I've worked at McDonald's in the UK for 8 years and have spent 6 of those years as a manager. I currently work in a busy city centre store, doing mainly night shifts (so dealing with drunk people!)

I currently work part-time as I'm a student too, but have worked full-time in the past.

PROOF (like anyone would make this up...): http://imgur.com/8WGMaFP

AMA!

Edit: Thanks for the questions and kind comments. Feel free to ask anything else you wanna know. I will pop back and answer them all.

Edit #2: Has been great answering your questions. I will have to sleep soon as I am on placement tomorrow, but keep asking anything you want to know and I'll answer them tomorrow.

Edit #3 Back from placement, and surprised at the interest. More than happy to keep answering questions :)

Comments: 556 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

FisherTwelve67 karma

If I ask nicely, do you think McDonald's would blend an apple pie in a McFlurry for me?

DrMcDonald96 karma

If you were nice about it, and paid full price for both, I don't see why not.

When asking include the phrase "I totally understand if you aren't allowed, but I was hoping..."

awan00143 karma

No question. Just wanted to say this an excellent AMA. Well done.

DrMcDonald30 karma

Thanks :)

Boocks34 karma

Do you get people trying to "McDive"?

DrMcDonald38 karma

Yes, generally students, although they've really got to earn it at my store as the counter is quite high.

vrphotosguy5530 karma

FYI for people who, like me didn't know what this is, it's diving over the counter, then probably getting cussed and tossed back.

DrMcDonald39 karma

Maybe with a kick in the ribs if I'm in a bad mood.

chowder13812 karma

What's the point of this? I'm glad we don't have that here in the US (or at least the part that I'm in).

DrMcDonald49 karma

It is a battle of the alpha-males to see who is the biggest tool.

vrphotosguy556 karma

We have that thing where people throw drinks back to the cashier. I forgot what it's called but it's equally (probably more, actually) dickish.

DrMcDonald12 karma

I only had a customer throw a drink at me once. I hit him.

tecomancat11 karma

We should start that in the US

DrMcDonald27 karma

Kicking in ribs or McDive?

winx1434 karma

Do you notice any race-specific trends of ordering? When I worked at McD's in high school, here are some that I noticed:
-Chinese: McChicken's or Chicken Nuggets.
-Indians and Arabs: Fish Filets.
-Russians: Sprite, NO ICE.
-White people: Even though the Cheeseburger was the same price as the Double Cheeseburger, they always ordered the Cheeseburger.

DrMcDonald32 karma

Muslim's tend to get fish filets or veggie because the meat is not halal. Apart from that not really. Lots of people from Europe call the meals "menus".

Going_Braindead29 karma

Have you seen a returning customer get fatter as he/she visited for several years?

DrMcDonald57 karma

Great question. To be honest I haven't, they seem to stay in reasonably good shape. It's the staff that get fat, as they eat the stuff everyday they are working.

somewhereinthehills24 karma

Is there a limit to how many uniform sizes they go up while employed before their discount/freebie card is revoked? :)

DrMcDonald218 karma

No, but I once worked with a guy who had to have his uniform specially made.

He's dead now.

courtFTW9 karma

Could you tell us more about him?

DrMcDonald10 karma

I'd rather not incase any colleagues saw this. I will say he was a great guy and a good boss.

averageordinaryguy19 karma

Does the food in your establishment gross you out? Do you eat it regularly?

DrMcDonald40 karma

It probably should, but it doesn't. I eat it when I'm working because it's free, and sometimes when I'm not working because it's cheap/free,

drewch3418 karma

Do you think McDonald's has a customer type? Or do you think it's so prolific that anyone goes there?

Thanks for answering ALL THE QUESTIONS - you're doing fantastic! :D

DrMcDonald24 karma

I don't think so. Anyone will go to McDonald's, and at least in the UK, McDonald's have worked hard to promote that image, and it's worked fairly well. So many people come at breakfast time because the coffee is better and cheaper than Starbucks or Costa.

talkativecarpet25 karma

McDonald's coffee is the shit, it's cheap and delicious.

