Confessions of a Former Fast Food Manager: McDonald's Secrets

Updated on February 4, 2016
Is this what really happens at McDonald's?
Is this what really happens at McDonald's?

Everything You Want to Know, But Are Too Scared to Ask

Do employees really spit in food? How fresh are the burgers? Does McDonald's hire just about anybody? What's in the Big Mac sauce? Is it hard to work there?

There are hundreds of McDonald's secrets that the general public is blissfully unaware of. The things I'm about to tell you will shock, anger, and maybe even disgust you. From the mild to the wild, I'll tell you all the dirty little secrets of McDonald's.

A Bit of Background Before I Start Spilling My Fast Food Secrets

I was a McDonald's Manager for over 7 years.

As a manager, you are often required to help at different locations. I worked at about 10 stores during this time, although most of my time (about 5 years) was spent at the same store. All of my stores were franchised, and I worked for 3 or 4 different owners.

One owner was absolutely wonderful. He gave us Christmas cards and offered Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance (maybe that's the norm now, but it wasn't back then). Another owner was a nightmare. She was just a total witch, and that's putting it nicely. I was shocked by the terrible things she said and did. We'll talk about her later.

Training classes were often held in corporate stores, and it was obvious that corporate McDonald's were part of an entirely different ballpark. I'm not saying only good things happen at corporate stores, and I'm not saying all franchises are terrible. I'm just letting you know that some franchises have the opportunity to get away with more. They aren't constantly under the corporate eye.

Are You Ready to Hear the Secrets of McDonald's?

Not all secrets are bad. Some of them are shockingly bad, though.

I've told people some of the secrets about McDonald's in the past, and many of them just laughed. Others were completely appalled. Some people didn't believe what I was saying, insisting that a restaurant would get shut down if those things were really happening.

Oh really? If most of the managers and owners are all corrupt, who's going to shut the store down? Think about that for a minute.

That goes for any job, by the way. Not just McDonald's. Every company has their own set of secrets. Company scandals are nothing new.

McDonald's Secrets About Food

Just a reminder that not all secrets about McDonald's are bad. Many of them are, though.

For easy reading, I'll put all of the food-related secrets in one big list:

  • Employees really do spit in the food. Be very, very nice to the person taking your order. Especially if you're in the drive thru. Why people are stupid enough to be rude to the people who make their food is beyond me, but consider yourself warned.
  • Spit isn't the worst thing people do to the food at McDonald's. Food is thrown on the ground, stomped on, and a few other things I won't mention. Use your imagination.
  • The owner of one franchise I worked at threatened to fire me once. My offense? Refusing to use a case of lettuce that had expired TEN DAYS AGO. The lettuce was brown and just plain nasty. I threw it away anyway. I knew that legally, she couldn't fire me for that- and if she did, I would have reported her the second I received my termination notice.
  • Demanding that you are served "fresh food right off the grill" will not really get you fresh food. It'll get you a dried up hamburger patty dunked in grease so that it looks fresh. It's insulting to ask for fresh food at a store where the food is actually fresh.
  • There's nothing McDonald's employees hate more than customers who come in and ask for fries with no salt or insist that their fries are cold even though they were just removed from the fryer. When you do this, it's the same as asking for a fresh hamburger- you'll get old fries dunked in the oil for 15 seconds. Enjoy!
  • Burgers and sandwiches are made to order. They do not just sit in a heating tray. Stop acting like you know what goes on behind the scenes. Some customers order burgers without ketchup or with extra pickles just so they don't get "one of those burgers that are already made". None of the burgers are already made, okay? You're wasting your time with the special requests. Unless you truly want no ketchup.
  • McDonald's french fries are not vegan or vegetarian. They contain natural beef flavor. Seriously. Look it up on the official McDonald's website.
  • Your food isn't extra sanitary just because the grill workers wear gloves. Those same employees take out trash and even go to the bathroom without removing their gloves. I've also seen them scratch a few special places on their body while wearing gloves.
  • McRibs aren't always McRibs. McRibs take forever to cook, and orders have to be filled quickly (more on that later). In a pinch, employees throw hamburger patties in the McRib container and drench them with sauce. I never saw a customer return one, so I guess nobody notices.
  • Everybody wants to know what's in the Big Mac sauce. It's basically just thousand island dressing, pickles, and onions.
  • Never order breakfast at 10:29a.m. unless you want them to dig your food out of the waste trays. At the end of breakfast (and throughout the morning), all of the extra food is thrown in a special trash can that is used only for expired products. A crew person or manager counts the waste at the end of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Unless they're shorthanded. Then they count it at the end of the day or just make up numbers.
  • Never say, "and you idiots better not mess it up this time like you always do" after placing your order. Just trust me on this one.
  • It takes 38 seconds to cook one hamburger patty, and you can cook 8 or 9 at a time.
  • Each order must be assembled in a certain amount of time. I know that the entire order-taking process for drive thru orders, from start to finish, is 90 seconds or less. I can't remember how long the grill team has to make each order, but I think it's around 25-35 seconds. I'll doublecheck with some friends who still work at McDonald's and update this article soon.

Would you ever spit in somebody's food?

  • 15% I would, if they acted like a major jerk.
  • 5% I would, and I have.
  • 72% Absolutely not. That's disgusting.
  • 9% Maybe. I don't know.
6,829 people have voted in this poll.

