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Cashier Duties at McDonald's

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Fast food outlet McDonald's, founded by Ray Kroc around the middle of the 20th century, has grown to become a multibillion-dollar company with a fully global presence. McDonald's is present on every continent except Antarctica and is hugely popular from Moscow to Buenos Aires. One of the most popular crew jobs, cashiering at McDonald's, is a fast-paced if somewhat rote position that calls for physical nimbleness, friendliness, and excellent multitasking ability – among other things.

Customer Orders

The basic part of a cashier position at McDonald's is simply taking an order, putting it into the computer, taking money from a customer and providing change. Cashiers are usually responsible for fetching customer drinks (or cups, if the restaurant's drinks are self-service) and fries or other sides. Cashiers also retrieve completed sandwiches and burgers from the kitchen and arrange them either on a tray for dine-in customers or in a bag for to-go orders. Cashiers must also ensure that adequate amounts of napkins and condiments accompany the orders.

Customer Service

As the “face” of an everyday McDonald's experience, cashiers are expected to maintain a friendly smile and a good attitude with every customer, particularly when addressing a complaint. Cashiers often take the brunt of dissatisfied customers' frustration and so must be prepared to remain calm and deal swiftly and effectively with anything that goes wrong with an order.

When a manager is not readily available to address a customer's concern, cashiers are expected to use good judgment to determine whether replacement food is appropriate. Another, smaller, part of customer service is providing extra condiments and refills for dine-in customers.

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Cleaning and Maintenance

Down time usually means cleaning for a McDonald's cashier who can be expected to do anything from toilet-scrubbing to sweeping and everything in between. McDonald's has a team-centric philosophy that requires everyone to pitch in when possible (even if the activity is not in their job description). A cashier may find herself performing myriad cleaning duties, heavy lifting, parking lot maintenance, or even taking out the trash.

Cashiers may also perform certain rote tasks such as breaking down boxes and making Happy Meal boxes, while other duties can include changing marquee content or stocking napkin and condiment dispensers.

Handling Cash

Cashiers are held responsible for the contents of the cash drawer throughout and especially at the end of a shift, when sales must match the cash in the drawer. Cashiers must be vigilant during a shift to ensure that the correct amount of money changes hands and goes into the drawer. If there is a discrepancy, it will fall to the cashier to make up for a loss or otherwise provide an explanation.

Corporate Future

Working at McDonald's has long been touted as a good, if somewhat stigmatized, way to climb the corporate ladder with little education or specialized training. Many of McDonald's top-ranking managers and executives once started at the very bottom as a cashier

About the Author

Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.

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