Fast Food Workers


Employment Prospects


More than 3.3 million cooks and food preparation workers are employed in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fast food workers may work for large chain restaurants or privately owned shops.

Starting Out

At some fast food restaurants, more than 50 percent of the positions are for part-time employees. These restaurants rely heavily on their part-timers and are accustomed to planning their work schedules accordingly. Applying for jobs at restaurants that hire part-time or student help is a good way to enter this field. Even at smaller, privately owned establishments, the fast food worker will be introduced to some of the common factors of the industry: working with and for a variety of people, keeping up a quick pace, and cooking, packaging, and serving food in a friendly way.

Local newspapers often advertise for help in neighborhood restaurants, and some fast food establishments contact school career guidance departments to post job openings. However, the majority of positions are available to those who walk in and fill out an application. Since entry-level positions open up and are filled quickly, applicants are advised to contact restaurants regularly if no openings are immediately available.

Advancement Prospects

Because of the diversity in the restaurant business, there is ample opportunity for workers to find an area of interest or specialization. Fast food workers may take advantage of manager-trainee opportunities or tuition assistance to move higher up within the company. Some fast food workers use their experience to go on to other areas of food service, such as waiting tables or working as a restaurant host or manager. Others may decide to go to a vocational cooking school or pursue hotel and restaurant management careers.

Tips for Entry

Apply for jobs directly at fast food chains.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings:


Join UNITE HERE to increase your chances of receiving fair pay for your work.