Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Make McDonald's Employees Smile

The smile is in their advertising but not on their pouty faces.
  (+3, -11)(+3, -11)
(+3, -11)
  [vote for,

In all their marketing, McDonald's employees are seen smiling. In fact, their tag line is 'We love to make you smile.' This can't be further from the truth. The employees always look super pissed off. This makes not only for an unpleasant buying experience but an unpleasant eating experience as well. They use the same hand to scoop your french fries and serve your drinks with the same hand they accept your filthy money. This is disgusting.

My idea would be to walk into a McDonald's, any McDonald's in the city where you live, and to try to make the employees smile. If they laugh, you get bonus points.

Tell a joke, do something funny, the point is is this: They're not going to smile on their own. They need our help. They're making minimum wage. I wouldn't smile either. It's up to us to help them live up to their multi-million dollar advertising campaign by making them smile. That way, perhaps, the people who order after us will see them smile and think to themselves, 'Hey, they really do smile.'

I'm Asian (but born and raised in Los Angeles, so I speak English pretty fluently) so my first thought would be to go into a McDonald's around my house and start talking pure gibberish to the person working the counter. I'd really jumble it up so as to make myself really incomprehensible. Then I'd mumble to the person behind the counter that I want to speak to the manager. The manager comes out and then I place my order, but in perfect English. The manager gets mad at the employee and that's when I yell, 'Just kidding.' I don't know if that's a good one, but the point is is to get them to smile.

d-eschew, Feb 08 2001

Happiest [fastfood] Place on Earth http://www.inandout.com
IN-AND-OUT BURGER rules in all categories: customer service, cleanliness and taste. [iuvare, Feb 08 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Eric Schlosser: Fast Food Nation http://www.amazon.c...95977894/halfbakery
I remember Schlosser on NPR mentioning in-and-out burger as the only fast food chain that actually tries to educate, pay decently, and keep their employees. [jutta, Feb 08 2001]

Developmentally Disabled Burger King Employee Only Competent Worker http://www.theonion..._king_employee.html
From The Onion. Not necessarily tasteful. [Uncle Nutsy, Feb 08 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Teen Lands Job With Fortune 500 Company http://www.theonion...teen_lands_job.html
Another Onion take on fast-food employment. [Uncle Nutsy, Feb 08 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Beating the service industry worker crunch! http://www.brightid...-B2FC-92B391703103}
Idea by paddyreagan [LoriZ, Feb 08 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Fast-Food Purchase Seething With Unspoken Class Conflict http://www.theonion..._food_purchase.html
Yet another Onion article, possibly the most relevant yet... [-alx, Feb 08 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Hamburger restaurant voting - Temporarily unavailable http://www.mcdonald...comments/index.html
M'Ds customer comment site (buried under 1000 layers - grr.). I use these web services extensively, they don't take plastic. [reensure, Jan 26 2002]


       To really make a minimum-wage fast food drone smile either shoot the manager or give them a real job.   

       I don't think making the employees smile will make the eating experience any less unpleasant (unless you plan on eating food from someplace else) but I do agree that they deserve some cheering up.
sirrobin, Feb 08 2001

       15% N2O atmosphere in the restaurant.   

       Weeee!!!! Haaaaappy!!!!
Wes, Feb 08 2001

       just close your eyes when you order and pretend they are smiling...
darth_smoothies, Feb 08 2001

       F MacD's and go to IN-AND-OUT BURGER: the employees are genuinely pleasant, the restaraunts are the cleanest and the hamburgers are the best.   

       ::LATER:: It also occured to me that, on Thanksgiving, all IN-AND-OUTs are closed and they post a sign which reads: "We will be closed on Thanksgiving so that our associates may spend time with their families."
iuvare, Feb 08 2001

       Why do you go to McDonald's if you don't like eating there?
hippo, Feb 09 2001

       Hmm, why don't we just give all the Service Sector Wage Slaves happy pills - pure, uncut ecstasy - so that they grin in mindless oblivion 24/7. It'll be just like Brave New World. In fact, we could extend this practice to all the Third World sweat-shop workers in the pay of Gap, Adidas, and all those other Multinational Minions of Mammon. Yeah, let's put the cocaine back into Coca-Cola.
Guy Fox, Feb 09 2001

       Screw the smiles. I'd settle for them having the competency to actually get my order right. Want to have fun? Go to McDonalds and order 30 cheeseburgers. (It helps if you are buying these for other people as well, or you might have food 'issues')Odds are good that you won't get the right number.
RobGraham, Feb 09 2001