McDonald's Secrets About Customer Service - And A Few Crazy Things Customers Do

The customer isn't always right, especially at McDonald's.

  • If you scream at us, we will make fun of you as soon as you leave. The minute you raise your voice or call us names, we stop caring about your experience.
  • McDonald's managers can call the police on unruly customers. Avoid screaming, refusing to leave, or throwing things. You can get kicked out- and arrested. Would you like fries with your handcuffs?
  • 9 times out of 10, it's YOUR fault the order is wrong. You can watch the security cameras if you think I'm joking. It's not the cashier's fault that you didn't know a Big Mac came with pickles. It's not the girl in the Drive Thru's problem that you were too busy yapping on your cell phone to pay attention when she repeated your order. What sucks is that even though they know you were the person who screwed up your own order, the employees still have to stand there and apologize while you rant and rave about how stupid they are.
  • One night, a woman jumped out of her car, bashed the windshield in of the car behind her, and jumped back in her car like nothing had even happened. When the police came, they arrested her and her boyfriend -turns out he had a warrant out.
  • I once had a man throw a milkshake at me because his order was wrong. I didn't even make his order. I was the cashier.
  • A man was stabbed in our parking lot by another customer. They both went to jail.
  • Do you have any idea how many drunk customers break the Drive Thru window by beating on it? Ugh.
  • We can't open the window or doors after we close - it's a safety precaution. It doesn't matter how badly you have to go to the bathroom or want a medium Coke. We're closed. Get over it. Come back tomorrow.
  • McDonald's is not Applebee's, Friday's, Chevy's or any other restaurant of that nature. Unless you're going to leave a tip on the table, pick your tray up and throw your trash away. The same people who say, "Well, that's what the employees get paid to do" are the same people who can't understand why nobody is at the counter, ready to take their order. It's because they're all busy cleaning the dining room so slobs like you can eat at a clean table.
  • We don't care what you think about us. Save your lectures for somebody else. We don't care what you have to say about our pregnancy, educational background, piercings, or lack of religious beliefs. Oh, and when you try to make fun of us and accuse us of being on welfare, you just look like an idiot. If we were on welfare, we wouldn't be sweating to death, serving ungrateful brats like you.
  • Not all customers are bad. Some of the regulars bring Christmas cards, cookies, photos of their kids, and anything else they think we'll like. You are awesome, and your kind acts do not go unnoticed.

Have you ever brought gifts or cards to the employees at a restaurant?

  • 27% No, and I don't want to.
  • 18% No, and I can't afford to.
  • 36% No, but I might after reading this.
  • 12% Yes, and I'm glad I did.
  • 7% Not yet, but I plan on doing it soon.
3,912 people have voted in this poll.

McDonald's Secrets About Employees

How many people work at McDonald's? Last time I checked, approximately 1 in 8 people have worked, or currently work, at McDonald's. That's a lot - more than one billion, to be exact.

McDonald's employees are an interesting bunch. It takes a special personality to handle a fast food job - which is why the turnover rate is incredibly high. Not only are the customers stressful, dealing with your coworkers and managers is an experience unlike any other.

  • Many of the employees are on probation or fresh out of prison. Ankle bracelets and monitors are not uncommon. These people are usually very nice and better employees than some of their coworkers, though, so don't be scared.
  • The last McDonald's I worked at hired a known sexual offender.
  • Labor laws...what are those? Oh, the things that guarantee 14 year olds get a break and don't work in the grill. Yeah, half of the managers totally ignore those.
  • Nobody gets breaks, unless you're underage and the manager cares about the law. You're lucky if you get 2 minutes to cram some food down your throat.
  • Benefits? Ha.
  • Sexual harassment is worse at McDonald's than any other job I've ever had. Reporting it is usually pointless, since the main managers tend to be the ones hitting on underage girls and "accidentally" brushing up against them.
  • Most crew members and managers are sleeping with somebody at the store. Even if they're already in a relationship.
  • Employees have sex at the store. I know some of them have done it on the dining room tables, in the grill, in the stockroom, and in the play area at closing time. Oh, and let's not forget about the bathroom.
  • Most employees smoke weed. Any employee who begs to take out the trash or stock the freezer is probably going to get high.
  • Many employees also use other drugs...on the clock. I'll never forget the time I walked in the bathroom and saw several lines of coke neatly lined up on the sink. A lot of employees also roll (use Ecstasy) on the clock.
  • Many of the managers have college degrees, so don't assume you're smarter than them.
  • Managers don't always verify your documents or Social Security Card. We had several illegal immigrants working at one of my stores. They were the best employees there, so it's not like anybody was going to say anything about it.
  • My interview process was extremely easy: I showed up, and they asked when I wanted to start. I'm not joking.
  • Many employees show up drunk. When I was 17 or 18, my manager used to buy us all alcohol each day. Whether you drank it before, after, or during your shift was your own choice.
  • Theft is common, and it usually occurs by the managers. One guy stole $35,000 and went on a drug binge before they caught him.
  • Years later, I'm still friends with many of my former coworkers. You develop some incredible friendships when you work in a crazy, drama-filled fast food restaurant.

What's the worst thing you've ever done at your job?

