Jobstr - Ask People anything about their jobs

McDonald's Manager

McDonald's Manager
Name:MrSchroeder
Location:Lombard, IL
Gender:M
Age:33
I *was* an assistant manager for a McDonald's Franchisee in Tucson, AZ from 2007 to 2008, and was hired with the explicit intention of being management and not a standard crew member. I worked hard in learning the procedures and processes of the corporation, with a goal of a much longer career than I actually had. My every day life evolved while I was there, starting from the least desirable position to overall operations. I wrote a blog detailing my experiences as well.
Find me online: My website
Subscribe to this Q&A | Sort by:
Q
Did you have to deal with a lot of disrespectful customers? What kind of stuff would they say?
A

Great question. Most of the disrespect from customers was less direct than it was general attitude.

Many people who come through a fast food restaurant - especially through a McDonald's - tend to think of the employees as dumb, dregs of society, not worthy of respect. Not most, just many. I can understand that perception because - let's face it - many people working there actually are not the best, shining examples of what humanity has to offer. However, this is true in every position, in every company, in every industry in the history of humanity.

The biggest and most common form of disrespect that people heaped upon myself or my crew was basic: neglecting to say "please" and "thank you". Or, equally disrespectful, saying, "Give me a ..." instead of "May I have" or "I would like",
...More

Q
When you left, how did future employers regard your experience at McDonald's? Were they impressed that you'd managed a team, or did they get caught up in whatever stigma comes with McDonald's?
A

I think that overall, because my McDonald's career was not early in my life (although I did work at McDonald's as a teen for 2 years), it was looked at a bit differently by future employers. The simple fact is, I went from the title of "Vice President of Sales" at a ~$5million/year private company to the title of "Assistant Manager" at a ~$200B/year massive corporation. How can you look down on that?

Anyone who has actually worked for McDonald's and is not a negative person can see that it is indeed a remarkable opportunity on all levels. Most of the Owner/Operators started out at the bottom. Many of the folks at McDonald's Corporate were store managers before that. All store managers were once shift managers, who were also once standard crew members (even folks like myself, who were
...More

Q
When you'd see a really morbidly obese repeat-customer who orders a steady diet of bacon cheseburgers and chocolate milkshakes, did a part of you ever want to tell them to choose healthier alternatives?
A

Not really. Who am I to judge how an adult derives pleasure?

However, as part of a teaming with McDonald's and the State of Arizona in 2008, there was an initiative to push more healthful choices - especially for children. The Owner/Operator embraced it entirely, our restaurants and our local government were all over it. So for kids, we sure did push healthful alternatives. I wrote a blog post about it when it was happening:
http://mcdonalds-career.blogspot.com/2008/03/arizona-smart-choice.html

Quite frankly, when I started working at McDonald's I was almost 350 lbs, with a 22" shirt neck. Within my first 9 months, on a serious diet of McDoubles, fruit and yogurt parfait,
...More

Q
Why is the McRib only seasonal?
A

This I do not know first hand - the Tucson market did not have McRib while I worked there. However, if I were to take an educated guess it's marketing.

People desire the unattainable. Frankly, I think the McRib is pretty gross - I'd prefer the Rib sandwich from am/pm (alas poor am/pm) if I wanted to hate myself for a while. However, because you cannot always get it, people get nostalgic about it when it's gone and really, really want it when it comes back.

Here's a huffington post article about it that seems to agree somewhat: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/mcrib-seasonal-item_n_1966680.html

Q
Do you think McDonald's will ever take a cue from companies like Starbucks and increase wages and benefits even at the lowest levels, thereby bringing in better and more motivated employees?
A

Please see my answer to the other question regarding minimum wage and who is to blame for it.

Q
Were you proud or embarrassed to tell people you worked at McDonald's?
A

I was never embarrassed about telling people I worked at McDonald's. I looked for this job, and in fact had to convince the Owner/Operator and his Operations Manager that I in fact wanted to work for McDonald's and was not just trying for any port in a storm.

McDonald's is one of the most successful franchise operations in the world - providing growth and wealth opportunities to thousands of small business owners - in 2007 there were 33,000 stores and 60% of them were franchises. McDonald's is the second most recognized brand in the world, behind Coca-cola.

McDonald's spends millions each year on innovating new products and refining existing products. They also spend millions each year on improving their processes and procedures, resulting in some of the finest business management
...More

Q
Where does McDonald's get its beef? I assume you've seen the "pink slime" pics on the web (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCqKl4Q3hW4).
A

The pink slime stuff is something that would happen in manufacturing the burgers. They arrive at the store frozen, in patty form. The boxes are labeled as "100% Beef" and per the USDA, they in fact are 100% beef. Also, McDonald's stopped using pink slime in March, 2012.

Similarly, all other proteins except eggs come formed and frozen, ready to cook.

In regards eggs, they were all fresh or in scrambled liquid form in cartons. In the course of a breakfast a McDonald's restaurant might go through 300-1,000 fresh eggs. They're cracked into round forms for McMuffins and other "round egg" sandwiches. The scrambled liquid is just that - pasteurized, homogenized scrambled eggs in a carton (you can buy similar products in any grocery store). They're used for the folded egg sandwiches
...More

Q
What do you think of this guy who apparently still makes minimum wage after 20 years with McDonalds: http://tinyurl.com/bsxzrqf ? Who's to blame: corporate or on the franchisee?
A

I think there are quite a few factors involved. First and foremost, I have nothing but disgust for any CEO who makes 100x+ what the average employee makes. I think it's a travesty of society and one of the prime woes of rampant capitalism. It's something that can easily be resolved, in a manner reminiscent of what the French did when their society faced similar woes.

