Most fast food restaurants function based on one general guideline: get the food to the customers as quickly as possible, without sacrificing food quality or customer service. Many fast food restaurants train each employee to do everything in the restaurant rather than one specific job in order to better achieve this goal. Every employee at a given restaurant can switch from one task to another depending on customer needs, managerial requests and other factors that may arise during a typical day.
The primary duty at any fast food restaurant is preparing food. Employees receive extensive training in the first few days or weeks on the job in food preparation specific to the restaurant. Food preparation is composed of a large number of smaller duties, including learning and memorizing the restaurant menu, cooking and preparing food items according to government sanitation and health guidelines as well as restaurant requirements and even restocking food items as necessary.
Cashiering and Customer Service
Cashiering encompasses the customer service aspect of fast food restaurants. Employees at a fast food restaurant also perform cashiering duties. They take orders from customers, enter the correct food items into the register and handle the customer's money and return change. Some fast food restaurants operate in a way that requires employees to switch from preparing food to cashiering with each individual customer, while others completely separate the two tasks.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning and sanitation duties include tasks such as washing dishes used to prepare and cook food and following sanitation protocols such as wearing gloves and keeping hair away from foodat all times. Employees at a fast food restaurant maintain the restaurant lobby as well as the back area where the food is prepared.
Most restaurants require employees to wipe down the lobby tables at specified intervals throughout the day, sweep and mop the floor at certain times and perform various other maintenance tasks such as restocking napkins, condiments and drink cups and lids.
Managers at fast food restaurants usually perform all the same duties as regular employees, from cashiering to cleaning. Managers are also responsible for supervising their employee team at all times, making sure that all restaurant policies and protocols are being followed and delegating specific duties to each employee. Managers typically also handle company paperwork, hire new team members, count cash in the registers at the end of the day and any customer concerns or complaints that may arise.
- United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: Food and Beverage Serving and Related Workers
- Education-Portal.com: Fast Food Worker: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: Food Service Managers
- The International Guild of Hospitality & Restaurant Managers: Duties of a Restaurant Manager
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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