  • 8% Smoked a few joints.
  • 5% Smoked a few cigarettes.
  • 4% Got drunk.
  • 3% Used other recreational drugs.
  • 9% Had sex with a coworker - on the clock.
  • 6% All of the above.
  • 63% None of the above.
  • 3% I'm too embarrassed to tell you.
3,920 people have voted in this poll.

There Are Thousands of Other McDonald's Secrets...

McDonald's has more secrets than you could ever possibly imagine - enough to fill 10 or 20 articles, maybe more.

If you like this article, let me know - I'll be happy to create another article and reveal more secrets about America's favorite fast food restaurant.

Oh, and if I forgot anything, feel free to share your own secrets in the Comments section below.

Do you have something to say about this article? Go for it.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      4 months ago

      been at the Mcdonalds I work at for almost 9 years never messed with a guest order,but we did have this person,whom may of had some kind of issues or maybe stress idk,but he hated the GM, apparently he didn’t like working in a place where most of the mangers were females,but he’d always tell her he was gonna get her fired,well one day he came in and got into it with the gm, he went to the grill made a sandwich.and told her he was leaving,and she felt that was best cause he needed to calm down.well the customers came back and her meat was still really pink,(she hadn’t bit into it yet thank god) when the GM checked the cameras you could tell he did it on purpose guessing to try and get her in trouble or fired.she called someone from HR cause she didn’t want to terminate him without someone being there just Incase,but he got there and said he didn’t even remember doing that when they showed him the video. He apologized for doing it and being unprofessional and accepted that he was being let go for this.

    • profile image

      Kay Lewis 

      7 months ago

      Been working with McDonald’s for 7 years and this is all pretty much true EXCEPT for the spitting in food. Not so much as spitting at my location, but more like sweating in the food because it’s so hot in the kitchen area.

    • profile image

      National Chocolate Wafer Day 

      7 months ago

      Hi buddies, it is great written piece entirely defined, continue the good work constantly.

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      The mcdonalds i work at is a little bit different than that, all day breakfast

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      Wow. This whole article is written in a nasty tone. What's wrong with you?

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      The "McDonald's Spoon" in the late 70's, early 80's. What was that? Anyone know?

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      If workers at your McDonald's spit in the food and do all that crap, you're not doing your job right. If anyone at the mcdonalds I work at did those, they'd get in trouble.

      Rude customer or not, there is no excuse.

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      and these people want $15....

    • profile image

      Tyler Lawrence 

      12 months ago

      Foods made fresh but don’t order at 10:29am because what I said was straight bullshit. All that food is pre made and at the end of the shift it’s all thrown in a special bin where when and if you order food at 10:29am we will pull your order from!

    • profile image

      Isaac L. 

      13 months ago

      Why McDonald's employees sometimes ask us if we're done with our tray? My wife and 10 year old son came into the restaurant after several customers and less than 10 minutes into our stay our trays were removed by an employee, but we still had our first drinks. Are they telling us to leave now? Are we undesirable?

    • profile image


      13 months ago

      For me this article summarize well the US. Employees complaining about customers. Don't do this, don't tell us that. From airline company, to store clerk, restaurant etc. The machine is to big. People don't realize if you had your own burger shop and expected your customer to be perfect or you'd spit in their food you'd close your doors and be bankrupt soon. But hey now you can say I am just an employee and customer should act my way, cause you don't care for your employer or your job.

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      This is for future workers anywhere to remember customers cand come and go they can also cook weither you believe it or not fast food is just that fast food so a person dont have to cook. Anything on a menu can be cook at home bought in a store soon fast food wont excist and so you know sometimes you need critisitum to make a place better. What your saying is a good reason to be cristisized who does this at a childs environment how are we growing our childrens future? To be discusting? To be slow in life? Not cool. That also applies to customers to. Think first before doing anything.

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      Hilarious & true! Worked for Jack in the Box for 3 years...surprised I didn't kill myself or someone else. They still tell stories about me to the new employees, ha!

    • profile image

      the roblox player 

      15 months ago

      mcdonald's is not safe for children anymore.

    • profile image

      Luke Olson55 

      17 months ago

      Unless your McDonald’s is like..I don’t even know...In a horrible part of town or something, this is so not true for a lot of McDonald’s I am currently an associate manager at my mcdonalds and 99% of those “secrets” never happen at many macdons. Again ... maybe at yours but for many McDonalds? No.... so gross and untrue

    • profile image

      Rolonda bush 

      18 months ago

      I just want to be a manager can you have relieved the manager of a store

    • wpcooper profile image

      Liam Finnegan 

      19 months ago from Los Angeles

      Well a lot of the comments you made about your McDonald's experience are rather disturbing. I don't know what is more troubling - reading the remarks or the cavalier tone in which you made them.

      thank you though....I think I will stick to In and Out even though mcDonalds is so delicious sometimes.

      And honestly....sometimes the fries or the gravy is in fact cold....even if they "just came out of the frier".

    • profile image

      Lyle Russell 

      23 months ago

      Haven't been in fast food since high school I committed theft sort of I used to hook up friends with free food that was probably the worst thing I did

    • profile image

      Sheron Smith 

      24 months ago

      I didn't read the whole article... but what I did read is not true at least not where I work.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I have been working at McDonald's since November and I was told the other day that I needed to change my hair color to a "normal color". My hair is blue and a manager stated that if I don't change it I can't come in to work until I do.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      This is a great post, however I don't agree with the customers' accountability of getting an order wrong. Although sometimes, the customer doesn't listen, most of the time, the customer listens to the server whenever the server repeats the order before cooking.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Oh I forgot how my boss threatened to fire me because I wouldn't show up to work on my day off.

