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How to Succeed in the Fast Food Industry

Updated on June 3, 2011

Success in the Food Industry

Whether this is your first job or your lifelong career there are many tips in being successful working in this industry. I am here to help you succeed and reach your goals whether it's to get a raise, promotion or just start building a good work history.

Today could be your first day or you could have been working in this industry for 5+ years. Many people come to work in this industry and just get by. Truth is most restaurants get at least 4 or 5 applications a day almost. Getting by just won't cut it you can easily be replaced by the next person who is in need of a job and might provide better work. With times being the way they are many people are desperate for work even people who might have said I don't ever plan on flipping burgers for a living. Economy still in a slump as it is business is also down which means that restaurant's labor is usually higher then they want and most of the time people are sent home to cut costs. Obviously your working and viewing this page because you need the money and can't afford to be sent home or loose your job. The key is simple stand out from the rest, and I'm going to tell you how.

Clean, Clean, Clean if you have time to stand around your a waste of labor. It's true I have yet to find a job to pay me to stand there and working in what should be a fast paced environment as it is, is no different. You should always remain busy either cleaning, prepping, helping customers or working your position. If your ever in doubt as to what you should do in your spare time ask a manager they will gladly find something that needs to be done. However I always find it best if you are a self motivated individual who can find something to clean. It blows my mind when an employee says they cleaned some of the most unusual items in the store, things that you might not consider cleaning. This can be stuff such as dusting tops of doorways and molding that sticks out a bit, cleaning the tops of equipment, defrosting a fridge, or cleaning the walls behind equipment.

Be fast, the key to a fast food restaurant is speed. People choose to eat here in most cases because they are short on time. However at the same time you want to provide fast service you never want to cut into accuracy and friendliness. The thing I hate the most, even if they get me through the line and my food to me fast, is to have to come back or not enjoy my meal due to something made wrong on my sandwich. Your superiors will take notice if you succeed in providing fast, accurate service.

Teach, train new employee's in different positions if you have the time. If you have an interest in being promoted then show you have an interest in leading others before taking a promotion. If you can learn to lead and train you will make for an excellent manager. If you don't know all of the positions ask a manager or another employee to teach you. Knowledge is a powerful thing it will open up more opportunities for you in the form of hours, pay, not being sent home. Not to mention being rotated during your shift will help make the work less stressful on you.

Following these simple guidelines will help you succeed at your job and get you noticed by your superiors and with any luck faster consideration for promotions and raises. Needless to say its what should be expected of you.



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    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

      An often overlooked "career" field. And I put that in quotations quite deliberately since most people, as you alluded to, don't necessarily think of working at a McDonald's, or a Burger King, or any number of other quick serve restaurants we have, as a career. Rather, it is a place to make a few bucks until they land that "real" job. Still, MANY people who work in this industry actually make comparable money to most other fields, provided they are in it long enough, and have the same drive and ambition, and strong work ethic that is needed in ANY career field one chooses to work in. Managers make upwards of $40k plus in salaries. District managers and on up make much more than that. And just like ANY company, fast food companies need strong talent as well to keep the food getting to the customers in a unique, and wholly satisfying way.

      In this country nowadays good jobs are simply hard to come by. Ones with great wages, great benefits, pension plans etcetera just don't exist anymore. Not for the most part. This industry continues to be in high demand, despite the doldrums of the economy (have you seen the performance of McDonald's sales and stock since the recession?), and it employs a ton of people in varying capacities and at varying stages of their careers.

      Interestingly, a lot of the folks who wind up farther up in the chain in this industry come from the front line. So, there IS a path beyond flipping burgers and dropping a basket of fries into a grease vat. But it means doing ALL the things that would be expected in any other job, and it means treating THIS kind of job as a real job.

      Great points, and great article. As for wages in this field? I have long advocated them being higher.