Drawbacks of Working in the Fast Food Industry

Gecko holding a burger

One of my least favorite jobs was in fast food service. I was a teenager when I worked at Burger King, but I knew that working in fast food service wasn’t for me. I’m sure some will argue that they had better experiences, but this was my personal experience with fast food service.

I worked at Burger King as my first job, I was a cook. The wage was minimum wage and not a penny more. These types of jobs will penny pinch as much as possible. I was a teenager in high school with no bills, so it was no big deal to me. The minimum wage in most cases is difficult to live off by yourself in today’s economy.

When I worked in fast food service I often worked double shifts, late nights, and weekends. I could work a 40–50 hour week while still being in school. I never got weekends off and I often worked till 1 am. On top of the low pay, you will have no time for your personal life. Time and money are two of the most important things I look for in a job.

Some customers don’t show you the proper respect you deserve when they come into your place of employment. There are some customers that think they are better than you. They will talk down to you, scream at you, make demands to you, and treat you like a dog. If you can’t deal with customer treating you with disrespect on a daily basis, fast food service is not for you. You have to be nice and courteous to the customer even when they aren’t so easy to deal with. You’ve probably heard this saying at least once, “The customer is always right.”

When you work in fast food service, you will eventually know how to run the restaurant all by yourself. I would not recommend actually doing this because you will burn yourself out. You may start with one task and then eventually you may know how to work with the fries, work with the burgers, work with the register, do dishes, take out the trash, mop the restaurant floors, clean the parking lot, and work the drive thru. The list can sometimes get much longer than that.

If you can become a jack of all trades and master the restaurant, you may possibly get a promotion. A promotion is good news for someone that has worked hard and performed above average. You no longer are at minimum wage at this level and you may feel a little more content with your career. The bad news is for most people this is the peak of their career. You will now have more responsibility and you will be responsible for making sure all other workers complete their tasks. The bad thing about this position is that you have to pick up any slack for lazy employees and come to work much more often. This can be an ideal situation for some people. This is not my idea of a great career, but it can be a good start.

What I did love about fast food service is that we got a discount on the food. This can be a treat if you like the food at your restaurant job. If you think about it from a health point of view, this is not a good thing. Fast food is known for causing weight gain, increased risk for heart disease, increased risk for high blood pressure, and increased risk for high cholesterol.

Fast food jobs are not for everyone, but if you can take the entire negative and still be content, maybe this is a good choice for you.


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