       There is one employee you will never make smile: the cow.
Vance, Feb 13 2001

       What would make me smile is if they forced some of the customers to do my job for a few hours a day and see if they're still smiling afterwards. In most jobs, fast food notwithstanding, the number one cause of unpleasant employees is unpleasant customers.
nick_n_uit, Jun 27 2001

       better idea: get rid of the people at the counter. replace them with an atm-like interface. make everyone pay by atm/debit cards. have a picture of a smiling actor from their advertisements. your order comes out along a conveyor belt. a pleasant ordering experience.
i still wouldn't eat there until they do something about that so-called food
juan2003, Jun 27 2001

       I'm surprised no one's posted "Make McDonald's Employees Simile" yet:
"Here are your fries. They're like deep-fried polystyrene"
hippo, Jun 27 2001

       anyone know why they are not willing to smile...any ppl from Mc Donalds know ? Maybe a spliff or two and they'd smile at everything......though you probably wouldnt get served as they'd be talking to your order or doing other things you do when youre stoned- Roisin, kazs' sister
kaz, Aug 06 2001

       The reason they don't smile is because they have terrible jobs and McDonalds are sometimes lucky enough to have them turn up, let alone pretend to be cheerful. Because of this low attendance they can often be understaffed, making the job even worse.
Aristotle, Aug 06 2001

       When I visited Switzerland, I ashamedly went to McDonalds. The employees there seemed happy but I imagine that they were paid a little better than their American counter-parts since a Value Meal was like US$12 or something. Man, that was a lot to pay for a salty piece of a dead dairy cow.
EvoketheTiger, Aug 06 2001

       In France I ordered pomme frites thinking it was french fries and instead it was an apple pie. I think the girl at the counter knew because she was laughing and giggling a lot or maybe it was my exagerated French accent. Either way, I have inadvertantly succeeded at this idea. BTW: potato is pomme de terre (apple of the earth), I guess I should have known that in France, French fries are just fries (frites)
Rusty, Aug 06 2001

       (In reference to my earlier note) That being said, I think anything that breaks the tedium would be a blessing.
nick_n_uit, Aug 06 2001

       I recall that a strategic facial injection of Botulinum (???) toxin will produce a permanent smile...
dsm, Aug 07 2001

       A sufficiently large injection of botulinum *anywhere* will produce a permanent grin.
angel, Aug 07 2001

       I think Paris is the perfect place to see how synthetic McDonalds is. People can see for themselves that the "French" fries they offer are not French and all the changes to menu that McDo needed to make to ensure their food is acceptable. Before McDonalds was allowed to open in Paris there was a lot of concern about the inclusion of McJobs to the French employment market.   

       I loved the class conflict article from the Onion, by the way and this sums up some of the issues behind this. I generally find myself cringing when I visit McDonalds because often the "senior" employees are taking the Micheal out of their subordinates.
Aristotle, Aug 07 2001

       It's not a good idea to try and make pissed off eople smile. They are more likely to go postal and shoot the place up. Trust me I was employed by the 'wendy's' chain for a while before i joined the marines. RIP dave thomas. Try and make a pissed off marine cook smile and your likely to get an ass whuppin you won't sure forget.
chupacabra, Jan 26 2002

       I think the food the Parisian McDonald's serve is better than that I find in the U.S. Maybe it's my imagination, but the stuff seems to taste better. I've not seen many unfriendly Mcd's employees, either. Maybe I just don't get out often enough.
bristolz, Jan 26 2002

       And they serve beer and cigs. But having worked in a McDs I can safely say nothing will make the employees smile, not even extra gold stars for doing so.
mcscotland, Jan 26 2002

       what iuvare offered is (ahem) sound advice.
thumbwax, Jan 28 2002

       The burgers in Amsterdam seem to taste nicer than the ones in the UK (and this was before I tryed their other delicacies). They seemed to be freshly prepared as opposed to usual mush.
edski, Jan 28 2002

       MaccyDees was my first "Job"; I left after 3 weeks.   

       At first it was great to have free lunch and unlimited free drinks, but you try and smile when you're stuck in the back (Un-airconditioned) cooking Double Cheesburgers. Then being shouted at for adding THREE slices of rubbery pickle anstead of the usual 2! I'm not really sure WHY it was so miserable-the boss who had the breath of a horses arse or being asked to get more patties out of the -40C fridge every 10 mins!!!
LeighBoy, Jan 28 2002

       Employees don't have TIME to smile anymore...if they ever did. We did the drive-thru and apparently our meal wasn't ready in time so we got a coupon for a free Big Mac. The coupon says.."Sorry for the wait, we have taken longer than 30 seconds. Please accept this free Big Mac to be used during a future visit." Now that's fast food...whether it is edible or not is another story.
bluerowan, Jan 28 2002

