Why Working in Fast Food Can Be Stressful

Working in fast food can be a stressful experience. The hours can be long, the work tiring, and the pressure to prepare meals quickly without sacrificing quality can be overwhelming. During busy periods, breaks may be postponed due to the flood of customers. Stress is a normal part of life, and it's no different when it comes to working in fast food. Some fast food workers have gone on to new jobs in the open labor market that offer more money or better hours.

Others have quit their jobs without doing anything else and are waiting for their time until they find the right opportunity. If you're feeling exhausted from the day before or just couldn't sleep before your shift, having a coffee or energy drink can help. If you're tired, you're most likely in a bad mood. I worked in a fast-food restaurant that was open 24 hours a day. That can be really tiring, I know.

You're going to want to go home and sleep one day, but you actually have to go back to work in eight hours. However, if you have very unhealthy schedules, talk to your boss. There's no reason why they can't come to an agreement with you to ensure that you're working as efficiently as possible. Whenever the job in question is very demanding, you'll know that it's sure to be stressful. There is immense pressure to provide customer service, order well, deal with different personalities, long lines and work at a fast pace.

That could cause some unpleasant moments during the shift, and it's one of the main reasons people leave their jobs. As stress continues to increase with each passing day, not everyone will be able to handle it. Once the order is complete, the self-service employee's job is to get it into the customer's hands and get it out the window as quickly as possible. Mental Health America, in a study involving more than 17,000 employees, found that the food and beverage industry is among the three most “unhealthy” work industries, depending on the work environment, stress and employee engagement. There are those who don't make an effort to clean their table, as well as customers who drop food on the floor and make it dirty. When it comes to fast food work, you'll mostly find nice people who just want to order their meals and get on with their day.

Working in a fast food franchise is an excellent first job for anyone who wants to gain some experience and, at the same time, enter the world of work. Ama Mantey wrote in March that service sector employees who receive tips are at greater risk of depression, sleep problems and stress compared to workers in industries that don't receive tips, and food service workers have one of the highest rates of self-reported alcohol and drug abuse. A job in fast food isn't a position that many people want, but there's always a high demand for people to fill those positions. When Paul Ryan worked at McDonald's in the '80s, he could have been representative of a sea of fast-food workers, mostly teenagers - a perception that persists today. Say what you want about working in fast food, but no one can deny that it teaches you some valuable responsibilities - especially if you're young. Unless you're willing to face a challenging environment where you'll have to work hard most of the time, then working in fast food may not be the ideal choice as it's not suitable for all types of personalities.

Some foods - such as the Quarter Pounder - were extremely difficult to complete at that time - especially if the fresh burger stuck to the grill. My manager looked at me as if I didn't realize it and replied that of course people had thrown food at him. Fortune spoke to three former fast-food workers in different parts of the country about the reasons they left, what they think of the industry and what they're doing now. And while there's nothing better than the smell of freshly cooked food - too much of anything is usually harmful in some way. I remember a particular time when the customer ate his food and should have left - but instead he sat down to check his phone before leaving. Unlike many industries where you might have to work for years before you get a promotion - the fast food industry offers a faster way. Working in fast food can be stressful - but it also offers valuable experience for those looking for their first job or wanting to gain experience in customer service or working with different personalities.

It's important for employers and employees alike to recognize when stress levels become too high - so that they can take steps towards creating a healthier work environment.

Estella Gentges
Estella Gentges

Award-winning bacon trailblazer. Total internet nerd. Certified internet advocate. Devoted social mediaholic. Lifelong baconaholic.