30 Essential Things McDonald's Employees Want You to Know

Missy Crystal

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Approximately 1 out of every 8 people will be employed by McDonald's at some point in their lives. If you're not part of this statistic, you may wonder whether employees secretly hate you when you visit this popular fast food restaurant.

Take a minute to familiarize yourself with the tips below. They come from real McDonald's managers and crew members who want to make your next dining experience more enjoyable - for all parties involved.

30 tips from McDonald's employees

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  1. Yes, some workers really spit in the food even though doing so can result in a felony charge. Keep that in mind next time you're in the drive thru acting like a jerk.
  2. Burgers and snack wraps don't sit in bins. That stopped happening sometime in the '80s or '90s. Don't go in and demand to have a burger that hasn't been sitting in the bin, under the lamps, in the heater, or whatever else you call it.
  3. You're not fooling anybody when you order fries without salt and then immediately request a salt packet. That's why some workers dump old fries back in the fryer for about 10 seconds when you aren't looking. Please let employees know if you have a medical reason for requesting salt-free fries so this is less likely to happen.
  4. Don't beat on the windows when your local McDonald's isn't open. It's a security hazard for workers to open the door, and they may also violate local ordinances regarding hours of operation if they let you in.
  5. Yelling at employees gets you nothing. Well, except a call to the local sheriff's office or a permanent ban from your local restaurant. Chill out and calmly tell workers what you need.
  6. Pull up a few feet away from the drive thru window and check your order. You aren't the only person on the planet who wants food today.
  7. All orders have to be out in 90 seconds or less if you're in the drive thru. Help make that happen by having a basic idea of what you want when it's your turn to order.
  8. Put down your cell phone and order your food. Your call can wait.
  9. Many workers have college degrees. You aren't better than anyone who works at McDonald's, so please don't treat employees like they're stupid or lecture them about their life choices.
  10. Workers can hear you as soon as you pull up to the speaker even if it takes a few seconds to greet you. Stop yelling at your kids or screaming, "Helloooooo, do you hear me?"
  11. Paying in pennies when you're in the drive thru during lunch or dinner rush is a bad idea. It's best to come inside if you're paying with change during a busy period.
  12. When workers ask if your order is correct on the screen outside, that's not a rhetorical question. Look at the screen and respond.
  13. Many workers love Jesus just as much as you, but that doesn't mean they want to hear about how they're major sinners when they're trying to work. Take your burger and sit down. If you can't resist sharing a religious lecture, leave a pamphlet or business card with your message instead.
  14. You don't need to repeat your order 15 times because "you guys always screw it up". That will just irritate everyone involved.
  15. Workers get that plain means "nothing except meat and cheese". You don't have to place an order that goes something like this: "I want a plain cheeseburger with nothing on it, just meat and cheese. No condiments. No ketchup. No mustard. No onions. Only meat and cheese".
  16. Meals come with a drink, and the register might be set up to automatically charge for one. If you order a meal and don't want a drink, stop yelling about the Coke on your receipt.
  17. Meal prices on the menu are based on plain coffee for breakfast and soda for lunch/dinner at many locations. If you order a milkshake or a fancy iced coffee, expect your meal to cost a bit more.
  18. Yes, workers notice if you eat at McDonald's three days, but no, most of them don't care. They get paid the same rate whether you show up once a day or once a year.
  19. Workers know the food at McDonald's isn't healthy, so they really don't want to hear you whine about it. Nobody is forcing you to be there.
  20. This is not Applebee's, so pick up your trash and throw it away. And don't even think about holding your soda cup in the air and screaming "Where's my refill?". Yes, people really do this.
  21. Your water cup is for water. That's why it's called a water cup. Yes, many McDonald's restaurants make plenty of money, but that doesn't mean it's okay for you to steal soda. If you can't afford to pay $1.08 or so for a Sprite, you should take your order to go and drink something at home.
  22. Don't be rude to your cashier and expect smiles and a friendly attitude back. It doesn't work like that.
  23. There are lines for a reason. You are not more important than everybody else waiting to order, so don't attempt to get in front of them. Workers don't care if you have an appointment or you're running late. Schedule your time better.
  24. Do you know how many times a day workers hear things like, "Just wait until I tell your supervisor! I'm going to get you fired!". Here's how most workers feel about this threat: 1) The manager knows you're a jerk too. 2) Like we really care if you get us fired. The McD's down the street is also hiring.
  25. Working as a McDonald's manager is not as easy as you think. You try managing a team of people ranging in age from 14 to 100, from outgoing teens to cranky grandpas. Then try doing it while you frantically race around to get orders out quickly while obnoxious customers scream and throw stuff at you.
  26. Oh, you can do our job better? Thank goodness you mentioned that, because you can apply online or grab an application off of the counter.
  27. Yes, sometimes workers are crabby. You try smiling after your entire crew calls in and you're getting yelled at by customers.
  28. Workers don't always get breaks - in fact, breaks are rare unless you work at a corporate store rather than a franchise. If workers look tired, it's not because they're lazy.
  29. All McDonald's are not created equal. Some are much better than others, and you should probably eat at those if you want fresh food and happy employees. No, workers don't want to hear about how you like those locations better as you're ordering your Egg McMuffin.
  30. If you have a giant order, feel free to call and order in advance. Workers appreciate that more than you will ever know. Bonus points for giving the restaurant a few day's notice so they can bring in extra staff that day.

Just Do Your Best to Be Nice

Look, McDonald's workers have bad days and good days, but when it comes down to it, many of them love what they do. That's why they're there every single day, doing their best to keep smiling as they get ridiculed and yelled at by customers.

Sure, workers will still give you your fries and Big Mac if you're rude, but please, make this experience easier on everyone by being friendly and patient.

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Full-time mom, student, and writer. I cover everything from parenting and personal finance to relationships and health.

O Fallon, MO
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