she loved her kids, and in the interest of getting him to stop flirting, told him about her husband of three years."
There are two different types of McDonald's restaurants: corporate and franchise. The franchise locations are locally owned and operated, though they still have to adhere to certain company-wide guidelines. Still, since they're locally owned, they don't always have to participate in every promotion that corporate restaurants run. Some franchises don't offer the $1 for any sized soft drink deal, for instance. It's also not all that unusual for some franchise owners to try and cut costs wherever they can. They might place the napkins behind the counter so there's not so much waste, or they might not give out ketchup packets unless they're asked for. Just keep that in mind the next time you're tempted to yell that "the other McDonald's does it!"
If you always have to have the very best, and you have some extra time on your hands, definitely ask for freshly made food. It'll add about three to five minutes to your order time but the taste is definitely worth it. The workers won't mind either unless you make a stink about how long it takes. There are freshness timers in the kitchen that let the staff know when they need to toss out old food and replace them with fresh ones, but sometimes those timers are ignored or forgotten, which might mean you get the old, stale food. Most of the food products, coffee included, are also slapped with time labels, but these labels are almost never changed, if ever. Seriously, if you're not in a hurry, you should definitely do this.