Fast Food Workers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

If you are working a part-time job and are still in high school, you may find that courses such as family and consumer science, advanced cooking, or health and sanitation may be helpful. Other useful classes include mathematics, computer science, and a foreign language. As a fast food worker making your way up the ranks of a restaurant, you may decide to pursue special training or education.

Other Education or Training

If a fast food employee is already working full-time at a large franchise and is interested in pursuing management training, there are many outlets for career preparation. Many franchises have their own training programs for future managers and franchise owners. McDonald's, Dunkin' (which is also known as Dunkin' Donuts), and Burger King all offer serious course work in such areas as maintaining restaurant equipment; hiring, training, and motivating employees; and purchasing supplies. Most other chain franchises offer employee instruction as well, so that the product and image of their restaurants are kept consistent and so that they may offer new franchise owners assistance in getting started in the business.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Food service workers almost always are required to obtain health certificates from their state's department of public health that certify they are free from communicable diseases, as shown by physical examination and blood tests. This is required for the protection of the general public.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

No experience is needed for most positions at fast food restaurants, but those with prior work experience will increase their chances of landing a job, getting promoted, and possibly earning higher pay.

For an entry-level position at a fast food restaurant, you should be motivated, cheerful, and cooperative. The fast food business requires a quick pace, especially during the breakfast and lunch rush periods. A motivated employee is willing to work extra hard and offer help to a fellow employee during these times. When the restaurant is busy, paying close attention and thinking quickly are as necessary in accepting money and counting back change as they are in the handling of food.

You should be neat in appearance as well as have good work habits. Some fast food restaurants require that their employees wear uniforms or follow a dress code. They also may dictate specific rules of behavior. Because such guidelines are important for both safety reasons and the atmosphere of the restaurant, employees must respect and follow them. Failure to do so may result in the employee being sent home or having his or her pay reduced. The good qualities and work habits that are found in reliable fast food workers reflect the professional attitude that managers and franchise owners strive for in their restaurants.