DrMcDonald23 karma

It used to be like sludge, but they invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in good coffee machines and it's all freshly ground Kenco.

Sipde17 karma

Do you have a "secret" menu in the UK?

DrMcDonald32 karma

That'd be telling

portnux16 karma

Why am I refused when I ask for a shake in a PAPER CUP?

DrMcDonald21 karma

Because they hate you ;)

No idea. In the UK, there's only one cup it comes in. What does it come in where you are?

somewhereinthehills16 karma

Truthfully, does food get binned after sitting out for a while or is it just kept for the next customer regardless?

DrMcDonald51 karma

Depends. There's a 10 minute rule, but unless we are having an inspection, this is never adhered to.

However if it's quiet, most managers would check the quality before handing anything out, but some of the staff will hand any old shit out.

Luck of the draw really. Just order it without pickle or onion and they'll have to make it fresh.

fite_me_irl_fgt15 karma

Shit... I love pickles and onions.

DrMcDonald37 karma

You'll have to deal with the manky dry shit you get served then ;)

princesskiki4 karma

Order it with extra pickles and onions!

DrMcDonald8 karma

If they are lazy, they'll just get an old one and add them on.

Topicale13 karma

I don't normally eat at McDonald's now, maybe twice a year or something (particularly since you no longer offer the chicken fajita), but I grew up in the 60s and 70s, and when we could go there, it was always frustrating - everything had ketchup, mustard, and pickles, and god forbid you just wanted a plain frickin' cheeseburger (like a 7 or 9 y/o might). You'd think you were asking them to run out and roast you a leg of lamb. Burger King and Wendy's forced the "have it your way" issue, and thank goodness McD's followed suit. Still, I don't understand why they put ketchup and that crap mustard on nearly everything.

DrMcDonald23 karma

It's just the standard now. It's like the pickle - More people take it off than eat it, but if McDonald's removed it, people that enjoy them would be pissed off.

drewch3412 karma

You ever had any drive-thru pranks done at your store? If so, what was the best one?

DrMcDonald63 karma

My store isn't a drive thru, but I did used to work at one. I'm sure there were some corkers I can't remember, but I do remember 4 guys coming through once, on foot, but pretending they were in a car.

The best part was they didn't break character. No sniggering, just dead-seriously winding down his non-existent window, and leading out as far as he could to pay the cash.

quakerlaw10 karma

In the US, they wouldn't be served at all. No drive thru service to people on foot, period. Any idea why it's different there?

DrMcDonald51 karma

It's same rule here, but it was late at night and I thought it was funny so I served them.

Sit_On_It_Fonzie53 karma

Some people come to AMA's to get a chance to speak with a celebrity. But you're way better than many celebrities on here. You've answered nearly all the questions with intellect, wit, humor, and care. This is one of the best AMA's I've seen in a long time. Keep up the good work.

DrMcDonald39 karma

Thanks. I've been on reddit for ages, but only got an account a couple of months ago, and this is the first thing I've really posted. Thanks for the comments :)

TheFinalJourney11 karma

Whats the next position above yours?

DrMcDonald26 karma

Assistant manager which is a salaried position and requires you to work full-time, so I'm the highest I'll go/would want to go.

It goes crew member > staff trainer > Shift manager (me) > Assistant manager > Business manager (most senior person in a store) > Operations consultant > Big bosses.

TheFinalJourney10 karma

has anyone gone from crew member to big bosses or do mcdonalds just employ someone from elsewhere

Also its great to hear that someone who does medicine who actually has a job, I study radiography at bristol and tons of medicine students tend to come from very privledge (sorry for the spelling) backgrounds who never needed to work a day in their life unless you count a very expensive trip to congo to work with impoverished children

DrMcDonald19 karma

Nearly every business manager I know has worked their way up from the shop floor, and I think something like 75% of the big corporate bosses worked on the shop floor.

