Fast food job responsibilities

Last updated: July 23, 2024
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Jennifer Young
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Fast food job responsibilities
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In the U.S., there are nearly 200,000 fast food restaurant franchises. These restaurants employ around 3.88 million people, and many of them regularly hire new fast food workers.

If you're looking for a job, you may like to apply for a position at a local fast food restaurant.

But what skills do you need to work in this industry? And what does a day in the life of a fast food worker look like?

Before you apply, you should know what to expect. Let's take a look at the top fast food job responsibilities, the salary, and the minimum education requirements.

What is a fast food job?

Some of the most popular fast food franchises in the U.S. are McDonald's, Subway, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and Taco Bell.

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Most jobs in this industry are entry-level, giving those without experience the opportunity to get into the workforce. When you start, most companies offer on-the-job training.

There are different roles available. For example, you could be a crew member, team member, cashier, or manager. The job usually involves taking customer orders, preparing and serving food, and processing payments.

During peak lunch and dinner periods, the work environment can be fast-paced with a large volume of orders.

Jobs can be full-time, part-time, or seasonal.

What skills do you need to work at fast food establishments?

If you'd like to work in a fast food establishment, you'll need to have good time management and customer service skills.

You'll need to be punctual with the ability to multitask. You should have basic math skills and communication skills and be a quick learner. You’ll need motivation, and you may have to stand on your feet for long shifts.

The kitchen staff needs to be mindful of food safety. Work experience in food preparation and cash handling is beneficial, but you'll learn what you need to know on the job.

If you want to apply for a senior position, you'll need management skills.

What are the top fast food job responsibilities?

What does a fast food worker do? Here are six of the top job responsibilities:

1. Greeting customers

When a customer enters the premises, a fast food worker will greet them. Depending on the store, they may talk about specials or a new product on the menu.

Fast food workers serve customers that use the drive-thru. The team member wears a headset and microphone with a speaker connection.

2. Taking customers' orders

Fast food workers may need to take customer's food orders. These types of restaurants often sell fast meals such as fried chicken, burgers, pizza, or sandwiches.

Crew members need to use their listening skills and may process the orders with a computer system. They may need to take multiple orders at once and make changes if there's a special request.

The kitchen team starts cooking once they receive the order.

3. Preparing food

Fast food team members are responsible for food preparation. They need to use the cooking equipment to prepare meals when orders come in.

Some food items are prepared in advance and then reheated or packaged.

They may also need to use the drink dispensing machine and serve dessert.

4. Taking payments

Cashiers need to take payments for customer's food orders. They often use a cash register for cash payments, and they need to give customers the correct change.

If patrons want to pay by card, the fast food cashiers process both debit card and credit card payments.

They may also need to print a receipt for each customer.

5. Handling customer complaints

Customer satisfaction is a high priority for fast food workers. Most companies have clear store policies about how to deal with customer complaints.

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Fast food team members need to listen to the complaints, be empathetic, and try to find a solution.

Depending on the situation, the customer may get their money back, a free drink, or a voucher for their next visit.

​6. Cleaning the work area

Those who work in fast food restaurants need to keep the store clean. Part of the job involves cleaning food preparation areas such as ovens and counters.

Team members may need to clear tables, sweep floors, scrub toilets, and disinfect furniture.

Some kitchen crew members may need to wash dishes.

What do you need to be eligible for a role at a fast food restaurant?

Most fast food restaurant jobs are entry-level positions, with no formal education required. However, some companies may ask for a high school diploma or equivalent.

The minimum age is between 14–16, depending on the state and restaurant.

How much does a fast food job pay?

The hourly employee rate can vary between fast food establishments. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a fast food worker is $11.47 per hour or $23,860 per year.

McDonald's has recently raised the hourly wage for workers. Crew members can expect to get between $11–$17 per hour. Managers can earn up to $20 per hour.

Where can you find fast food jobs?

If you're interested in working in a fast food chain, you can browse fast food restaurant vacancies on Jobcase’s job board.

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You can also look for jobs at specific fast food restaurants, such as McDonald's, Subway, Burger King, and KFC.

Or, you can search for related jobs at food service companies, such as Gordon Food Service.

Resume tips for a fast food job

Ready to apply for a job at a local fast food restaurant? Here are our top resume tips:

  • Include the job title in your cover letter

  • Mention your preferred work schedules

  • Highlight any food service experience

  • Stick to one page for your resume

  • Check your spelling and grammar

  • List any soft skills, such as customer service, listening skills, and adaptability

  • Add any relevant education or achievements if you don’t have past experience

The responsibilities of a fast food worker

​If you're a job seeker, you may be thinking about applying for a position at a local fast food establishment.

In this article, we gave you a job description for fast food workers. We told you about the skills you'll need and the eligibility criteria.

We gave you a rundown of the top fast food worker responsibilities. On our list is greeting customers, taking orders, food preparation, taking payments, handling complaints, and cleaning the work area.

Finally, we told you where to look for jobs and how much you can expect to earn.

If you're ready to search for fast food and related jobs, check out Jobcase’s job search.

And before you go, browse our Getting Hired Resource Center for resume and interview tips.

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Bullet point

Fast food job responsibilities typically include taking customer orders, operating cash registers, preparing food items according to company standards, maintaining cleanliness in the kitchen and dining area, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Additionally, employees may be responsible for restocking supplies and assisting with inventory management. For more insights on fast food experiences and tips, check out helpful resources like