       Was out at McD's a while back with a few friends - F1 commented "Why does the service here always suck..." and went on for a few minutes... F2 replied "For the money they're getting paid, you're lucky they're probably not spitting in it." - A perfect summation in my book.
Orb2069, Mar 28 2002

       bris... so is the MacDonald's story from "Pulp Fiction" true then?
waugsqueke, Mar 28 2002

       Bob, it's actually 'we love to see you smile' in the US, too. D-eschew was incorrect.
StarChaser, Mar 29 2002

       There's a shortcoming here. There's no way to guarantee that they'll actually smile. I've got the solution. Leap up over the counter, get behind the cashier, grab thier cheeks from behind, (the higher set of cheeks, mind you), and pull up. Instant smile, whether they want to or not.
RayfordSteele, Mar 29 2002

       Or, since they 'love to see us smile,' take a picture of yourself smiling, and blow it up to lifesize. Tape it to your head when you walk in.
RayfordSteele, Mar 29 2002

       Look up the percentage of overweight American's in particular and recall McDonald's began in America. I think that is about enough McDonald's. A pleasant evening to you all.
LarsHomestead, Jun 22 2002

       When I work at my storefront in the mall, everybody there, and actually most of the rest of the mall employees, eat in the Food Court quite often. Matter of fact, everyone from the nearest front to me ("5-7-9," a clothing store specializing in teeny tiny teens' clothing) eats at Burger King every day. Only about three of the people I know well in the mall are at all overweight. Fast food is not a surefire path to massive obesity; just fast food in huge quantities at once.
jester, Jun 22 2002

       Did you know that bowel cancer is almost unknown amongst vegetarians? that makes me smile.
dijit, Jun 22 2002

       Let us recall the age range and hence recall that these "teeny tiny teenies" are that way because they have high metabolism's. You will soon see their pudge form.
LarsHomestead, Jun 22 2002

       Look I work at McDonalds and if you were me you wouldn't smile either. I would have to say for about the first half of my shift I am generally in a great mood but then you have customers who come through and feel that they need to yell at you and make you feel like shit. So if we aren't smiling maybe it is because we just got an asshole for a customer before you. And if you really want to make a McDonalds employee smile... offer them a job that pays more and a job that they can have some integrity at. That would make me smile.
karenk1232001, Jun 05 2003

       No no no no. I don't want my fast food worker types smiling.
Some years ago, I went to a Burger King in Aberdeen, Scotland, looking for something to eat that wasn't made of fish or oil or granite. I was served by a girl whose expression of abject misery was so ingrained and powerful you could almost *taste* it in the air. Honestly, I had and have never seen anyone so utterly unhappy in my entire life. Her name was [name withheld]. I kept the receipt from that transaction - still have it - to remind myself that however bad my life is, however much I feel like everything has turned to shit, I can never - *never* - be as unhappy as that poor girl.
my face your, Jun 05 2003

       //There is one employee you will never make smile: the cow.----- Vance //
Now they've got soy burgers. Or is that what they've been serving all along?
thumbwax, Jun 05 2003

       Hey Calum   

       Like your "site/whatever". You Brits are so colorful. Disappointed with your comment about how you "don't like my servers smiling" (paraphrase).   

       You said you were a professional 'type' (as opposed to a fast food worker 'type'). Take sirrobin's advice. Offer the poor thing a job.
thecat, Jul 10 2003

       //colorful// That's a euphemism, right? <g>
//Offer the poor thing a job// Alas, this was years ago when I, too, was a service industry drone and unable to offer her any sort of employment. Anyway, I just looked her name up on google and it appears that there is a [name withheld], currently doing quite nicely at the University I live near. Perhaps I should contact her and see if she is my miserable waitron of yesteryear. Perhaps not.
my face your, Jul 10 2003

       [mfy] If by euphemism you mean veiled anything then no. If you mean double meaning then yes. I think you meant the 2nd mostly but not solely because of the <g>. The <g> was appreciated. Otherwise, I would think you were one of the ironicly but not surprisingly thin-skinned mean-spirited types and were offended.   

       As to the find & seek, offer you should. IF you could now offer her something. If nothing else a good laugh about it. Because sadly, she may still be at it/something like it. Depending on where you start from you may be stuck there. If here attitude was that bad she was probably a lifer. If not, god help the people her degree will give her authority over.   

       The full name sounds plausibly common. Get to work. Keep me posted by e- if you take up the challenge.   

       love ... the cat.   