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Cyberspace

      Great comment, whatev345! I'm cracking up over #8 because I totally remember how nasty the bathrooms were. I was disgusted on a daily basis by the things I found. Every single thing you listed happened at my store. We also had women smear blood (you mentioned feces but not blood) all over the walls. I will never understand why customers felt the need to do nasty stuff like that in the bathrooms. I used to hate working the register because I knew the same gross folks who smeared crap all over the bathroom walls were the ones handing me cash for their meals. Ugh.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I'm currently working at McDonald's and I haven't witnessed employees spitting in food, coming to work drunk/high or showing up drunk/high, but I know it happens. I can say that customers CAN be a pain sometimes (though most of them are polite to me).

      Here are some problems I (& other co-workers) have had with them:

      1. Customers break out $100 bills on $9 tickets, then get upset when we have to call the manager over.

      2. Customers will order a bunch of food, decide to take a bunch of stuff off, then get mad whenever cashiers have to call a manager over to put a code in so we can void all the crap they don't want anymore.

      3. Some don't know how to order what they want correctly. This results in them not getting what they FELT like they should've had, then them trying to tell the manager that WE messed up when it was really THEIR fault (ex. when we ask if you want the combo or the sandwich, a large or medium drink/fries, you need to answer. When you tell us you want JUST the sandwich, don't get upset when you get ONLY the sandwich. Same with fry/drink size).

      4. Customers don't carefully read the terms & conditions on promo items, coupons, etc. On some of them, you have to buy a sandwich to get one free, you have to buy a meal to get something else free, etc, etc (promo items DON'T overlap)... Don't get upset with us because you didn't get a discount or a free sandwich, meal, fry, or drink because you failed to read.

      5. Customers think that they're "always right" WAAAAAY too much and think they can talk any kind of way to any employee. Please don't come into McDonald's with that assumption because some crew members won't care who you are or where they're and spazz out (especially if they KNOW they didn't mess up). Some managers will still let them keep their jobs. Like Sunnyglitter said, it's usually you guys that screw up when placing your order, not us.

      6. Customers often catch an attitude with cashiers whenever their food isn't made correctly (even though we had nothing do with it). Don't...

      7. Customers also get upset with cashiers whenever certain item's prices are raised, whenever deals that Mcdonald's had are no longer availabe, OR when items are NO LONGER available on the menu (ex. 2 for $5, $1 menu, $1 sweet tea, no more mozarella sticks, no more free cups, no more free water cups, no more free ice cups, etc). Understand that crew members and department/store managers have NO control over prices. If a Big Mac's price was raised $5, be assured it will have nothing to do with us. Either you have the money to pay for what you want, someone else does, or you don't get what you want. It's that simple.

      8. Some customers don't have any cleanliness about themselves, but expect crew members to have perfect hygiene (though I'm constantly sanitizing and washing my hands, I can't speak for other employees). Would you like it if people ate at your house, used your bathroom and pissed all over your toilet seat, your walls and/or even the handle that you and others have to touch to flush the toilet? What if they constantly left bloody tampons on the floor? How about taking a dump and smearing crap all over your walls, your toilet seats, or your toilet paper rolls? You wouldn't like it? You wouldn't want to clean all that up? We don't it either, nor do we like having to clean up pee, poop, and blood. Guys, learn how to aim when you pee. Ladies, HOW are you even getting pee everywhere if you SIT DOWN? Also, don't forget to throw or flush your soiled stuff AWAY!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I work at the local McDonald's as a crew member, apparently you had either a bad experience or crew. At ours, nobody spits in the food, everyone gets breaks, even the adults, the made to order burgers and fries are actually made to order (we put the burger down as soon as we get the order), we get half of our food, we get a choice for insurance, and the gold entertainment book.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I worked at Mcd's for 2 years when I was 18 through 20. about 2-3 years later I went back and worked for 6 months. I never personally witnessed spitting, but I did see similar things as u described as far as drug use and employees engaging in sexual acts even tho they were married. my list could go on. my manager was literally Bi-polar. she would be so cool one minute and the next she was completely a lunatic! thank you for this as I enjoyed reading.

    • profile image

      Tricia Offley 

      4 years ago

      Very informative. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cyberspace

      Hi Michael Potts,

      This might help:

      I like your idea. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Michael Potts 

      4 years ago

      Hi, everyone. My name is Michael and I'm new to HubPages. After almost a week of coming up with ideas for topics to write about, I think I have it. First some context. I've been working at a McDonald's in Missoula, Montana for almost 3 years now. I started as a crew and after over 2 years of working hard I was promoted to maintenance. My store is owned by an eccentric lady named Kyong. She is Korean and a bit of an elitist. Her main priority is to maximize profits and save money, at literally any cost. My store is pretty much the same as the one in this article, as far as unethical things go in a store that wasn't corporate. I want to write about how to excel and be a great worker despite the negativity and drama of the workplace. I believe there is a great benefit to that. I personally never became a manager before I became maintenance. But I was hoping someone could help me out a little with research on how to become a manager quickly. I know it's fairly easy to become one from what I've seen. I know I'm new and all, but I would really appreciate it.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I work at McDonald's and it's nothing like this, where I work anyway...

