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Pro's and Con's of working in the Fast Food Industry

Updated on August 14, 2009

Pros Vs. Cons

This is coming from experience and is in response to a question asked by hubber member Trekkiemelissa.

I have worked in the Fast Food and non Fast Food Industry for about 7 years. So I might not know everything about it but I'm sure this Hub will be of some use in answering questions. Let's start with the Pro's so we don't get your hope down.


First getting a job in the Fast Food Industry is quite easy. Most have very little/low requirements for employment. Meaning they will hire a highschool dropout, foreigners who speak little english sometimes none and the list goes on. Training is simple they usually have you come in the first day for about 4 hours to watch video's on hygiene and proper food prep. Another benefit is easy advancement opportunities and in some cases benefits such as health, retirement, stock purchase, etc... I personally worked at a fast food joint for about 6 month's and became a Shift Manger. A pro that I enjoyed was in some places you get free food, which you will learn to get sick of quickly. To sum up working in the fast food industry is a great way to start out if your looking to start building work experience.


Unfortunately in my opinion the con's actually outweigh the pro's. Being a place of business that require's very little training, schooling or the ability to speak english anyone can apply and on average receive about 5+ applications a day. This being said your replaceable at the drop of a pin. Also because of this reason people have a higher tendency of being short term workers. In most cases highschool/college students work fast food joints to earn a bit of income on the side and are gone after about 6 months. I personally live in Maine which poses another problem during the winter business is dead and the summer there is a large amount of applications and positions fill up quickly so there is only 2 times a year to really get hired. Another con concerns advancements, its easy to get there you just have to go the extra mile and prove yourself. In my case I did what I call "extra" cleaning above what was already required, also I basically picked up every shift I could without going into overtime if possible. Every day I would go to the manager on duty and ask if there were any call outs that I could pick up a few extra hours. The problem I ran into though was after awhile this became expected of me to the point they pushed me to far. One day after I was a shift manager I was out with the flu turned in a doctors note and still told I needed to work a double shift 7 in the morn til about midnight. Not trying to be rude but you can imagine what I told them laying in bed with stomach pains, tempature and all. Moving on though im going to run through them quickly most pay minimum wage, very low chance of a payraise, expect a lot out of you, many have no benefits at all if your a basic employee/crew member. When you first start you only get maybe 10-15 hours a week takes about 3-4 months before you even get about 25-30 if your lucky about 38 hours. No overtime allowed, no gum, hard to switch for days off in some cases almost impossible if you want a whole week off for vacation. Hard to get hired because so many apply, the atmosphere will make you sick. Truth is many who have never been in the back of a fast food restaurant will get sick first week from the grease and smell.

Wrap Up

Okay I'm sure you have a bit of an idea now. I'm just going to wrap up with how to get into fast food and survive it. First getting hired apply at the location your interested in it's better if you apply to more then one. Make sure you fill out everything to the best of your capabilities. If this is your first job make sure you list plenty of personal refrences i.e. teachers, business owners that know you and friends (and I don't mean under 21). Another option is list any places that you have volunteered if your willing to work for free and they see your reliable it will help. Start with the places you volunteered then list the people you have known the longest. Make sure you give your application back to a manager or shift manager. This is because the truth is employee's have a tendency of losing it or as I've seen throwing an application away. It's the truth an employee has no interest in helping you get hired because it threatens there job security. After you turn your application in make sure, and this is important, FOLLOW UP! Give them about 2 days to look over your application. If you've heard nothing back by this point call or walk in and ask for the hiring manager. Introduce yourself, let him/her know you turned in an application 2 days earlier and that you would like to follow up with the manager. His/Her response will be either "Oh I will take a look at it and get back with you." Or "Were not hiring at the moment." Either way continue to follow up because managers are kept busy and your application will end up at the bottom of a pile and never be seen. If you keep putting your name in they will eventually remember it. If the manager told you they weren't hiring its better to call back even still after a few days if the answer is still were not hiring at least you still put your name back out there. Most will keep your application on file for about 3 months and like I said before people come and go quickly. Continue checking in about every other week eventually something will open up.

Now comes the part YOUR HIRED! First day of work after video training, your out on the floor if the smell of all the grease and or meat makes you feel nauseous ask your manager if you can work a short day explain that you need to get used to it. Trust me it's better that you adjust yourself then to vomit on the grill, I've seen it happen. Have to shut the store down and do some serious cleaning if that happens.

To ensure that you keep the job and to get as many hours as you can PROVE yourself. Ask to take shift for people that call in, go the extra mile cleaning wise, provide excellent customer service. Doing this will get you noticed and increase your chances of getting pay increases, advancements and more. I hope all this info helps and that I didn't scare you away.

- Thomas M.

Aug. 11, 2009


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