Inside McDonalds as ex-staff members spill details from McCouples to free food

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A pair of McDonald’s employees have opened up about what it’s like to work inside the famous firm.

Speaking to Grimsby Live, the former employees – who will remain anonymous – shared the little known facts about working under the Golden Arches between 2009 and 2015.

So, if you’ve ever wanted to peer behind the counter now’s your chance.

The former crew member and crew trainer worked at McDonald’s before the burger chain launched table service iPads or touch screen ordering.

So they remember the classic McDonald’s in all its glory, but we're sure lots of things have remained the same.

For example, the duo explained why the milkshake machine always seems to be broken, why you can't get a McMuffin at 11am and even why kids can't redeem Monopoly wins.

Cleaning standards

Firstly, they explained that the founder of McDonald’s, Ray Croc, used to motivate staff by saying “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean”.

That means if you’re lounging around then you need to get scrubbing something instead and the phrase is still used across the UK to keep up productivity levels.

The crew member said: "There's always someone cleaning something in McDonald's – it's probably one of the cleanest fast-food restaurants around.

"Although the saying makes me cringe, I think it's a good idea because it keeps up high cleaning standards."


Next up, the workers admitted that the most stressful part of the day was the breakfast change over.

They said: "The change over from breakfast to main menu was always a nightmare.

"Breakfast ended at 10.30am, but you'd always end up with someone coming in at 10.45am wanting a McMuffin.

"By 10.45am, all breakfast equipment has been chucked into the back sink to be washed and as harsh as it sounds, we're not going to fish it all out the sink, wash it up, and put it all back together again just to serve one customer one McMuffin."

So that’s why they won’t whip you up a Sausage & Egg at 11am.


We’ve all heard the staff say that the milkshake machine is broken – and these fast food workers want you to know it’s not on purpose.

The milkshake and ice cream machines are the same thing, but the reason it always seems to be out of action is because of the “complicated” cleaning process which must be done nightly, weekly and monthly.

The former staff member said: “"Sometimes the machines would have a cleaning error in the middle of the night, which would stop its cleaning process. It could happen at 3am when nobody is around to sort it out (they weren't always open 24 hours!)

"The morning workers would then have to sort it out and continue it on its cleaning process. The machine does not allow you to cancel a clean – it has to finish it in full before it returns to normal.”

Free meals

Employees do apparently get a free meal when working but this is limited to what shift you’re on.

Apparently, a seven hour plus shift meals you can get any medium Extra Value Meal.

Whereas a shift under six hours then you can only have something small.

McDonald's Extra Value Meals include Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Chicken Sandwich, Six Chicken Nuggets, Filet-o-Fish, and Vegetable Deluxe meals.

The crew member added: "We were allowed any meal on breakfast shifts, but when it came to main menu, we were not allowed the promotion meals.”

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Hand washing

There are strict hygiene standards at the stores even pre-Covid.

Apparently, each station has its own rules with till and dining area staff having to wash their hands every 60 minutes.

In the kitchen you must wash your hands every half an hour and there’s a loud alarm which tells you when the time has passed.


The crew trainer said: "Employee relationships are a thing, and they are very common.

"There was a lot of crew members getting together and even a lot of managers going out with each other."


Customers are only allowed to redeem one win per person and you must be aged over 16.

he crew member said: "Children under aged 16 always try to redeem £1.99 vouchers or try to redeem three Monopoly wins in one go, and we're meant to tell them they're not allowed to do this.

"I think it really depends on who is serving you to how strict this rule is – sometime you can get lucky, but sometimes not.

“However we'd love to allow you to redeem more than one voucher in one go, but our manager is 'secretly' watching us and we'd get told off for doing so.”

The Daily Star contacted McDonald's for comment.

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