    • Hendrika profile image


      4 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I used to love McDonalds for the occasional treat, but I do not think I will be able to eat there ever again. It is true that here in South Africa you can see them preparing the food, but still...

    • Laura335 profile image

      Laura Smith 

      4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      I've never worked in fast food, but I have worked in the food industry, and it's a gross and thankless industry for sure. Thanks for your bold and honest article!

    • Tammy Covey profile image

      Tammy Covey 

      4 years ago from Arkansas

      I used to work at McDonald's. It can be drama-filled. I was once threatened with firing by a manager who did not like it I pulled the prepared food from the holding bin (back in the 1980's when they were keeping prepared food in a warmer with metal time tags). Phew seriously wanted me to change the time tag and leave it in the bin. At another McDonald's in the 1990's, when I got there as crew person, they said that females are not allowed to be grill chief. Well, I was in a month. I worked a full-time job during the day, they knew when I came on shift at 5:30pm, all meat had to be trashed and on waste sheet and new product cooked fresh. My training program for entire store was: you will know the first time only when you are being tested, the next 2 times you would not be informed. I told them, learn right, do it right and you never have to worry. Overall, I enjoyed it, but there was some crazy stuff.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      honestly as a McDonald's employee I'd agree with most of the stuff in this article but there are some occasions where I've had super nice customers who I'll serve legit fresh food just because they're a treasure to us customer service people (working third shift allows me to do that because we only have three people running the ENTIRE store)

    • yoduchesz profile image


      4 years ago from Las Vegas

      Wow I couldn't stop reading. I'm glad that I never really need any special orders. I already was iffy about eating at mcd but one I think I'll pass. Only because of the food being recooked. Dipped back in oil. Just not right. Thanks for this

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 

      4 years ago from Northeast United States

      Wow ! What a hub :). I do believe in being as kind as possible if an order is messed up. Thank you for spilling the beans :). I worked at Dominos for a while but there were not many secrets. A very clean store etc. Have a wonderful week.

    • las81071 profile image


      4 years ago

      I always have special orders for my picky family and our mcdonalds

      Know a us I guess they probably hate us but they have dietary restriction

      As my daughter is A dialysis patient so limited salt is important

      And when she goes there it's a treat.

      But now that I know they are doing sex in the bathroom and

      Pot by the dumpster I'm thinking working at mc d is not such a bad job lol

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Having worked at McD's for seven years in high school and college some of these are so true, others may happen at other stores but I never noticed at mine. Granted I was not a manager. I can always remember stories from my experience working at my store. At one point about 85% of the female workers were pregnant, and about half of those were from male coworkers. It was an interesting time working there I will say.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I, too, am a past McDonald's swing manager. I am sure all of your stories are true and I have to say you worked for a very crappy location. Don't get me wrong, the franchise I worked for provided many of your same shenanigans, but I can honestly say my grill team had to live up to a much higher standard then you described. I was a grill queen and took my job very seriously-if you didn't follow the rules, you got off my grill. I have awesome memories from working there and it wasn't until they started hiring Hispanics that it all went down hill. Yes, they move very fast and work long hours, but they screw up more orders and break more food safety rules then anyone. In my ten year career with the company I have only worked with one native Mexican who I consider to be an excellent employee and that was because I trained him!! Any other I came across, was crap because of their lack of training and ability to understand the human language or care too. Don't get me started on owners and their children-I have stories that could blow your mind. Either way, I did enjoy your article-it brought back some great times!!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have worked at mcd many many years both corp and franchise. I have never seen any of the stuff you've written about! There are two sides to every story and id say yours is a bitter one. Just my opinion.

    • rgarnett profile image

      Rachael Fields 

      5 years ago from KC, MO

      I didn't have any of these problems when I worked in McDonald's. Burger King, yes. I suppose it really doesn't matter what fast food, there's always something shady going on behind the counter somewhere. Anyway, excellent, read.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      The bottom line... don't use the drive-through. Trudge to the counter and watch them make your food. Can't to that at Applebees.

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Cyberspace

      Thanks for the offer, JP. I'd love to help. I forget if my email address is linked to this account. If not, please let me know how to contact you when you're ready to begin your project. Take care.

    • JP Banks profile image

      JP Banks 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      Sunny Glitter,

      I am also a veteran McDonald's manager. I agree with EVERYTHING you've said. I think more people should get to know your stories. I'm thinking about compiling a book of anecdotes about peoples' times working for fast food companies. Would you be willing to submit stories to the book? Maybe you could pass it on to your friends that have worked in fast food?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I too work at a McDonald's and had a customer bring his burger back because the cheese was not melted. In a rage I brought it to the back, literally THREW it in the Q-ing (microwave) oven for a few seconds (which jumbled up the components of the burger) and handed it back to him with a smile saying "I'm sorry."

    • profile image

      Anonymous Sunshine state 

      6 years ago

      it's funny how so many of these things are true. i work at a McD's in a small town, so we are the only McD there. although i don't work in the grill area, i usually can see it from my "presenter" spot in the drive thru. and from i've seen for the several months i've been working there I've never seen any body spit in the food or burgers. it was rumored that they used to spit in the milkshakes, but then we got new management and that stopped. but i had to laugh at some of these things on the list because they are so true. there are a lot of customers that sometimes don't pay attention to the order and then get angry at the presenter because their order was wrong, when it's not the presenters fault at all.