That being said, the employee does have the opportunity to take his skills elsewhere. While our economy is terrible and suffering, and any job is better than no job, there is also the simple fact that there actually are quite a few opportunities out there better than minimum wage that essentially anyone with the determination to try hard for can find. They may not be as relatively easy and comfortable as the job you've
...More

Q
As a manager, how did you keep your cashiers from being rude and aloof? Or is that just something that comes from customers being jerks 24/7?
A

Most of this comes from coaching people. The process for coaching is to first identify the issue, then to explain the proper way to do something. This can be done very easily by simply taking them aside for a moment, without other crew or customers hearing and saying something like, "Hey, please remember to smile and be nice to the customers. Fake it if you have to!"

The next part is to demonstrate the behavior - which means having that employee see you doing exactly what you explained. That may be passive by simply doing it and when they're around, or it can be active, "Hey, let me show you what I mean, go around that side of the counter for a minute" then demonstrate the expected behavior.

Last is follow up. Catch the person doing it right later on, and give them feedback immediately
...More

Q
What position is considered lowest man on the totem pole at McDonald's? Fry cook? Drive-thru? Cashier?
A

In terms of hardest job: Grill. Totally the grill. You have to bust hump over two or four 440 degree planes of metal with grease steam billowing up at you non-stop. Not only that, you have to be sure you are keeping up exactly with the "levels", the expected volume of cooked, ready meat, at all times. You also need to be sure to keep your eyes on the temperature of the grills so they stay within appropriate boundaries, watch timers on the grills to be sure that you're cooking meat the appropriate time, make sure the meat appears to be cooked thoroughly, and several times a day take internal temperatures on meat.

Along with this, in lower volume stores (this does *not* mean 'slow' stores, as they almost never exist), the grill person also has to prepare all the non-potato fried foods
...More

Q
you must've seen this at some point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy-UvsYRXPE.
what was your policy if a customer wanted to order breakfast a few min after the cutoff time? why is mcdonalds such a stickler about that?
A

Falling Down is a great movie.

Depending on what product was still fresh and servable, you could possibly get breakfast items a few minutes after "changeover". However, because of the precision of McDonald's "level" system, which dictates how much of each product is prepared per 15 or 30 minute time segment (based upon how long the food can "sit" while maintaining quality and safety), there rarely is food that was prepared and is still servable after the changeover period. These levels are based on historical sales, real world events and current traffic.

To elaborate: At 10:15, with breakfast ending at 10:30, the last projected required sausage, biscuits and muffins would be prepared.

At 10:20, the last projected required eggs, hashbrowns and ham are prepared.

At 10:25,
...More

Q
just wanna say i love this thread. my dad managed a BK for nearly two decades and his management experience there took him very far after that. what are you doing now?
A

Thanks! You might also like my blog. It's been dead for a while, but I get tons of feedback (and way more hits than I ever thought I would, even to this day) from current McDonald's employees who want more advice.

Currently I work for a multinational technology company that provides end-user, retail-style support to a variety of white-label partners in telecommunications, retail, and more. I was a technician for this company for a bit more than a year before advancing into a quality assurance role, which has a heavy focus on coaching and guiding technicians in policies and procedures. I was actually lucky enough to be able to help form the quality assurance department here, and have been a pivotal factor in guiding many people into successful execution of their roles in this corporation
...More

Q
What kind of weekly hours are McDonald's managers expected to keep?
A

This is a great question with a variety of answers because there are quite a few different types of "manager" in a McDonald's store. Generally all management members work about 35-40 hours a week - many more if they're salaried.

There are two primary types of stores, Open/Close stores and 24-hours. I'll start with Open/Close stores. Between those, there are different volume levels an any of the roles might be filled by 2 or 4 managers - more at very high traffic stores (such as those at the center of metropolitan areas). I'll also give a bit of info about the responsibilities the different part managers have.

Opening manager: General a "shift" or "swing" manager fills this role. They start around 4:30am as most stores open at 5am. They generally leave before the lunch rush
...More

Q
Was your store forced to stay open on big holidays?
A

Absolutely. We closed early, but were absolutely open.

There was one incident on Thanksgiving 2007 that stands out in my mind. A pair of limos pull up to the front of the store. Out comes a massive family - at least 20 people all looking alike (you could tell it was family), about 4 generations worth. The least fancily dressed person was a man in dress pants, a really nice sweater and a dress shirt underneath - all the other men were in suit and tie, the women in nice dresses with their hair done up.

They came in and had Thanksgiving dinner in their fancy attire. Totaled out to about $250. It was kind of strange. None of them giggled like it was funny or a joke, and they said grace.

Q
Is there anything on the McDonald's menu you would never eat yourself, having seen how it's prepared?
A

Not a thing, based on how it's prepared. Everything is pretty much prepared the same way, either on the grill, fried, hand-made (salads, parfaits), out of a machine (coffee, shakes, ice cream), or baked (cookies, muffins, biscuits, pies).

There are a few things I don't enjoy. I dislike the Quarter Pounder meat - even though it's remarkably similar to the smaller patties, something about the texture in that size doesn't appeal to me. I also am not a huge fan of the McWraps. While the tortillas are delicious when they're served in the breakfast burrito, the fact that they're served unheated just puts me off. I like my tortillas at least warmed so they soften up.

