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Ever work at McDonald's?


therese
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Working at a Burger King gives you an appreciation for fast food that you've never had.

Who knew that besides being flame-broiled, the burgers are steamed, then microwaved, then put under a heat lamp? By the time they get to your gullet, it's a miracle that the meat hasn't turned to dessicated mush.

McDonald's must seem like heaven by comparison.

The last time I set foot in a BK was 10 years ago, and only because I was desparate.

Soba

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Again, as has been the case with McDonald's, Burger King too has evolved from stressing quality to getting by. When I did marketing for BK in the mid 70's the patties went straight from the flame broiler to the sandwich to the customer. It was the advent of have it your way and those sufficiently savvy to take BK up on that offer earned a sandwich made to order from a patty piping hot and fresh from the broiler. There was a time when a Double Cheese Whopper was a great burger.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Times and practices may have changed from when I was working at BK in the mid-1980s.

Meat patties were about 1/4" thick, and typically frozen in batches. You'd slap a bunch of patties on the moving horizontal grill, and do the same for buns. An expediter on the other end would assemble undressed burgers once they came out. Singles, doubles, Whopper sized burgers.

Chicken and fish items were (I think) made to order, though I remember at least one instance where both items got placed in the steamer, sans buns. Mayo was kept in tubs on top of ice-cube filled trays. You were supposed to stir the mayo once in a while to prevent a skin from forming on top. (Ick.)

The undressed burgers would go into a steamer or holding bin until a customer placed an order. You were supposed to throw out the burgers in the steamer after a certain time period. My memory is spotty as to whether this rule was closely followed.

When a customer placed an order, you'd take out the burger from the steamer and assemble it. The heel would get a slather of mayo. Lettuce and tomato on top of that. Depending on when the order was placed, you'd probably nuke the burger in the microwave. If it was a cheeseburger, you'd nuke the burger along with the cheese in the microwave. You'd NEVER nuke the burger with the mayo, that was a no-no. 30 seconds for nuking, then finish assembly. Pickles and onions on top of the burger, add a swirl of ketchup, wrap it up, box it up and it's good to go.

On lull periods, you'd box it up and mark the box with a wax crayon to indicate when the box got placed in the heat lamp. As with the steamer, you were supposed to throw out product after a certain time period elapsed. Not sure if this rule was always followed either. I cringe to think of what most likely did happen.

Around this time, BK also instituted a salad bar. Most things were sold prepackaged although some prep did occur in the back (onions were sliced, tomatoes were sliced, etc.)

Our biggest sellers seemed to be Whoppers, salad bar items and specialty things like chicken tenders. I remember the burger bundles (mini-burgers) and international chicken sandwiches well. And also Bullseye bbq burgers (your basic burger with cheese, bacon and Bullseye bbq sauce). I also remember the gallon sized blocks of lard all too well. And who can forget hosing down the parking lot?

Interesting times.

Soba

ps. I just remembered our weirdest customer. She wanted a FRESH vegetarian burger. Basically a Whopper without the meat. It was a novel concept at the time.

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Wasn't challenging you. Between the mid 70s and the mid 80s Burger King and McDonald's both went down hill quality wise. I'm not sure but pretty certain that when I was with BK the patties were fresh. I know there was no salad bar. No chicken. A limited menu. Just the Whopper, Whopper Jr. and the Whaler as I recall. And the burgers were made as close to order as possible.

Think Ethyl and Lucy on the assembly line but with less drastic results. Burgers were fed into a conveyorized gas broiler. They emerged broiled and glistening. Burgers went onto prepared Whoppers and into a heated holding bin and were sold very quickly or tossed. At least in theory tossed. That depended on how the manager was doing at making food cost and how much empasis his boss placed on percentages.

As soon as a special order was called, someone built the sandwich as specified and grabbed the next patty off the broiler.

