We don’t know about you, but some of us had big dreams about working at McDonald’s growing up. It is practically every child’s favourite place in the world, so this should come as no surprise.
But we never imagined that this childhood dream of ours that was long tucked away would come true nearly 20 years later.
Last Friday, the Rojak Daily
team was invited to McDonald’s Malaysia’s ‘McD Turun Padang’
event. This special day held on 5 October was done to recognise the 12,000 strong McDonald’s restaurant crew here in Malaysia.
In case you didn’t know, McDonald’s first stepped into Malaysia 35 years ago. After more than three decades, the quick service restaurant now serves over 13.5 million customers a month at more than 270 restaurants nationwide.
That’s a lot of McDonald’s!
So, we were invited to the McDonald’s Subang Drive-Thru
outlet to work alongside the restaurant staff to help serve customers and understand what it takes to deliver McDonald’s famous feel-good moments.
The team was assigned to handle the drinks station (both at the drive-thru and counter), fries, Ayam Goreng McD
, desserts and the lobby. Joining the McFamily on this special day was an eye-opener to what really goes on behind the scenes at the Golden Arches restaurants.
Having said that, here are a few important things we picked up along the way after working with McDonald’s Malaysia for a few hours.
#1 Attentive and focused
As newbies assigned to a station at a quick service restaurant for the first time, we only had a very short amount of time to learn and get familiar with the whole process of what needed to be done. For example, what buttons to press, which cup to use, how long to wait, what keywords to look out for, etc.
Hence it was extremely important for us to pay close attention to every order, drink, food and dessert that went out.
As expected, the drive-thru station was the busiest and most challenging assignment for us. Not only did we have to go through the order list to see what drinks to prepare, we also had to make sure that we gave the right amount of ice, accurate cup size, correct drink and so on.
Thankfully, we had a fellow crew member standing next to us to help us take care of the food order, packing and handing out to the customers. So, all we had to do was stay in front of the drinks station and look out for new orders coming in.
This alone was tiring enough! Barely 10 minutes in and we were already getting crossed eyes.
This would not be possible if we had not given 100 per cent focus and attention to the task at hand. If we had zoned out for even one second, the restaurant could have been met with angry customers almost immediately.
#2 Efficiency and speed
The term ‘quick service’ alone is sufficient to stress the importance of being fast and efficient at all times.
Regardless of whether it was during peak hours or not, customers should not be kept waiting longer than necessary for their food after paying for something to be quick. We certainly didn’t want to see the drive-thru queue get longer and clog up the whole street because we weren’t moving fast enough.
Hence, everything had to be done at top speed whenever we were in the kitchen or on the floor, while ensuring that there was no mistake, like spilling drinks or overcooking a batch of fries.
Besides us, we observed that each crew member made sure that their hands and feet moved at lightning speed. We could see that the days, weeks, months and years of training and experience contributed to this efficiency.
So, the next time you feel like you’re waiting a little too long in line for your food, please understand that the staff are doing the best they can to serve you.
#3 Safety and hygiene
Working in the food industry, safety and hygiene must always be put first because we’re dealing with people’s health and well-being.
Firstly, we had to make sure that we were dressed appropriately – hair neat, in place and covered; proper shirt and long pants; and non-slip shoes because in case you didn’t know, kitchens at quick service restaurants are very slippery!
McDonald’s take their employees’ safety very seriously, hence the strict dress code given out beforehand.
Before we start any task, the most basic step was to wash our hands clean. It didn’t matter whether we had to wear gloves at any point, we had to ensure that we didn’t transfer any germ or bacteria onto anything we touched.
Prior to participating in 'Mcd Turun Padang'
, we also had to get our typhoid vaccination injection as we were going to be in the McDonald's kitchen handling food and drinks.
And of course, we were not allowed to touch any equipment or machine before learning the process to prevent injuries. We hear this all the time but we didn’t realise the gravity of the matter until we had somebody else’s life in our hands, well, to a certain extent. So, safety first!
#4 Following SOP
We were very fortunate to have an experienced restaurant manager to guide us through the necessary steps as we performed each task.
While working at everyone’s favourite fries station, we learned that there was a standard operating procedure (SOP) for every step, including the amount of fries to fry each time, the temperature of the oil, the duration of frying, the amount of salt to add, etc.
This was the same for the Ayam Goreng McD
station as well. Yes, we couldn’t believe we actually helped prepare the famous McDonald’s Malaysia spicy fried chicken!
Granted there were already machines and equipment programmed with all the necessary calculations or measurements. Nevertheless, there was no room for human error because one small misstep could cause the entire chain of process to go down a different direction.
#5 Work culture
Throughout the three hours when we were working at the outlet, we truly felt that everyone working there was happy to be there despite the constant busy and hectic environment.
This goes in line with McDonald’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – Family and Friends, where the company treats their people as more than just co-workers. The company cares for its staff as much as it does for its customers, and most of the time, you can see that the employees bond better as extended family members and friends.
This is a testament to McDonald’s culture to always put on a smile and belief that everyone’s personal requirements are different. The company also places importance in promising a bright future for its people by equipping them with lifelong career and personal skills.
At the end of the session, after experiencing what it was like to work behind the scenes at a place most of us have frequented many times and witnessing the heart of the McDonald’s Malaysia employees at work, we learned to appreciate the people working behind the counters and kitchen more than we ever did before.
And we hope that we convinced you to do the same too.
Once again, we would like to express our thanks to the team at McDonald’s Subang Drive-Thru for being so kind and patient with us. Now we can safely say that we salt the fries at McD!