       P.S. Keep in the pink. Spread it around.
thecat, Jul 11 2003

       [bristolz] + on the restraint with your suggestion to mfy . I was 100/0 then 75/25 now 50/50. See! I can have my mind changed by you, etc. when you are being cool.
thecat, Jul 11 2003

       Well, so I'm cool now. I guess all that remains is to figure out what the hell you mean.
bristolz, Jul 11 2003

       Without actually knowing anything about it firsthand, I guarantee you McDonalds' employees aren't allowed to keep tips. Putting money in their pockets while at the register is grounds for dismissal, I'm very sure.
snarfyguy, Jul 12 2003

       You aren't "cool -now-" (general) you were -being- cool (specific). A little positive reinforcement. No need to be snippy/dripping in sarcasm. Also, Why do you dwell on the worst? Even if you didn't take that in the spirit it was meant, I also said your restrained opinion was having some influence on me.
thecat, Jul 12 2003

       If you've ever worked in hospitality/retail/food service you will fully understand how workers feel.   

       If you get a bitchy customer you can garuntee they've never spent a day in their life in a customer-oriented business of any kind.   

       People frequently return to their former retail workplaces bearing firearms and bloodlust as a result of the kind of stress you get.   

       Despite some brilliant staff training and motivation incentives in most businesses today (short of amphetamines), the smile lasts all of a few days. After a while you realise that hospitality is for robots not humans and that customers are terrible, not staff, as television would have you believe.   

       It's worse when you own or manage a business, you end up employing more assitant managers to distance yourself from customers and employees. I had a 1/3 stake in a cafe and at one point I avoided being on shop floor for three whole months to avoid punching people.... and i'm not a violent person.   

       IT is a much better industry, you can spend all day doing three hours work and charge an outragous overvalued rate. Be sure to run over-budget and over-time to make it more convincing.
venomx, Jul 13 2003

       In college some friends of mine and I (all very baked) decided to try to get free fries by serenading the workers at the local Jack in the Crotch. We comandeered a table and drummed, played a guitar and sang for at least half an hour, before the manager asked us to stop. Never got any fries, but did get everyone to smile. Many of those present (not I) went on to form a good but too short-lived band.
oxen crossing, Jul 15 2003

       If you're looking for a "good time" in McDonalds, throw your pickle onto the wall and have a pickle race. Then laugh as you see the staff clean it up
Hubned, Jul 15 2003

       I think you missed the point [Hubned] this idea/rant is to get employees to smile, not yourself.
silverstormer, Jul 15 2003

       Just read alx's link. Fantastic stuff.

I don't go into McDonald's myself but, if I did, I'm sure that their employees, just like everyone else in the world, would be more likely to smile if you smiled at them first, talked politely and treated them with a bit of respect.
DrBob, Jul 15 2003

       Well said, Bob. They don't look pissed off for nothing. I'm surprised there aren't more suicides among them. Now I thjink of it, they must get that meat from somewhere...
git, Jul 15 2003

       What DrBob said.
egbert, Jul 15 2003

       What egbert said DrBob said.
FarmerJohn, Jul 15 2003

       In all of our local McDonalds, smiles are right there on the menu. If you want a smile, order one. they are listed as 'free'. The catch is that usually those who order smiles are joking around and are being nice to the staff anyway, so the staff smile back anyway. Those that ask for a smile and are still being arseholes, usually get a sarcastic grin with a hint of rage.
reap, Jul 15 2003

       I would just like to state that as a McDonald's employee, I fully disagree.   

       Maybe my restaurant is a different story, but we're all smiles.   

       We're all friends and we are great with our service so we only get a hanfdul of complaints every day.   

       I, personally, am smiling about 80% of the time. The rest of the time, I'm just at a neutral grin sorta thing.   

       It is not an overall McDonald's thing. It happens with specific restaurants and is most likely due to bad crew morale created by bad managereal morale.   

       For reference, I am an 18 year old male who is attending university with entrance scholarships, in case refuters wanted to throw in some stereotypes   

       So yeah. Any restaurant will suffer unpleasant employees if the management is not leading properly.   

       Maybe my demographic is different, I am from eastern Canada afterall. Our customers are probably nicer. ^_^;;
dracujesus, Jul 16 2006

       Being from Canada is cheating.
GutPunchLullabies, Jul 18 2006

       I think I win-I went thru the driveup and they had a nasty nasty man taking the orders-he was shouting and then leaned out the window and shouted at me as I pulled up to the driveup window to pay-he startled me so badly I had a brief lapse of attention and the cement pole 2inches in front of his window destroyed my sideview mirrow. That made him smile...
AH, Jul 18 2006

       The funny thing is, that man was actually DracuJesus...
GutPunchLullabies, Jul 18 2006

       Sounds too much like something the joker would do..
travbm, Oct 29 2015


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