      It's so true about how much we can't stand when people come and ask for fresher food, when in fact they had just come up less then 30 secs ago.

      When doing front counter, i get a lot of people who say "fresh food off the grill" or even bring the food back because it's luke warm and not hot. Well geeze, how about you grab your food when it is ready instead of gabbing away in the other side of the lobby while your order is waiting for you, thats why it's warm instead of fresh or hot. One of the things we are guilty of is the re-dunking of the fries for 15 seconds. yup. not so sure on the stomping on meat patties though, our manager would fire us on the spot if we did that.

      The thing that ticks me off the is when people ask for fries with "no salt" and then when you hand it to them in the drive-thru they ask for 2 packets of salt, when fries are the only thing they ordered. I feel as if I'm being lied to, and it makes me want to "forget to put the salt in the bag." I understand why some customers need no salt on there fries, and it makes sense, some customers have health issues/concerns and can't have much sodium in their diet.

      We do make fun of the customers when it's fault (after they leave of course).

      I never understood the customers that order dipped ice cream cones in the drive through followed by an insanely huge order, especially when they are by themselves. and the people that order 50 mcdoubles in the drive thru or 50 mcnuggets, please have mercy on the people behind you and come through the lobby because the guy behind you with a kids cheeseburger happy meal and a small coke is going to get angry at us.

      For the employees, i dont know if any of them are illegal. Or store usually gives us breaks, and they (a few of the managers) are crazy about keeping labour numbers down. only some of the employees drink on the job, some of them do show up drunk and sometimes a few of them show up high, a few take smoke (cigarette) breaks, and sometimes they go to "take out the trash" aka smoke pot near the dumpster.

      So yeah, sorry for the book. but i thought it'd be fun to share these. :) in the end though, it can be crazy and stressful, and sometimes it can be nice.

      have a good night/day! :)

    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      What a very interesting post! This was a real eye opener about what really goes on at McDonalds.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Interesting....I'm happy to say I'm one of the friendly customers who know better then to make a special request and hardly eat fast food. I hope some franchise owners read this and learn a lesson or two or TEN! Fantastic hub!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Just got done reading thing you know my boyfriend said " hey when I come home want to go out for dinner?" I said no thank you I already have dinner goig....

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I worked at McDonalds when I was in high school...good times!! lol...a majority of what u said I did witness at the location I worked!!

    • delmer47 profile image


      7 years ago from Nebraska

      This hub is INDEED eye opening and shocking. Thank you SO MUCH for letting us know this info!!

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      Oh my goodness KC, we had similar problems with the health inspector. I was just telling my bf how the health inspector was friends with the owner of the store, so we passed with flying colors every single time...despite the fact that we had MICE RUNNING THROUGH OUR LOBBY when he was there and mold in our ice machine. I think a lot of people fail to realize that reporting things is really just a joke, because most business owners network with other important people who can get them out of any bind.

      I used to work for a doctor who got high in the bathroom every morning. Guess who he was all buddy buddy with? All the lawyers in town. Convenient, eh?

    • KC Santiago profile image

      KC Santiago 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I have also reported things over the years to the “authorities”. Never got any kind of rational response. Had a boss that would have the night crew put any deli food left over in the cooler and he would keep doing that until everything sold. Sometimes a few corndogs could be put back in five or six days. He “repaired a condiment tray with steel screws. The condensation from the ice caused the screws to rust and that dripped into the condiments. When too much had dripped that it stained the condiment he would just mix it in with the spoon. He had a fly strip right over food prep areas. He allowed people to buy beer and cigarettes on food stamps. We had gas pumps and he would set the pumps to charge a penny or two more than the advertised price.

      I called on all these violations and every time the rep of the office I called said they this was not a priority and that eventually people would catch on and quit shopping there. Then a couple suggested if I didn’t like it to get another job.

      I have reported people trying to scam with food stamps. Again it was not a priority. Yet when a food stamp recipient called in a complaint, no matter how outrageous, they had an investigator at the store in a heart beat.

      I worked for a chains store once. Was supposed to get paid every Monday. I worked five weeks without a paycheck. Went to the labor board and again not a priority and maybe I should talk to a lawyer about suing. Darn it all I did not have a loose 10 grand laying around to retain an attorney with.

      Most of these safety organization in the federal government like the labor board, and health department are sham. Had one health inspector come into a little store I spent four years at. He would write up a list of violations, yet never could show actual statutes that were being violated. He would threaten the boss with closing the store if these violations were not fixed in a week. They never fixed anything, and he never came back to check up. Then six months later he would make up a list of more violations, not saying anything about the last list which had been ignored, make the same threats, and not come back for another six months and it would start all over again.

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      Hiccup - I agree with never sending your food back lol.

      Mbrownauthor - Thank you. I have, actually, but have no clue how to get started. I've started researching publishing options - not just for this topic, but others that I enjoy discussing - but haven't found one that feels right for me just yet. I've got notebooks filled with ideas...

    • Hiccupp profile image


      7 years ago

      You can tell who has not worked at any restaurant by the comments they make. I have worked in food and beverage in casinos and things go on there as well.

