1/30/08 - How to order at McDonald's

First of all, anyone who has been eating solid foods for more than a month has probably eaten at McDonald's at least once. Even if you haven't, the menu is not complicated (for that matter, no menu is that complicated). In it's most simple form you can choose from either some sort of burger or chicken. That is the first thing to decide. Second, if you choose a burger, do you want something small (hamburger), slightly larger (double cheeseburger), a little larger (quarter pounder) or very large (double quarter pounder). If you want chicken, it's even easier, do you want grilled or deep fried. (There is also fish, but do you really want seafood from a fast food place). Once that is decided, you need to know what you want on your burger. This should not be difficult because most people have tried mustard and ketchup, onions and pickles, so on and so forth. You can have most of this decided before you get close to the golden arches.

The reason I say this is because custom orders are not a big deal. Custom orders that take forever to figure out are frustrating. Many people like to agonize over each condiment. Because of this, you can have a double cheeseburger show up on the board so you start making it. Next thing you know, the order has changed to "no mustard, add big mac sauce". Well, we have to start over because you get mustard and ketchup on a double cheeseburger and that's the first thing you put on a sandwich. So the line starts making this new request and all of a sudden you want extra pickles no onion. Well guess what, we've already added the pickles, onion and cheese and your order is almost finished. While this is going on, there are other people at other registers placing orders. YOU ARE HOLDING UP EVERYONE'S ORDER....NOT JUST YOUR OWN!!!. My point is this. Don't be an idiot, McDonald's does not change their menu often and I don't think they've ever changed the condiments you can put on a sandwich. Make up your mind and stick with it. The line won't spit in your food, because typically you are too busy putting together then next order to actually bend over and do anything. If it gets too crazy, you might end up with some mayo or mustard on your bun simply because we didn't want to start over we just wiped it off.

That was a bit of a rant, sorry, that has always been an issue with me. If you have been to a restaurant more than 5 times, you should pretty much know what you like and don't like. Especially at a fast food place where the choice are very limited, you shouldn't have to review the menu twice and then change your mind mid-order.

Alright, back to things I recommend doing during an order. These are things that I have noticed at this particular McDonald's with the people I work with. It might be different at other places with different employees, but I can't imagine it would be that different.

During slow times (see: when there are less than three people in the store), request a fresh bun. In order to maintain speed and efficiency, the line will toast multiple buns well ahead of time and leave them sitting in the warming tray out in the air. For some items, this isn't a big deal, but bread can become stale very quickly in the open air and toasted bread is no different. If things are very busy and there are multiple people ordering, there isn't time to pre-toast the buns so don't make a special request, it won't do any good.

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