Q
You sound really bright. Was it frustrating to work with, I dunno, not-quite-as-bright employees?
A

Thanks for noticing. The next paragraph is going to sound boastful and pretentious. I'm not being such, I'm just putting some details out there.

I was invited into MENSA at age 7 (but didn't join because my parents couldn't afford the membership fees). At 16, I tested with an IQ so high that if I post it, everyone will think it's a lie anyway, so I won't. I had several works of poetry published by major publishing houses in magazines and anthologies before I was legally of age to enter my writing for publishing. I've read on the order of 2,000 books in my 32 years, and as a hard-working father of 3 with a serious gaming habit and a demanding wife, I still managed 45-65 books a year over the past 5 years (most of them hard sci-fi and fantasy, but many of them in hard sciences such as
...More

Q
Was your McDonald's ever held up by robbers? What were you trained to do in those situations?
A

I have been robbed at gunpoint several times, but never while working for McDonald's.

McDonald's has explicit and mandatory training that is part of the Day 1 training program for every employee regarding what to do in a robbery situation. Do what you're told, do not act brave, do not fight back, give them anything that they ask for that they want. Money, product, fixtures are all replaceable but your life is not. We also had silent alarm buttons near every register, in the kitchen area, in the stock area, even in the walk in freezers.

Other policies exist to minimize the likelihood of robbery. No one is ever in a McDonald's store alone. Opening manager and staff are to meet up away from the store itself (at a nearby corner, another business nearby, etc) and then travel together
...More

Q
can mcdonalds employees eat free while working? what's policy?
A

This differs depending on the operation. Most franchisees and corporate offer 1 free meal per day that you work, up to anywhere from $5 to $10, though most that I know of are in the $7 range. Some franchisees do not offer this, and they're completely jerks for it.

As for "eating for free while working", every manager is required to taste pretty much every product during the course of the day. You need to make sure the fries taste right at various times during your shift, taste breakfast food items to make sure they're coming out correctly, taste burger patties and completed product, test some shake of various flavors, try all the flavors of drinks from all the different dispensers in the store. It really does get old at times, because you're not enjoying it, you're testing it.

It
...More

Q
Assuming you had a lot of young and maybe immature employees, did you see a lot of them quit on the spot (or just stop showing up?) Or would most do the right thing and give 2 weeks notice?
A

Generally people would plan when they were leaving and give adequate notice. I do remember several employees who "walked out" or quit with no advance warning. Some had good reason such as being treated poorly by other staff members (one woman walked out after being propositioned by the late-night manager), managers being disrespectful when someone who was not trained to a task could not accomplish the task as expected, and one crew member that I remember in particular had requested months ahead for a week off to go on vacation with her family and the scheduling manager scheduled her anyway, told her if she didn't show up she's fired and so she didn't show up and the manager in question tried to claim it was "quitting". I however backed up the crew member and made sure she got unemployment ...More

Q
Did movies like Super Size Me and Fast Food Nation piss off you and your co workers?
A

Meh, we knew where we were working.
I don't know of anyone who felt personally attacked by any of these movies, not even Owner/Operators. Some of the corporate folks probably got their panties in a bunch over it, but for the most part I don't think anything about either of those movies really changed anyone's minds about McDonald's or other fast food. If they did, you'd have to be a pretty dim individual to not comprehend that greasy, cheap food is not that healthful nor does it deliver good nutrition.

Let's be real here - it's relatively low quality food (compared to what you might make at home, but this isn't true for everyone) for really cheap (making it very appealing to poorer people) and those people they're marketing to are truly ignorant of the facts of basic nutrition (sorry for
...More

Q
What percentage of McDonald's franchises fail? How much can a successful one make for the owner in a year?
A

I don't have a great amount of knowledge about this, but I can tell you what I do know.

The franchisee I worked for acquired 4 stores in Tucson that were all already existing. Prior to this, he had a single store in Colorado. He either bought out the previous owners because they wanted to sell or was "awarded" the right to buy the franchise based on his previous recorded - awarded by McDonald's corporate, usually this happens when the existing franchisee is not succeeding financially (is unable to pay franchise fees or for inventory), or they fail heavily on the Operations Reviews that occur periodically.

I know that one of his 4 stores was turning over $75k in profit per month. Another one, the one I worked at, lost $5,000 the first year he had it (also the first year I worked there).
...More

Q
Were you obligated to hire special-needs workers?
A

Depends on what you mean by obligated.

Was there some policy that said if a person with special needs came in, we had to hire them before other candidates? No.

If someone with special needs came in, met the job requirements we had and could perform the job? Yes.

Some Owner/Operators prefer to staff their store - at least for lobby attendants during busy periods - with special needs workers. They feel they are doing their part to an underserved part of the community, that can be and definitely are hardworking team members.

Equal Opportunity Employment laws do not allow for turning someone away from a job they can perform without considerable modification/assistance, simply because they're special needs.

Funny story, we had this one guy who worked for us, mostly evenings, mostly doing
...More

Q
This thread is kind of amazing, thank you! Can you describe one of the instances where you turned an employee with a TERRIBLE attitude into a model worker? I've worked in fast food for 7 years and a-holes never seem to last long, let alone reform.
A

There was this girl named Gabriella - maybe 19 years old - who worked in the kitchen. She spoke very little English, was constantly arguing with people in the kitchen, refused to follow procedures and policies, and liked to simply stare with an angry look when she was asked to do something that was more than putting sandwiches together. I observed all this in the first two shifts working with her, and it was more apparent a few weeks in.