Thanks, I know a lot of rich medical students too. But they aren't all bad.

The_First_Drop10 karma

Upon mention of the night shifts, how often do you have to escort someone out or call the cops? Also was there ever a time when someone walked in and your immediate reaction was "This guy is gonna start some shit"?

DrMcDonald22 karma

Luckily, we have secruity now, but we didn't used to. People are thrown out all the time, usually for being abusive to staff, or just for being idiots. The police called maybe twice a week, usually when there's a massive fight.

With a bit of experience, you do start to see who's going to kick off. One quiet Monday night, this huge guy was just hanging around, looking angry. He kept like, growling and shouting for no reason. I didn't like the vibe, so I called the police. Whilst I was on the phone to the police he jumped the counter. He knocked me around a bit until one of the staff came to my rescue. Took 4 of us to pin him down.

The_First_Drop15 karma

Glad to hear you survived the attack. My only criticism is that you should have had a hot apple pie at the ready

DrMcDonald78 karma

I'm afraid it'll be 6 minutes for apple pies. Would you like something else instead?

wrewlf7 karma

In Australia Pies take 7 minutes to Cook 0_o

DrMcDonald8 karma

We have superior technology in the UK, clearly. Vats are sect to 180C and it takes 5 mins 55 seconds.

The_Lollipop_King6 karma

why would he just attack you for no reason? was he trying to rob the place?

undercooked_lasagna24 karma

He wouldn't mix an apple pie into my McFlurry.

DrMcDonald14 karma

He was going to have to wait 6 minutes. I think that was the issue

DrMcDonald13 karma

Fairly sure he was on drugs. He was out of it.

sirwiggum10 karma

My last question - Any return of the McRib on the horizon? :)

DrMcDonald13 karma

Nope :( Not that I know of.

flabbyzebra10 karma

What was the worst customer you've had?

DrMcDonald55 karma

Too many to count. I'd have to pick the guy who broke my jaw though. I was asking a group of lads to leave who we're messing around, and one of them was in my blind spot and just punched me out of the blue.

Broke my jaw in 2 places. Needed surgery, 2 metal plates, and couldn't chew solids for 6 weeks. Never caught the fucker either.

Muchuchu16 karma

Fuck man, sorry to hear that. Hope your surgery went well, screw those little shits.

DrMcDonald58 karma

Got £4000 compensation from the CICA (Criminal injury's compensation authority) 2 years later. Paid for my rent for a year so I could work less and focus on studying. Silver linings and all that.

Voroshilav10 karma

If I came in and asked for the most delicious item you could make me for $6, what would you make? With all of the add on options available, I would think you could be fairly creative. Edit Missed that you were in the UK. Call it 4£.

DrMcDonald84 karma

I'd tell you we only accept the British pound and to go change your money.

When you came back with your money changed, I'd tell you to go to Subway if you want some creativity. ;)

DrMcDonald27 karma

In that case, for £4, I would sell you a McFlurry for £1, 5 chilli sauces for £1 and mix them together.

The other £2 would be for water to wash away the horrible taste.

ThequickdrawKid4 karma

It costs money for sauce in the UK?

DrMcDonald11 karma

Not most, but there are 3 "special dips". Sweet chilli, sour cream & smokey BBQ. They are bigger and are designed to go with chicken selects (like chicken strips) so we charge if someone want them extra.

Some stores charge for normal extra dips, but not mine.

posthardkyle10 karma

Do you think the food is really as disgusting (as in unhealthy and grossly prepared) as everyone says it is? Or does everyone sell it short?

DrMcDonald44 karma

Burgers and chips are unhealthy, whether you buy them from a restaurant, takeaway, supermarket or McDonald's. McDonald's has gotten so much crap in the media they have had to improve things so the beef is actually 100% beef now.

