If you’ve never worked at McDonald’s, you’ll be unfamiliar with the phrase ‘gap time’.
If you have, it’s a term that’ll strike fear into your heart – regardless of whether it’s been years since you donned the iconic staff cap.
Stephen Patula, the owner and operator of a number of McDonald’s franchises in the US, recently showed what a peak lunchtime shift looks like for kitchen staff.
Known colloquially as gap times, these busy periods happen for two hours at breakfast, two at lunch, and two towards dinner. And they’re always a rush to say the least.
Stephen, 24, wore a head camera while working one of these shifts, revealing the multitasking that needs to take place to get you from ordering to eating.
After an order ticket comes through, the businessman affixes it to the corresponding burger box, before making up batches of burgers (with all the fixings you’d expect) in double-quick time.
He’s like a well oiled machine as he preps each dish, swirling McFlurrys and scooping up patties from the warming trays.
It’s also intriguing for the uninitiated to see what goes on behind the scenes. Did you know, for example, that McDonald’s don’t use regular sauce bottles for burgers, but sauce guns?
You’ll also see how the kitchen operates, with one side frying on the flat top and the other side building the meals and serving up. In between, there’s a series of trays so staff can slide food across and keep it warm.
Fries are put into the oil in batches, before being salted (with another special contraption) and portioned up. You can even see how the buns are toasted.
‘This is so cool,’ said one commenter, while another joked, ‘That’s why we lovin’ it’.
Given Stephen has worked in McDonald’s from the age of 10 (as his parents were franchise owners) he’s certainly had plenty of practice.
The next time you say fast food workers have it easy, humble yourself with his videos. Working that quickly and that efficiently is anything but easy.