      Maybe it is better for some to continue to live in ignorant bliss than to wonder what happened to their food? lol

      One tip: never send your food back because it wasn't cooked right. lol

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      I wasn't the main manager, vietnamvet. Most of the stuff I mentioned was done by my bosses, and I reported stuff all the time. Nothing happened, though- and then I was on the bad list for snitching. After awhile, you stop caring. I'm sure you've had at least one job where things happened that shouldn't have. This behavior is not exclusive to McDonald's.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This sure does not say much for you as a manager to let stuff happen that you see going on. You must really be proud of yourself to let it happen. And for your information they can be shutdown.

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      LOL KC, your story made me giggle. I love it! Thanks for sharing!

    • KC Santiago profile image

      KC Santiago 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Horror stories are a given when working any job the deals with the general public. Spent quite a few years in food service myself, mainly Pizza Hut. And many more years in retail. WhileI could still the last few years I always tried getting on at a mom and pop outfit. Don't make as much money but they appreciate a good employee a lot more and never run on the idea the customer is always. Working for mom and pop stores I was able to respond to customers in ways that would have easily got me fired in a chain or corproate store.

      My favorite memory was dealing with a slobbering drunk. He was refusing to leave then started verbally assaulting me. I grabbed him and yanked him half way across the coutner. Told him had about 30 seconds to leave the store on his own or I would drag him out. My co-worker stopped and sent me into the back. I was mad and got stupid and punched a wall, breaking a bone in my hand. When I told the boss what happenedf he advised me the next time I was dealing with a drunk to punch the drunk instead.

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      A lawsuit? No, I wasn't at work doing drugs or anything too crazy, and I quit a couple of years why would they sue me? Besides, I have no car and live in a crappy apartment - what would they get even if they tried? LOL

    • thewritecareer profile image


      7 years ago from Land O Lakes, Florida

      I used to be upset that no McDonalds would hire me when I was, I guess I am glad.

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 

      7 years ago

      This confirmed my worse fears..aren't you concerned about a lawsuit?

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      Thank you, guys! And Cooldad, I don't have any friends at Chick-Fil-A, but I love that place. We just recently got one here, and they are the nicest people I've ever met! Whenever I thank them for my order, they always say, "My pleasure". I love it!

    • janikon profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      I really didn't realize by ordering just fries when my friends want McDonalds I was still eating animal byproduct - damn. Thankfully I've only had them once in the past five years. That was such an interesting - awesome - useful - and funny hub. Write more, I live for secrets - Voted Up!

    • cooldad profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      Honestly, none of that surprised me. I will still eat at McDonalds because the fries rock. You don't have any friends who work at Chic-Fil-A do you? In my fast food experiences, they seem to have the absolute best customer service and professionalism in the industry.

      This was a very informative hub, I'm sure McDonald's will thank you:)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      This. Is. Awesome. And fascinating. Thanks for sharing your behind-the-scenes secrets!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Very interesting indeed and I vote up/useful/interesting.

      Take care


    • kriti dugar profile image

      kriti dugar 

      7 years ago


      Since you have acquaintances there, you feel safe... what abt us?? lols

      the article really gives me creeps. And ya !! I feel very happy that I have always been polite when placing orders at MacD

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      Beaks- My sister went from McDonald's to Burger King, and said things were very different there.

    • profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Maybe some of this stuff is just a McDonald's thing- I worked at various restaurants of various sizes for about seven years and never saw anything like this at all. I was actually told that I was "unprofessional" and "on the edge of termination" at a restaurant once because I sang softly to myself while getting a food order. Every restaurant I've worked for, and there were at least four that I can think of, were strict as hell, even at night. At Burger King, there was always a manager there and I can't see any way anyone could have spit on anything.

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      Victoria - You're welcome. It's always fun to reminisce. :)

      Nooyawka - I noticed - I was just teasing you back. :) The internet can be tricky at times - it's hard to read other people.

    • nooyawka212 profile image


      7 years ago from Noo Yawk

      @sunnyglitter Thanx for the sex advice. Except you didn't notice my tongue in my cheek when I wrote my post. I have zero zip nada no nein nyet problem in the sack with the Love of My Life, so the issue of blissful coexistence with her and only her seems delightful to me thank you. And that goes with or without fries.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Very interesting. I worked at McD's for 6 years as a teen/early college student. I see some of this as true, some not, in our store. Truth is I learned a lot at McD's. I still love a Big Mac, Filet o' Fish, or soft serve cone from time to time, regardless of anything else! thanks for the post--nice to reminiscence.

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      ebookshack - Sorry to hear about the harassment and the termination - sounds like you really got the bad end of the stick. :(

      DRobinson - Thank you! Yeah, it's crazy what goes on at McD's.

      Jennuhlee - Thank you! By the way, you are very pretty and I love your hair.

      Nooyawka - Sex with the same partner is only less exciting if you let it become that way. :P

      Lambservant - Thank you for your comment. To be honest, I could care less if future or current employers find this article. In fact, I shared it on my website, - a site which many of my employers know about.

      I'm a freelance writer, and I only work for clients who value honesty. I refuse to hide things just to make someone happy. I've found that life is much better now that I refuse to compromise my values or keep secrets that shouldn't be kept.