With regards to prep, whilst it's mass produced, there's nothing unhygienic or or gross about the preparation. I work there and I'd eat at any McDonald's in the country, no problem.

sirwiggum9 karma

Has anyone (customer, staff) ever won anything substantial (cars, computers, money etc) from the yearly Monopoly games?

DrMcDonald18 karma

Haha, I have never known anyone win. I play every year, and I have access to a LOT more stickers than customers (ahem, would get sacked if caught) and I've never won.

xkstylezx8 karma

Are you happy?

DrMcDonald29 karma

I'm not at work. So yes.

xkstylezx8 karma

It has been 8 years, you have to find some joy in it right?

DrMcDonald17 karma

I like the people I work with. I met my best friend and my girlfriend at McDonald's.

Being a manager is fun, and it's not as stressful as it used to be as I've done it for a while now.

However, I'm only part-time and I will be leaving once I graduate, whereas some people are just stuck there and so don't like it.

digduggggg8 karma

Laxatives in the eggs? or old-wives tale?

DrMcDonald23 karma

Old-wives tales I'm afraid. We can't be arsed to mess with people's food. Too much effort, plus it's just wrong.

sirwiggum7 karma

I was amazed at how late the Edinburgh branch was open at.

After the pub, about 2am, myself and a friend couldn't get into some stuck up nightclub, went for grub and found it open!

Burger went down a treat, though the cola was rotten after a few pints.

Generally the Maccy D restaurants in Belfast city centre close about 10, the drive thrus in the suburbs are usually open late.

DrMcDonald9 karma

My store is in the city centre and open 24/7. We only shut on Christmas Day.

ThequickdrawKid4 karma

How would you feel if you were open on Christmas Day? I ask because they are open on Christmas in the US.

DrMcDonald14 karma

I wouldn't work, and I think they'd struggle to staff it. But I think some might just for the money. However I think it would be deserted.

I refuse to work New years, even though it's the busiest night of the year. A few years back, McDonald's UK got rid of any double time/time and a half on bank holidays. So those poor bastards working at midnight on New years aren't paid a penny more than a normal day.

I'm like, "I'm 24, I'm not spending my new years in bloody McDonald's"

Sit_On_It_Fonzie6 karma

We see a lot on /r/WTF about creepy and gross things in fast food items. What's the most disgusting thing to ever have been sold at your McDonald's? How do you prepare so that disgusting things like this or this and weird things like this don't happen? I like to think that these are rare occurrences and not the norm in the fast food business, but I could be wrong.

DrMcDonald13 karma

Sorry to be boring, but not much. We get the occasional hair (but well over half the time it's people putting their own hair in to try and get free stuff). People occasionally get a bit of blue plastic, and this is usually because a hot fry basket has caught one of the bags, melted it, and it's worked it's way into the fry station. It's rare though.

We have procedures in place, so if this happen, I'd take the sandwich, give a refund/offer replacement. If it happened at store level I'd find out why, but usually it would happen at supplier level (meaning the customer is less mad with me). We then have electronic report forms to fill in etc... and contact customer services.

To be honest, in 8 years I've never seen anything crazy or horrible like this, nor have I heard of it in any of the surrounding stores. Sorry

tindahalx6 karma

Not sure if you can answer this one, but are the patties really 100% beef with no preservatives or additives? Does the meat really adhere together in the patty shape by quick freezing?

DrMcDonald16 karma

No idea. I only know what McDonald's say, but as far as I know it is. And the reason it's so cheap is because it's mass produced.

All I think is that they are producing these patties on such a large scale, that someone would find out and give proof that it's not 100% beef if that were the case. It's easier and cheaper for them to just make it 100% beef.

drwhofan19855 karma

How do you go to work every day and not kill one of your customers?

I ask this because I've worked there myself and felt that way nearly every shift.

DrMcDonald9 karma

Hide in the kitchen and only come out to deal with complaints.

pktunn5 karma

Ever spit/sneezed at a rude customers food ?