So, she was in fact my first "target" for growth. I spent a lot of time trying to demonstrate to her the proper procedures, and in fact, since I was so new, I made her train me some of the things that I didn't know (or what I wanted her to demonstrate correctly). Every time she did something well I praised her for it.

A few shifts into this, I started
...More

Q
How much of the food that got delivered to your franchise had to be thrown out before being served because it went bad? Why couldn't you partner with a homeless shelter or something to give it away if it looks like the store's way overstocked?
A

Well first and foremost, a store generally wouldn't be "way overstocked" - it likely wouldn't even be a little bit overstocked. Every McDonald's is a business and as such doesn't just pile up their stockrooms, coolers and freezers with more product than they need (at least not enough to benefit a shelter or other organization) unless in a gross case of incompetence.

Directly to the point of the question, most of the food that was wasted (the term for throwing out food that doesn't meet quality or safety expectations) was food that was already prepared and exceeded it's hold time - and at that point it can't be given away. Because all of the products that make McDonald's food have a long shelf life, and the few products that do have a high rate of spoilage (such as lettuce and milk)
...More

Q
Hi! I've been working at McDonalds for 4 years now, and recently I got promoted to Shift Manager. Any tips on how to make the rush hours run smoothly? :)
A

Check out my blog, I give a ton of information there. It's in the description at the top.

Q
A lot of your answers make McDonald's sound like a great place to work, so why do you think so many people call it the worst job they've ever had?
A

Most people call it the worst job they ever had because the work is hard, the pay is relatively low, and most stores aren't run by rock stars like me.

But seriously, there rarely are positive work influences at McDonald's. The training is available but poorly implemented, and many of the people working there (as I've mentioned in other posts) are not society's best and brightest - although sometimes they are. Because you have few highly educated or well trained people, and few leaders to look up to. This, in my experience, is no different than most work environments, however.

I think a large part of the reason many people hated their McDonald's work experience comes down to one of two facts.
First, many people work at McDonald's as their "first job" or their "first real job".
...More

Q
Why do McDonald's fries taste so good?
A

Several million dollars a year of product testing and development is the short answer.

I think the deal is they use seriously high quality potatoes (because they have buying power), and ensure consistent cut size. The fries go through a very thorough cleaning/soak to get some level of starches out of them. Then, they get flash fried (par-cooked), and then flash-frozen. At this point they're packaged and sent to stores.

There was a really good "Modern Marvels" episode called "Fast Food Tech" that Netflix probably has.

Q
Can a franchisee "customize" his or her store, or are the menu/decor 100% dictated by McDonald's corporate guidelines?
A

Menu is not dictated entirely. Some stores don't participate in sales/specials/promotions/seasonal items. Right now McRib is back - some stores aren't carrying it. Some stores have found they don't sell salads as well, so maybe they price those higher or don't carry the same variety.

Pricing is definitely up to the Owner/Operator, and depends on market. Most of the stores don't have a "Dollar Menu" anymore, or if they do it's very limited. They have a "Value Menu" where items are $1.19-$1.59.

However, franchisees can't "add" items that are not part of the McDonald's menu to their menu and cannot serve food "off menu" as a rule (like a Land-Sea-Air burger (Big Mac with a Fish Filet and a McChicken on the burger patties).

As far as decoration goes, there is a ton of leeway
...More

Q
Does everyone at McDonald's start at minimum wage? How often do you get raises?
A

This is entirely dependent upon the franchisee and the market.

In general, standard crew members do start off right at or barely above the minimum wage. Managers have several pay brackets and most of it is based off experience. You might have two people with the exact same job title and responsibilities working in the same store with a $2/hr difference. Depending on the market the store is in, and how many qualified applicants there are, pay might be as much as $9 for crew, or it might be bare minimum wage. Store managers might make anywhere from $27k to $75k a year depending on the market, performance, and many other factors.

As far as raises, there were 6 months reviews for crew and lower tier managers, annually for store level managers. At these reviews someone would receive anywhere
...More

Q
how often would people get injured in the kitchen? the hot grease of the fry-a-lators always scared the hell out of me, even as a customer.
A

It was relatively rare that anyone would even get minor injuries working in the kitchen. Usually the only times people would get injured were due to not paying attention, foolish mistakes or not wearing appropriate shoes. No one ever really got hurt very seriously and even somewhat serious injuries were very rare. Most injuries were slip-and-falls (which can be serious, but thankfully weren't too bad, too often - see below), cutting oneself on the very sharp knives used for prep work, scalds from the very hot water used to wash dishes, or rare small burns from grease splashing.

I had my own injury from not wearing non-slip shoes. Long and the short of it was, I was moving more quickly than I should have been, on a wet floor without the right non-slip shoes on (right about a month
...More

Q
Can you talk more about the "serious gaming habit" and "self-induced chemical brain attrition" you reference?
A

Well... I guess it's not related to the Q&A but sure.

I love games. I like pen and paper games like D&D and Call of Cthulhu very much, I also love video games especially, including some MMOs, many RPGs, simulators and strategy games, flash games (kongregate.com is fun for the whole family!). I play board and table-top games like Settlers of Cataan, Risk! and Go.

