Everything You Want to Know About Being a McDonald's Manager
What Makes a Great McDonald's Manager?
A career in fast food manager is extremely stressful. Here's what you need:
• Patience (and lots of it).
• Assertive, not aggressive, attitude.
• A thick skin when it comes to unhappy customers.
• Endurance to stand on feet for hours.
• Confidence to manage and direct employees.
Considering a management career at McDonald's? Getting hired at McDonald's might seem easy enough, but working at McDonald's long-term is not something just anybody can handle. Keep reading to find out what being a McDonald's manager is really like.
Depending on the management level, you will perform a variety of tasks each day including:
- Counting drawers and preparing deposits.
- Taking inventory.
- Creating a weekly schedule for crew members and a monthly schedule for managers.
- Handle customer complaints (and trust me, you'll get a lot of them).
- Paperwork, orientation, and training sessions for new employees
You will also often be expected to do the same things the crew does, although technically your job is to supervise. You'll make sandwiches, cook meat and chicken, take orders at the front register or drive thru window, cook fries, and wash dishes.
Manager Work Schedules
Managers at McDonald's are required to work on weekends and holidays. Weekends are the busiest time for many McDonald's restaurants; some stores make more on Saturday and Sunday than they do for the other five days of the week combined. If you are a person who doesn't like to work evenings or weekends, a career as a McDonald's Manager is not right for you. Some stores are open for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which means that you might be expected to work 10pm to 7am one day and 4am to 2pm a few days later.
Don't be fooled by promises of flexible schedules; those are usually only offered to crew members. Managers are often expected to have a 24 hour availability. Keep in mind that managers are often called in early or asked to stay late, and that if the next manager doesn't show up for his or her shift, you have to stay until a replacement is found.
Salaries and Benefits
How much do managers at McDonald's make? Well, it depends on a variety of different factors: your position (hourly or salaried), the length of time you've been with the company, availability (are you flexible with your work schedule, or do you require set hours?), and whether you work for the corporation or for a franchise.
Generally, if you work for the McDonald's corporation (as opposed to a franchise owner), you will make more money. However, more than 70% of McDonald's are franchised, so finding a corporate store in your area might be difficult.
Here are the average salaries for managers:
- Hourly: $9.77 per hour
- Assistant Managers: $27,732 per year
- Store Managers: $35,586 per year
Remember, this is only the average salary for each position. Many hourly managers are offered overtime, which means they have a chance to make as much, if not more, than their salaried coworkers. I have met store managers who made almost $60,000 per year, and hourly managers who made $13 per hour.
Just like pay rates, benefits vary widely depending on whether you work for a franchise or corporation. A manager working at a corporate store is likely to receive one or two weeks of paid vacation, as well as monthly or quarterly bonuses based on sales. They are also usually offered health insurance and a 401K Plan. A manager at a franchise might not receive the same benefits.
I spent seven years as a manager at a franchised location (which switched owners three times during my time there), and was offered the same insurance as the crew people: McCrew Care. I was personally told by the operator that McCrew Care was a joke, and that no doctors in the area accepted it. I will say that one of my franchise owners offered Blue Cross Blue Shield, and even said he'd pay for me to take Spanish courses at the community college (we had a lot of employees and customers who did not speak English). Unfortunately, he sold the restaurant store to another franchise owner, and she took away all of our benefits.
A degree is usually not required to become a McDonald's Manager, although many Assistant Managers and Store Managers have a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited university. In this economy, it never hurts to finish college and get your degree.
Even if you don't have a degree, expect to frequently attend seminars, training classes, and conventions. Most states also require all restaurant managers to get their Food Safety Certificate.
Working Conditions and Job Security
Can you handle standing on your feet for long periods of time? Managers work incredibly hard, and a career in restaurant management is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining at times. There will be days when most of your co-workers will call in sick, which means you will be expected to pick up the slack. That means you might work for hours without a bathroom break or drink of water, and rarely, if ever, will you actually find the time to sit down for an unpaid lunch or dinner break. In fact, if you're the only manager scheduled for that shift, you will probably not be allowed to sit down at all (and if you try, you will be badgered with questions from angry customers and tired crew members).
If you're working in the grill, it will be hot. If you're working in the drive thru, it will be hot in the summer and painfully cold in the winter. No matter where you're working or what season it is, your feet will probably hurt at the end of the day.
Having said that, fast food manager jobs aren't going anywhere, especially if you work at McDonald's. Despite the numerous protests that McDonald's is causing Americans to become obese, sales keep increasing and the restaurants can be found on every corner. Even if you lose your job at one location, it's easy to go down the street and apply to for another one. I've seen it happen more times than I can count.
A career as a fast-food manager is not for everybody. The wages are decent; however, you will often go home physically and mentally exhausted. You will end up working most weekends and holidays; if you are raising a family, this might take its toll after awhile. If you're looking for benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation, you might not get them.
It's not all bad, though. After being screamed at by the 14th customer of the day because the fries aren't hot enough, you'll bond with your co-workers over how amazingly rude people can be. You'll celebrate together each time you achieve goals for drive-thru times. You'll work with high school students, middle-aged moms, and senior citizens, and you might even start to treat each other like family. It could be a lot worse, right?