      Things were worse on the night shift and weekends at my stores as well, but that's only because so many people were unavailable to work those shifts. Do you know how many nights I closed the store alone or with one other crew member? Probably at least 100. After 7pm each night, it wasn't uncommon to only have 1 or 2 employees left - even though we were doing hours (earnings-wise) that rivaled the day shift. Our owner paid less than the other McDonald's in the area and offered no benefits, so nobody wanted to work at our store. I only stayed for as long as I did because I was stupid and insanely loyal back then.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I worked at a McDonalds once back in the early 90's. I worked day shift where most of the crew were 30 +, many middle aged. We had a wonderful owner but the store manager was not a nice person. Our practices on the dayshift were sanitary, we were respectful to mean customers and did not seek revenge, and we gave quality product. We worked like a well oiled machine, great team work with high efficiency. But the night shift and weekend shifts with all the young kids was another story.

      Many of the things you tell here are universal in food service. Personal inappropritate relationships, unsanitary practices, rude customers, etc. In fact most every business has inappropriate stuff going on.

      I would caution you about writing articles like this. I have been tempted to do so myself, but future employers or current employers who might find this article may not be too happy that you are so willing to bad mouth former employers when they could be next in line.

      On the other hand, if there are some really heinous things going on in McDonalds that the public really needs to know, then people need to know. Thanks

    • nooyawka212 profile image


      7 years ago from Noo Yawk

      We mostly cook at home (we can afford to eat out) to avoid the scary parts of eating out. Maybe that's also the reason we have sex only with each other. Yes, it's a little less exciting. But a whole lot safer.

    • Jennuhlee profile image


      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Wow, loved this hub, also working at fast food, I;m glad to see more people gettign the word out there, some of those things even shocked me and I thought I had seen it all.

    • DRobinson63 profile image


      7 years ago

      awesome hub I knew that the food spitting thing did happen but all the other things you mentioned would never even have crossed my mind.

    • ebookshack profile image

      Melanie Bremner 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I worked at McDs here in Canada eons ago when I was 15 for my first job. While I was only there for a few short months before I quit(sexually harassed by manager), I did move on to go to donut shops and a few other small restaurants where they all had their own set of secrets(I worked as a prep cook at one restaurant and helped out one of the waitresses one day when I was 17 or 18. Some cops came in and asked me to serve them alcohol even though I was under age. The manager on duty said it was ok because they wouldn't tell on me. Then the boss came in and fired me!)

      I am always nice to the workers when I go to McDs or any other place now, I have heard a lot of similar stories and would die if I had spit in my food or worse.

    • Sunnyglitter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      Thank you for all of the comments, guys. I'll respond in order:

      Kriti- Yes, I would take my daughter to McD's...but I only take her to certain ones. I still have a few friends that work at McDonald's, and generally feel safe eating there. However, we're kind of organic health nuts anyway, so we don't eat fast food very often. She probably gets a Happy Meal once every few months.

      Perfumen - I'll definitely check your article out, too. Sounds like you have a lot of self-control - more than most fast food workers. :)

      ColmbnQn - Thank you! I'm glad you liked it, and I'm definitely planning on publishing another one before the end of August.

      Jeannie - Thank you! That really means a lot. I've checked your stuff out before, and you have some awesome hubs.

      Teri - It's always good to behave when you're a customer! I'm glad you understand the importance of being courteous.

      Hiccupp - This totally made me crack up, because people used to throw Happy Meal toys in the fryers. I'll admit that I had a weird obsession with hiding them in the tea containers...not sure what my deal was back then lol. I just liked to leave them as a little surprise for whoever had to close dishes that night. Oh, and the fish thing - that brought back a few fond memories as well. I'll save that for the next McDonald's article, though. :)

    • Hiccupp profile image


      7 years ago

      As a high school student worker at McDonalds we used to drop bugs in the french fry deep fryer. They would pop and look like little bitty crusty fries so we would scoop them up and serve them. No one ever brought them back.

      One guy ordered a fish sandwich with catsup. It takes 4 minutes to cook a fish and we didn't like that so we loaded it up with so much catsup the sandwich had to be wrapped in 3 wrappers. The guy ate it and wanted another one just like it!

      Remember never mess with anyone that cooks or serves your food.

    • Terishere profile image


      7 years ago

      I use to be in the restaurant business and I heard stuff like this went on, though I never witnessed it. Though I could never spit in someone's food, no matter how rude they are, I do know it's done.

      I make sure I am always courteous as a customer :)

      Great hub!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 

      7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is one of the best hubs I've read since I've been using Hubpages. I only worked at McDonald's for a short time, but I've also worked at numerous other customer service positions. Everything in this is so true! Voted up, interesting, and awesome!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm so glad I gave up on McDonald's years ago. Just all the grease disgusted me. This was a great Hub and would love to hear more about your experiences. Thanks!

    • perfumenpromises profile image


      7 years ago

      This is really awesome. I work at KFC/Taco Bell, you should read my article! Honestly though, I haven't, and nobody I've ever worked with has ever spit in anyone's food. I still find that really really disgusting, even if it's the customer from hell.

    • kriti dugar profile image

      kriti dugar 

      7 years ago

      A real eye opener !!

      I am now at a loss whether I would eat at MacD.. lols !

      Can you tell me one thing frankly... Plz an honest answer- If u do not feel it is appropriate to reply here, kindly send me a pvt msg -


      awaiting ur reply.

      My head is spinning with more questions. Will ask in due course.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)