As to the self-induced chemical brain attrition, I enjoyed many psychoactive and psychedelic substances in my youth, which my best friend did not enjoy as heartily.

Q
if i eat in a mcdonalds, how long can I sit in there before someone will kick me out?
A

This really depends on the store, how common a problem this is, customer flow, and local and state laws.

Your best bet is to ask someone who works at your neighborhood McDonald's.

Q
As a manager, did you have sales quotas?
A

Well, yes and no. There were expectations and projections that each store should achieve. Each day-part (Early Morning/Breakfast/Lunch/"snack" hours/Dinner/Late Night) all had different projections based on historical sales, promotions and what was going on in the real world, such as holidays or local activities. These are subject to a variety of influences, though the McDonald's plan really considers the critical, manageable factors primarily. These are (and everything within McDonald's is) QSC&V. Quality - Service - Cleanliness - Value. All negative changes in a McDonald's restaurant, short of there being some significant, tangible external effect, are thought to be due to shortcomings in QSC&V.

It's really true, when you think about it. Do you ever drive out of your way to go to
...More

Q
Why do ketchup packets still exist? They're a pain to open, never provide as much ketchup as we need, and they're hugely wasteful because you can't really even get all the ketchup out.
A

Some restaurants have switched to ketchup tubs, like the various nugget type sauces have available. Heinz apparently is in a court case over this very thing right now, because they appear to have violated someone else's patent by marketing these.

This could seriously be a dissertation on ketchup - ketchup packets are a really important part of American fast food society. I know that sounds silly, but Americans are generally very "nostalgic" people. We do many things in a nostalgic way, the way our parents and grandparents did them, for no reason other than that's how we've always done it. This could turn into a diatribe about vertical toasters and gasoline combustion engines, concrete roadways and steel-beam bridges - but it won't.

Suffice it to say that the ketchup packet,
...More

Q
Do fast food restaurants like mickey d's experience steep declines in sales following the New Year, with so many people making diet-related New Years resolutions?
A

Good question. This depends on the market, really. Urban areas or rural areas with generally lower incomes definitely do not experience a downturn in traffic after New Year's resolutions are made. Suburban areas definitely experience this - many pictures are out there on reddit of empty post-New Year restaurants. Areas where shopping happens (near malls, in malls, etc.) *definitely* experience a downturn in traffic after the New Year but mostly because most people are not shopping as much.

Q
Why are so many McDonald's locations now offering wi-fi? Isn't the goal to get customers in and out as quickly as possible?
A

Very rarely will a McDonald's dining room be full. The longer people stay, the more often they'll come. If you make it easy and convenient for a customer to come hang out for an hour and a half, the more likely they'll repeatedly come in. Even if they just order a soda or a coffee - the profit level of those drinks is so high that it takes 10 refills before the McDonald's loses money.

Also, if you come more often, you spend more money. It's pretty simple really.

Q
Is it true that McNuggets will actually melt if left on the counter for a while?
A

I had no idea what you're talking about. I think you mean this snippet from a Reddit post about what things you would not recommend eating from the restaurant you work at:

“I accidentally left a whole bag of about 100 chicken nuggets out on a counter for way too long. They melted. Into a pool of liquid. I never understood why. But they were completely indiscernible as being the nuggets I once knew.”"

The stupid things people will say for karma. No. Just no.

The only way I could imagine anything close to this actually happening to McNuggets would require so many levels of poor food handling that it's as unlikely as it gets. The only way this could possibly happen would be for somehow the nuggets to be soaked in liquid for a long period of time, to the point where they begin decomposing
...More

Q
I read that 30% of Mcdonalds milkshakes are sold during breakfast, b/c customers can easily sip them while driving to work. Did Mcdonalds ever consider adding healthier alternatives like fruit smoothies for the "liquid breakfast" contingent?
A

First - not only have they considered it, they’ve been selling them for at least 2 years in stores that have a McCafe. http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/promotions/Smoothies.html

Secondly, that statistic is, in my experience, hugely inaccurate.

As I’ve explained in the question about why McDonald’s serves breakfast/lunch in separated segments, most McDonald’s restaurants are focused solely on breakfast food items during breakfast time.

More importantly, most McDonald’s stores don’t have their ice cream or shakes machine running until about 9 or 10am (depending on the market, traffic and other factors).

The prime reason for this is that the person who is generally assigned the task of "building"
...More

Q
Did you and your employees feel a sense of competition with Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway, etc? Like would you guys feel compelled to defend McDonalds if you heard someone comparing it to another chain?
A

I think on the Store manager/Director/Owner Operator level this went on, but among crew no way. Like I said in another question - we knew where we were working.

Q
Next time I go to McDonald's, aside from just being polite, what's one thing I can say or do that would make a cashier a little less miserable to be there? On a related note, are mcdonalds employees allowed to accept tips?
A

Look the person in the eye, like they are a human being. Smile at them genuinely. Start your order off with, "Hi! May I please have..." and end it with, "Thank you!" Compliment them, if you feel like it, in exactly the same way you would compliment any other human being you interact with in the world.

There's no magic trick. That person might still hate you with everything in their soul. Or you may be the first person to treat them like a person all day.