DrMcDonald3 karma

Nah. And neither do the staff (in the UK at least), genuinley. It's not even practical to do it even if people wanted you to, plus I feel it plays into the stereotype.

I prefer to outwit them and make them look stupid. Nothing more embarassing than being owned by the guy at McDonald's.

Umpfelgrumpf5 karma

Is it true that the staff working at mcdonalds does not get paid well and lives together with many other staffmembers in a rentroom/flat? In Germany there were a lot of TV shows about how the employees are not treat well, so im curious about that. And, would you work at your establishment when you weren´t in a manager position?

DrMcDonald12 karma

In the UK, everyone gets paid at least minimum wage, usually a little more. So this is the same as many jobs out there in retail or in bars etc...

If people don't make enough, the welfare state helps out with benefits etc... so although I know people from work live together (I live with another manager) I wouldn't say staff aren't treated well.

Accent124 karma

What are your favorite and least favorite items on the menu? Do you have to deal with a lot of turnover? Is there anything off the menu that is a secret and worth checking out?

Thanks for this!

DrMcDonald17 karma

Least favorite is easy: Salad. Why come to McDonald's for a salad. I get it if you are coming with the family, but don't see the point otherwise. It's a burger shop.

Favourite - Generally custom make our own food on breaks and you go through phases, but I'll usually just get a quarter pounder if I'm not working.

Staff turnover at my store isn't too bad but it is in other stores. You just get used to it.

Secrets on the menu...not really, but I'd try a half-strawberry, half-banana milkshake. They are nice.

Accent126 karma

That milkshake sounds awesome. Can you clarify something that's been bugging me? What's the difference between a double cheeseburger, a mcdouble and a daily double? It all looks like the same thing.

DrMcDonald11 karma

McDouble/Double cheeseburger = Same thing.

We don't have the daily double in the UK, but a quick google search shows that it's basically a double cheeseburgr with lettuce, mayo and tomato on it, instead of ketchup & mustard.

gimme_your_tots4 karma

Have you been to a McDonalds in America? How do they compare?

DrMcDonald9 karma

I haven't, but I've been to plenty in Asia & Europe. Asia and Europe are almost identical. Everything is the same, but theres some special things like a teryaki burger in Japan. But double cheeseburgers, fries etc... I can't tell the difference.

People I know that have been to America say that it's similar, just the portion sizes are much much bigger.

standardsdt4 karma

There have been many times where I'll order an item let's say a wrap for example and they will tell me that they aren't making them anymore for the night or they "ran out". One of my friends who used to work for McDonalds said that usually the employee's being lazy. Can you shed some light on this? How does one go about getting it made when they claim this?

DrMcDonald12 karma

It's down to each store. When we first started doing late nights we did a limited menu, but McDonald's are pushing to have the same level of service and quality of food at night as it is in the day. That is to say that every menu item should be available.

I'd ask to speak to the manager, be polite, say "I'm not trying to be a pain, but I was told my customer services last time that your supposed to serve all menu items no matter what time it is" - If your nice about it, they'll be nice about it. If they aren't, fuck em and complain.

leprachaundude833 karma

Why did you guys stop selling the chicken selects?

DrMcDonald5 karma

We didn't

Twelvedigits3 karma

Does the UK have any McDonald specialties on their menu?

DrMcDonald4 karma

Our normal menu is pretty standard I think, although we do Deli sandwiches and wraps (not sure if they are worldwide).

We do different promotional items throughout the year however. One of them is Great Tastes of America, where there are 5 different burgers over 5 weeks. I think they are Miami, New York, Arizona...and 2 others I can't remember as I don't care that much.

SirQuiddleytink3 karma

Any good stories of rowdy customers to share?

DrMcDonald11 karma

Far too many unfortunately. One that sticks in memory was this massive massive fight that happened. One guy grabbed anothers head and bit him. He bit through his nose and it was hanging on by a thread. I had to do the first aid...not something they teach on the course.