Incidently, prior to Burger King's extremely successful "Have It Your Way" campaign, McDonald's discouraged special orders even though they grudgingly complied. Counter workers were instructed to yell out "grill" and pass across a written slip whenever a special order was placed because customers would not get that a "grill" was a special order. McDonald's feared that calling out "no pickle" or such would encourage other customers to request specails too, and McDonald's production system was batch based and could not handle too many specials.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I want to add that when it came to assembling the sandwiches, you were supposed to follow a formula that dictated the manner in which the sandwiches were assembled. No, I'm not kidding.

Take a Whopper with cheese for instance. Two slices of cheese overlapping each other on the meat. Nuke that in the microwave for approx. 20 to 30 seconds. Slather mayo on the heel, add lettuce (a generous handful, two thick slices of tomatoes). Two slices of pickles, a couple of onion rings. A spiral of ketchup. They actually test you on this when you get trained. That's right, Virginia, someone peeks over your shoulder when you first do this to make sure you get it right.

And that's not counting the stealth inspections. Managers would sometimes come to a store unnanounced and woe to someone who was caught derelict on duty.

Wrapping a burger was supposed to take less than 10 seconds, ditto for boxing product.

I'm so glad I'm not in that mindset anymore.

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I remember McD's reluctance to make special orders.

Imagine my surprise some years later when I was able to order a Big Mac with extra onions. :blink:

Not that I eat Big Macs all the time mind you.

I knew you weren't challenging me, I was just reminiscing.

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I knew you weren't challenging me, I was just reminiscing.

I dunno, Soba. Five posts about McDonald's burgers almost right in a row? Sounds a bit to me like you're "jonesing". :rolleyes:

Aren't the sides of your mouth sort of watering at the thought of having a Double Cheeseburger RIGHT NOW?! :biggrin:

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I know exactly what happened to the timed out burgers at BK....

ya slip one into the waistband of your polyester pant suit and slink, out the back door- into the freezer- or if need be the bathroom.....

after dutifully marking it off on the waste board on the wall :blink:

i dont remember if we got any official free food but I know I ate too many meals on a porcelain chair

T

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

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I knew you weren't challenging me, I was just reminiscing.

I dunno, Soba. Five posts about McDonald's burgers almost right in a row? Sounds a bit to me like you're "jonesing". :rolleyes:

Aren't the sides of your mouth sort of watering at the thought of having a Double Cheeseburger RIGHT NOW?! :biggrin:

No, he's a BK addict.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Soba's posts really hit a note with me. My first job was as a Whopper Slopper.

Got hired at a BK after accidentally plowing my car into the house next door on the way to the interview. It took me about a year to get that whole "driving" concept under my belt. 3 collisions with stationary objects at the age of 16 nearly cost me a whole lot of mobility.

Anyway, my biggest problem with BK is that they franchise, and the owner of the one where I worked was a magnificent dickwad. The manager must have at least minored in sexual harrassment, if he'd ever gotten any higher education at all, and he was always insinuating that my best friend and I were lesbian lovers. Not the most pleasant place to work, but at least I learned how to time how one steps on a ketchup packet just right, so that you can squirt someone red in the face.

I think the burger production at Burger King has an advantage over McDonald's, prominent in my memory. The frozen patties are placed on the conveyer belt into the broiler, and they come out completely cooked on the other side. Whopper Sloppers put together the finished product either directly from the broiler, or from the steamer, and microwaves are certainly utilized. All of my friends who worked at Mickey D's, however, can remember at least one time that they accidentally flipped a burger onto the floor, then picked it back up, tossed it back onto the grill, and served it to someone.

Because we didn't flip burgers at Burger King, that didn't happen, and I was really familiar with the degreaser that we used to mop the floors about every 20 minutes, so the thought of flipping a burger down into that chemical, then picking it back up and grilling it a bit more on the flat top was more than a little disgusting.

At any rate, I was a non-red-meat-eater at 16, and my shift meal was always a Veggie Whopper - condiments and vegetables on a bun for a normal cost of 80 cents. 40 cents at half price. Sometimes I got a side salad bar, too.

Man, those were good days. I have to stop myself from writing all the memories.

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To this day, the closest fast food joint is 25 miles from my home town. I begged my parents to let me go "into town" to get a job. They eventually relented and I worked at Arby's for about... 2 hours. I was ok with the concept of working fast food, but when they made me clean the mens room and then sent me out to the parking lot to pick up cigarette butts, I knew it wasn't meant to be.