As to tips, almost assuredly no, McDonald's employees are not allowed to accept tips. The reason for this is varied, but mostly because tipped employees are paid differently than non-tipped employees and it's a terrible hassle when you have tipped employees. McDonald's wouldn't be able to have their prices so
...More

Q
How scrutinizing is the interview process? Would having a (light) criminal record keep someone from getting a job there?
A

This really depends on the franchisee's policies and the market. In some locations, they really only hire bright-eyed, fresh-faced, clean-cut and clean-recorded individuals. They do this because they have a volume of people like this to choose from. In other locations, a guy with forearm inks (like myself) and a minor record with no felonies might be the very best candidate they can find.

Generally, I would say as long as it's not domestic violence and is not related to stealing, theft or robbery, a record should not inhibit you from being employed at a McDonald's.

Q
What demographic is mcdonalds targeting?
A

Everyone.

Q
As you said that McDonald's success down to its systems. Where we can learn more about their systems ?
A

Since their information is entirely proprietary, and is taught in the form of several *hundred* hours of preparation training (in four gigantic 3" binders full of info, and several other resources), as well as dozens of hours of class time and hands-on training, I'd say - go through the training yourself.

You can also read Ray Kroc's book "Grinding it Out" for a brief overview of the tenets upon which the company was formed and the corporation still operates, but this is not a detail of the processes and systems used.

Q
How come after all this time it's still so difficult to hear the person taking your order at the drive-thru?
A

No matter how well it’s designed, it’s still a speaker and microphone system, often with an LCD or LED screen, which is exposed to sun, wind, rain, snow, and everything that comes with those 24/7/365. Not to mention that it consists of electronic devices that are running continuously, which causes it’s own wear and tear, as well as it being activated and in use nearly constantly in most moderately busy stores.

Next take into effect the equipment inside the store. It’s worn literally constantly, which means from 19 to 24 hours a day.

The equipment usually consists of either simply a headset which is connected to the 2-way receiver/transceiver wirelessly or a headset connected by wires to a belt pack which houses the battery, talk and channel buttons, and connects to the 2-way receiver/transceiver.
...More

Q
Did you see a lot of racially-charged arguments between employees or employees and customers?
A

I sat thinking about answering this for a while, and initially wasn't going to answer - mostly for what's in the tail end of this post. I decided to just answer it anyway.

I'm going to make some generalizations that are probably not true in most cases, but are true in some. The some are the ones we're focused on for this conversation, but keep in mind that *most of the time*, there were not racially-charged incidences. I love people no matter who they are - I don't care about anything but content of character and willingness to work hard.

My experience was in Tucson, which has about even mix of whites and hispanics, with about 20% of the population being black or native American. Between the general entitled "in charge" attitude of the Whites,
...More

Q
What discontinued Mcdonald's menu item do you think they should bring back?
A

McDonald's menu is often changing. They spend a large amount of money on product development and improvement, and I really don't think there's anything they *don't* have that I would like to see again.

Q
What 3 fast food chains do you think could realistically take over the #1 slot volume-wise from McDonald's in the next 10 years?
A

In short, none. There really aren't any fast food restaurants that can take over McDonald's position as #1 in volume.

Not only is McDonald's historically successful in nearly every market they enter, they have momentum of growth. There are many, many new restaurants opening every year, worldwide. McDonald's is something of a symbol of Americanism throughout the world as well - a food-related space that no other brand other than Coca-cola holds. Also, the McDonald's franchise system works remarkably well, putting a large amount of risk on the shoulders of franchisees and minimizing exposure to loss on McDonald's part (they generally own the property - and can always sell it in during a seller's market).

While I don't think there are many restaurants
...More

Q
Would McDonald's do a lot of spot-checks on your store, like with "mystery shoppers" or surprise drop-ins by regional managers?
A

Somewhat yes, but mostly no. Great answer right?

First my digression - I currently work in Quality Assurance for a moderately sized consumer-level technology repair company that is a white label partner for many companies. Only one of our "tenants" receives anything approaching actual quality control and it is only moderately well executed overall. I firmly believe that quality control is most overlooked aspect of all companies - whether they provide a product or a service - and my experience at McDonald's is part of what cemented this idea for me.

McDonald's franchises do get regular inspections - usually in the form of a twice-annually brief review and an annual in depth review. These reviews are called SOR - Short Operations Review - and FOR - Full Operations
...More

Q
When you'd hire new employees, could you tell right away whether they were future management material?
A

During the hiring process, there are generally cues that potential employees will give to the content of their character and their interest in doing well. Sometimes, people would shine that they were management material. Other times, someone who I thought would be a 3 month-turnover employee who had to be coached constantly would turn out to be a shining star.

So, sometimes but that initial impression is generally not very reliable.

Q
before you were a manager did you receive your hours cut i have been working for about a month and a half and now i am only working two days this week i have kids a wife and we can't live on 200 every two weeks what should i do?
A

I was hired as a manager - I didn’t work as a crew. However, when someone had their hours significantly cut like you’re describing, it was generally due to performance issues or a lack of motivation to succeed at the work assigned. I’m not saying that is definitely true for you, and I don’t know what you were hired for, how your training has progressed, and how your store is staffed.

$200 every two weeks? I can barely management my household on that much money every 3 days (which still isn’t all that much). I’m no life coach, but I would say the very first thing you should be doing is reassessing your performance. Identify your strengths and your opportunities for growth. Have a conversation with the store manager (or if needed, the Owner/Operator) and highlight your strengths while
...More

Q
Hello I am 15 years old and looking for a part time job for before school houres because I don't go to school till 4 pm and I would like to help my mom pay bills and other stuff does Mcdonalds hire 15 year olds?
A

This is highly localized. It depends on the laws of your country, state, county and maybe even your town. You also likely will have to get some sort of permit to work from your school.