Regularly have people being too drunk and aggressive. Also have some nice drunks, and the occasional girl who will get her tits out for food.

ToasterOnASpaceship3 karma

Thanks for the AMA!

What are your hours like, and how well are you payed?

DrMcDonald7 karma

It's very very flexible, you can really work around your life. Although since the recession, there's lots of competition for jobs, and so there's not always enough hours to go around. Luckily as an experienced manager, I just pick my hours.

As a manager, I'm on £8 an hour, which is good for a part-time student, but shit for the crap we have to do. Staff are paid a little above minimum wage, but not much higher.

drewch343 karma

Did you notice a change after the Super Size Me documentary?

DrMcDonald17 karma

I started working there about a year after this came out. One thing I did notice though is despite the tills being programmed for it, and the drinks-machines having the setting, we no longer sold "supersize"

mysheepareblue3 karma

Have you ever had an employee break down crying?

And because I spent 4 months in the UK last year, I have to ask: How do you deal with people you can't understand because of bad accent/language skills?

In Perth, Scotland, one McD's I frequented, I had to ask the guy serving to repeat himself because I didn't understand his accent. The reverse of what I'm asking, sorta :D Didn't have any problems of the sort in Stratford-on-Avon... except speaking over the constant massive crowd.

DrMcDonald5 karma

Yes, a couple of times, if a customer has been a real bastard to them.

We have a lot of international students where I work who's English isn't great, but they just point at the pictures.

alxtodd2 karma

[deleted]

DrMcDonald16 karma

Senior management are a real pain if you do anything like this, even just a little bit, never mind a cup! The reason is there's no way to track it through the system, so if it gets done regularly, it can mess up your food cost figures.

If you are wanting a little bit, my advice is to be extra nice, and be like, "I know you might not be able to, and it's no problem if not, but is there any chance of getting some extra Big Mac Sauce for dipping...I don't mind paying" all with a nice smile.

Only a bastard would say no then.

Going_Braindead6 karma

There are definitely some bastards who work at Mcdonalds

DrMcDonald18 karma

As a McDonald's manager, I can confirm this.

enoka2 karma

Are the egg mcmuffins really made from a real egg?

DrMcDonald5 karma

Yup. Free range and everything. We crack them open in the kitchen. They are the weird perfectly round shape as they are cooked in an egg-ring like that so they go on the muffin easier.

Le_Curieux2 karma

What is the most awkward situation you've ever dealt with while working?

DrMcDonald20 karma

Having to ask one of the dining area cleaning staff to remove a shit someone had done in the sink in the bathroom

amstard2 karma

Where in the UK do you work? And what was your education before entering this job?

DrMcDonald18 karma

Would prefer not to say whereabouts, but I started when I was 16 so straight after leaving school. I'm now at University studying medicine.

vrphotosguy555 karma

Going from getting people sick to getting people healthy.

DrMcDonald41 karma

Keeping myself in business.

thebluesharpie1 karma

Sometimes my order is wrong, but I'm too far away by the time I realize it and just eat it. I sometimes think I should call back and let you know, so you can identify a problem if it is there.

Would this be too weird? Would you appreciate it? Or would you think I'm a bitching customer?

DrMcDonald3 karma

My advice would be to check it at the time. We serve so many people, mistakes do happen, but it's hard to recall someone unless they've literally just gone.

I'd drop an email rather than call. If you are nice about it, say you aren't really annoyed or looking for anything free, you just wanted to let them know, they might even give you something free anyway.

Cuzen1 karma

How much does the position above you pay, and how many hours do you work? :3

DrMcDonald3 karma

I don't discuss wage regularly with them, but Salaried managers get anything from £18,000 a year to about £22,000. Not sure about business managers but I think they are on at least £26k. All depends if you work for a franchise or the company.

I do about 20 hours a week at the moment.

deinon1231 karma

What position are you after 8 years?

DrMcDonald4 karma

I'm a shift manager. This is most senior you can be but be paid hourly.