There are many different careers you might be thinking about getting into either as a primary or secondary job. One job that you might be interested in is becoming part of a fast food restaurant either as a food service worker or cashier. I have personally worked as a food service employee in a couple different fast food restaurants over the years, and can tell you it is not as easy as you might think. There are a lot of skills and qualities you will need in order to work in the fast food industry and here are three of the most important based on my own personal experience.
1. If you are thinking of working in fast food then you will need to be able to multitask effectively. Multitasking is something that a lot of people do every day but sometimes multitasking will decrease your quality of work. As I found out quickly working in fast food, you will need to be effective and produce quality products to your customer by multitasking. Some examples of this might include making a sandwich while also prepping the grill for more meat or you might be taking an order at the register while also taking an order on the headset for the drive thru. You have to be able to grab items you will need for your order such as bread, meat, condiments and other items while also producing a quality product. Multitasking is very important in the fast food industry because often times you will be very busy especially during breakfast and dinner hours. If you do not know how to multitask and make a good quality product then fast food might not be the right industry for you. I have also found it useful to start off just doing a couple things at once and then proceeding to add more to the list once I felt comfortable with the tasks at hand.
2. As a worker in the fast food industry you also must be able to memorize items and have an overall good mental state. Fast food is not an easy job partially because there are a lot of orders you need to memorize in order to make the sandwich that a customer wants. Certain items will always go with a certain number on the menu and this is something you will need to work at remembering. I found it easier to take the menu home of the fast food restaurant I was working at and just look over the food items for 30 minutes each night. I continued this method until I felt I was effective at knowing what order goes with what condiments and extra items. Having a good mental state is important because you will need to retain information, be able to tell it back to the customer and also be prepared to deduct and add items to orders as needed. If you easily are distracted then you will not be very effective at taking an order or you will probably mess the order up, which will dissatisfy the customer. Having worked in a few different fast food restaurants I can tell you that you have to be on your game every day because your mind will be working overtime trying to keep the orders straight when you enter them into the computer.
3. Working in a fast food restaurant also requires you to maintain good hygiene and have an acceptable outward appearance. Specifically, I am talking about you need to remove all visible piercings from your face or body because this is a turn off to a customer. A lot of fast food restaurants have policies concerning hiding visible piercings and tattoos because it is just not a professional look, and you do not want to gross out a potential customer. Good hygiene is important when you work in any environment where food is concerned and it is something you should practice anyway. I found it best to take a shower before I would go into work for my shift and then I would take another shower when I got home because I smelled like the food I was cooking all day. You should wear your hair up in a ponytail if you have hair longer than shoulder-length or you might be able to just wear a hairnet to keep your hair out of your face. It is also important to wear deodorant and smell nice but you do not want to wear overpowering fragrances. Having good hygiene also means that you should be washing your hands before you return to work from the bathroom and if you go outside to smoke a cigarette. I always found hand washing to be an important issue because there are a lot of germs and bacteria that can be transmitted, so wash your hands before and after you handle all food items. If you are a woman then you also want to make sure you keep your makeup subtle and professional. I usually only wore foundation, blush and eyeliner to work because I did not want to look freaky or like I was going out to a party when I was really going to my day job. You just need to use common sense when it comes to good hygiene and think about what you want the person serving your food to look like.
These are just three of the most important skills and qualities you will need to possess if you want to work in fast food. Working in fast food can be a great experience for a younger person still in school or it can be a nice secondary job for anyone. If you have these three qualities and you can improve them then you will likely be a wonderful fast food service worker.
Myself, Personal Experience