Start with the resources in your school.

Q
i have a misdemeanor for possesion of marijauana that i got in 6/10 for a supervisor position at my mcdonalds they do a background check that goes back 3 years. will this disqualify me. i passed the background check to get hired 6/11
A

I can't answer this question for you - be honest and open with the highest ranking person who knows your good work ethic and see how that goes.  There are just a handful of outcomes.

Q
I like mcdonald's a lot, but one thing that drives me nuts: the smell. Every location has that that signature smell that sticks to your clothing for the rest of the day. Does McDonald's try and better ventilate their locations to minimize this?
A

Dat smell.  McDonald's all smell the same because of consistency.  What you should want is to avoid any McDonald's that does not smell the same as all the rest.  They are doing things wrong.

Q
When would be the best time to walk in and give my application? I want to make sure I do it when the manager is available. So what do you think would be a good time?
A

Mon-Fri 11:20 AM

Breakfast is over, Store Manager is probably there (80% likelihood or better, considering usually they take a single weekday and a weekend day off), and lunch has not gotten full swing yet.

Q
hi I am a manager at McDonalds I was recently hurt at work I have a right knee injury the doctor put me to do sedentary work only what would be the limits of my work
A

You have to discuss that with the store's manager or owner/operator.  In my case, I had an injury on the clock, at work, also to my right knee.  I was on 6 weeks sedentary/reduced duty - which kept me at the register or drive thru window.

Q
Best. Q and A. Ever.

My turn. What would a McDonalds employee say if asked, "What makes McDonalds better than Burger King?"
A

I'd say it's the consistency of production.  I actually do have a comparison, having worked at Burger King in my late teens, for about a year and a half as well (I was even low level management the whole time, there much like at McDonald's).  

The very thing that makes McDonald's so exceptional is the volume they put out - there are several quality effects that are overall positive with increased volume of service, not the least of which are the overall effect of the margin of error on customer service decreases significantly, and muscle memory develops much more swiftly. 

So, I'd say, overall, McDonald's just has a better, more developed, more intrinsic system to operations than does Burger King, and it's applied more consistently.

Q
I'm sure everyone's heard of this (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/compliance-movie-film_n_1779123.html) Where a guy pretending to be a police officer told a manager to strip search an employee. Your thoughts?
A

That situation has almost nothing to do with the environment of it being a McDonald's.  That could be anywhere that stupid people involved.

Q
Can you call the police if a customer calls you a bitch and the manager didn't do anything and then push me and send me home?
A

Wow, sounds like a very specific questions regarding a specific situation.  I'd say this:  You can always call the police to settle a dispute between citizens, no matter the environment - work, home, in public, school, et cetera.  

 

If you're ever assaulted (this definition changes based on the state, locality and municipality you're in) or battered (again, definition depends on locality), I'd say call the police immediately.  

Q
Is there a way to appeal if you were part of McD's management, and suddenly got terminated?
A

That depends on far too many factors for me to go into.  I'm sorry - call corporate and find out!

Q
McDonald s is a franchise-based. What
similar technologies (product and process)
exist in McDonald s everywhere? Are there
any differences in McDonald s in different
locations? Why do those differences
A

Every part of every process - from hiring, to inventory management, to basic training, the order in which food is prepared, the way in which orders are taken, the schedule of cleaning the outdoor property and bathrooms, everything - is intended to be identical in every McDonald's.  The only real differences are some menu offerings, decoration, and hours of operation.

Q
What is the shelf life of bacon bits in the walk-in refrigerator
A

Good question.  If I recall correctly, 6 months.

Q
a co-worker at mcdonalds told the store manager i was quitting, but i never said that, now she is holding my check, can she do this and what should i do? i work in wisconsin
A

You should go talk to the store manager and say something like, "Why are you holding my check? I have never quit.  Not only MUST you provide me my paycheck in a timely manner, but you can't accept my resignation from someone else".  Then hash it out like grown-ups.

Q
Have you ever had to pay money back for drawer shortages/ safe shortages??? I don't think a manager should have to pay them back, if you suspect someone is stealing? Shouldn't you find that person and hold them responsible???? Thanks
A

If you suspect someone is stealing, you should address that with the general manager of the store or the owner/operator.  Often, stores or franchises will require managers to pay back money that is not accounted for on their shift.  Cash control is a major part of the responsibility of the manager - however it may or may not be legal in your location.

Q
what is really the prep person does ? I love to work as a prep person but i feel i being abuse ,because even to take food to the parking for customer i am the one to do.
A

Well, the "prep person" generally has the role of being sure all the consumables that are prepared on site are ready for the day.  Slice tomatoes, prep leaf lettuce, prep cheeses and sauces for tempering, all the made-on-site items like parfaits and pies/cookies.  After that, if you're not tied to a specific station after prep is complete, then that role is usually a "floater" role - you do what needs done wherever.

 

Discuss with your manager the actual responsibilities and try to get them to explain the expectations for you.

Q
Do you have a say in where you are transferred if you are a manager?
A

Rarely, unless you're a rockstar.  You go where you are needed for the business.