I ended up working at a local greasy spoon that made a little bit of everything... pizza, broasted chicken, sandwiches, and breakfast all day. I really enjoyed working there. It was hard work and most of the food was made fresh. I think the only things that weren't made from scratch were the appetizers. I started on dishes and prep work, moved up to the pizza ovens, and eventually into the kitchen. I really loved the hustle and bustle of that giant griddle. To this day I find it easier to fry an egg on a griddle than in a pan. The food was really good, all of the specials were made from scratch, but the pizza sucked.

They did have this one sandwich there that was called the "Sizzle Steak". It was a VERY thin hamburger sandwiched between two VERY thin slices of steak (like, Steak-um thin, but not steakums), fried on the griddle, and topped with provolone, onions and mushrooms. Oh man. That was a thing of beauty. We used to get one meal per shift and it wasn't unusual for us to work more than one shift a day. They only time that I didn't love it was when I would come in for the early morning shift (5 am) after a night of drinking. If they even suspected that you were hung over, they would make you clean the chicken fryers. Oh dear lord. They should make that part of detox programs.

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I knew you weren't challenging me, I was just reminiscing.

I dunno, Soba. Five posts about McDonald's burgers almost right in a row? Sounds a bit to me like you're "jonesing". :rolleyes:

Aren't the sides of your mouth sort of watering at the thought of having a Double Cheeseburger RIGHT NOW?! :biggrin:

No, he's a BK addict.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Yeah . . .You can see how much I can tell the difference between the two places. . . :biggrin: (actually here where I live they are right next to each other on the same street and whenever one of my kids wants one or the other for a "snack" I've been known to often drive into the wrong driveway, mistaking one place for the other, which brings forth loud groans of aggrevation from them).

It seems then that I must have McD/BK ADD. . .Oh well. Worse things could happen. :raz:

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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my only young-person restaurant experience was working at a dude ranch in the galilee, vered hagalil. they made chile con carne, and coffee with ice cream in it, i washed, and scrubbed and waited/bussed tables, and cut stuff up, that sort of thing. its all a bit of a blur to tell the truth.

it was sort of american themed, and it was a real dude ranch: that meant horses--people came to ride! those horses, i didn't go near. i'm still a little phobic about horses, though i'm good with a bowl of chile.

Marlena

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I knew you weren't challenging me, I was just reminiscing.

I dunno, Soba. Five posts about McDonald's burgers almost right in a row? Sounds a bit to me like you're "jonesing". :rolleyes:

Aren't the sides of your mouth sort of watering at the thought of having a Double Cheeseburger RIGHT NOW?! :biggrin:

No, he's a BK addict.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Yeah . . .You can see how much I can tell the difference between the two places. . . :biggrin: (actually here where I live they are right next to each other on the same street and whenever one of my kids wants one or the other for a "snack" I've been known to often drive into the wrong driveway, mistaking one place for the other, which brings forth loud groans of aggrevation from them).

It seems then that I must have McD/BK ADD. . .Oh well. Worse things could happen. :raz:

lol. I haven't been to a McDonald's since oh, about April. Something must be wrong with me.

Don't get me wrong, I love things like Big Macs and Arby's. I just choose not to eat them now.

At seven meals a day, I don't have time for junk food anymore.

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When I was fifteen, I worked at my father's ice cream and hot dog shoppe. It was called the Cream Machine.

Yes, my schoolmates gave me hell for the name, but it attracted all of the GIs from the army base nearby!

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I did my stint at McDonald's when I was a teen. Looking back, it was actually a decent first job as it taught work skills, discipline, and good customer service. I still remember fumbling with those old cash registers and trying to add up the orders manually - d'oh!

I recall that the standard wage was about $3/hour, and, being the '80s, my friends and I would calculate how many hours of work we would be required to do in order to be able to afford our trendy New Wave asymmetrical haircuts at the city's top salon! Ahhh, to be young and only worried about our hair...... :raz:

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