Q
No Question--just observation from your blog writings, etc.:
Mr. Schroeder, you are an amazing writer. I can't wait to see the movie from the book you are going to write someday (or maybe writing now).
A

Thanks :)

Q
By any chance do you remember how to make mochas, frappes, and lattes and what syrups or amount of shots they get? I can never get around to asking a manager and I'm new.
A

There should be a sign on the front of the pump station.  However, we did not have McCafe when I worked for McDonald's - the Iced Coffee was a relatively new addition at that time.

Q
If you get fired from 1 franchise for job abandonment is it possible to get hired at another McDonald's under a different franchise?
A

It's possible but Owner/Operators are usually really tightly knit.  I myself was blacklisted after I left my position.

Q
I am currently 17 and graduating from high school June 14 and enrolled in the MIT class for MCDonald's and was wondering if it is worth it to become one. Would it look good on a college app or would it help me futher down the line in life at all thxs
A

Like all things, you get out of the experience what you put into it.

Q
Im a shift manager. having issues with My G.M. for the past 2 days,she has put me in back booth.(we have been fully staffed). dont u think a manager shouldnt be in the back of the store,? how should I hancle this situation?
A

I think a manager should only be in the back booth if there is no one else able to handle the position well.  In general, a manager should be mobile and crew should be stationary.  If there is something only you as a manager can do, and you're tired to order taking and cash handling, then you cannot do it without interrupting the customer traffic flow.

I would suggest talking to your GM about training crew members to become Aces on the drive-thru so that you, as a trained manager, can be more available to help in areas that need your experience and training more than back booth.  Demonstrate your ability to train those people, demonstrate your willingness to do more and handle more tasks, and most importantly openly communicate.

Q
How much space should be allowed between stacks of product in the walk-in freeze
A

Wow this is a great question, actually.  There should be room to move freely and manipulate the boxes in the area - so they must be at least the width of the widest commonly used box, with clearance for arms (from an OSHA/ergonomics standpoint).  If you have concerns about this, you should contact your local OSHA office and/or local health department (which probably also has local regulations on this)

Q
IF I DONT HAVE MONEY TO BUY THE NON-SLIP SHOES TO WORK FOR MC DONALD'S, WOULD THEY LET ME WORK WITH MY NORMAL TENIS SHOES INTILL I GET A PAYCHECK TO BUY THEM?
A

PROBABLY, BUT MAYBE NOT.  IT DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH OF A STICKLER TO RULES AND REGULATIONS THEY ARE.

REALLY, ITS A BIG DEAL TO WEAR NON-SLIP SHOES IN A WORK ENVIRONMENT LIKE MCDONALD'S AND EVEN WITH THEM YOU CAN GET DISASTROUSLY HURT BY A SLIP AND FALL.

Q
How many hours and what was you salary as a manager/ franchisee. Trying to compare my hours to pay rate as a gm of a restaurant and night club working 65-85 hours a week.
A

I was working only about 44 hours weekly.  My pay was not great, but better than others.

The pay rate has so many influencing factors, however, that I wouldn't venture to guess.

Q
I worked for a McDonalds for two years when i was 16-17 (first job) and was fired (attendance). id like to work at a mcds again and possibly work to become shift lead. how r my chances affected? and how can i appeal to management pre and post hire?
A

Your chances probably are not terrible, depending on how long ago this was.  I hope you've resolved your responsibility issues.

Q
Do you think that the way someone dresses for a job interview effects the chances of getting hired? What do you thinkif they have tattoos?
A

I'm answering your second question first.

I have kanji (Japanese pictograms/letters) tattooed on my neck.  I also have wrist and forearm tattoos.  Tattoos are very private and unless they're obscene or something, there should never, ever in my opinion be an issue with them.  Not everyone agrees however.

As far as how someone dresses?  Well, that somewhat depends.  It's a low-income job that most people take because there's nothing else they qualify for.  So you have to take that into consideration.  However, if someone's clothing is not nice it can still be clean and appropriate (pants, not shorts, plain shirt or button down or polo, not a band T-shirt, etc.), you can be well groomed and have good hygiene.

Q
My manager recently installed a CCTV camera in the crew room, which is commonly known to be the place in which people get changed. He did so without firstly informing any of the staff. Is that even legal?
A

I'm not the guy to ask this, but I'll speculate.

It's probably entirely legal, announced or otherwise.  You should probably change somewhere with an expectation of privacy.  This generally means it does not have open access (closing, locking doors), and you have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Q
A McDonald's employee accidentally dropped my Visa into the donations safe here in Tucson Arizona. They say they can't open it. I need it by Thanksgiving or I can't take my family out to dinner. Whom should I contact to get that safe opened?
A

Wow.  I hope you made it through Thanksgiving alright.  I would have no idea who you would contact, I believe those donations are collected quarterly or so by a third party company.

Q
My new manager said that she would give me a call when the uniform she order came in and l could come in and start( I've watched the videos and filled out all my paper work) . Its been almost two weeks and I haven't heard from her. Any suggestions?
A

Call her?

Q
How much does a store manager make?
A

This depends greatly on market, experience, cost of living, and what both the manager and their employer believe they are worth.  Generally mid 30s to high 50s.

Q
Its my first shift and I was wondering if I could wear darkish brown boots/shoes for it. They have a good sole and her but brown in colour is that ok?
Q
hi im interested in using macdonalds production and operating scenarios as teaching tools, any operating manuals in pdf etc
Q
how old do you have to be, to be a crew member at McDonalds?