Some of Our First Jobs Were In QSRs
As PIXO has been diving deeper into the QSR industry, we’ve been exchanging anecdotes about our personal experiences working in fast food. It seems no matter how long ago we worked in a QSR, or for how short a time, the experience had an impact. So we put it the question out there to all of our employees:
If you ever worked in fast food, what was your experience, and could VR training have helped?
I worked in the front of the house at a burger chain for 8 months at one point in my life. When I first started the training and onboarding process was quick, it consisted of watching training videos and then shadowing other employees while they did their job. The team chemistry overall was pretty good, some managers ran the team in a fun way, but there was a daytime general manager that had a more disciplined, strict environment which did not allow for much team chemistry. When it came to the daily tasks with my coworkers, most of them were a little light on initiative and that is when I found out it was easy to shine by being more productive than others. I was definitely picking up the slack of others. I felt that I was very equipped to do the job except for the first day when they threw me on the fryers on a busy Friday night. On this Friday, I felt very overwhelmed, also it was a struggle when I was first starting out on the drive thru. I did not have much training on the drive thru, and they were strict on the countdown buzzer for cars coming through. I personally believe that VR training can and will improve the training and onboarding process for QSR’s but back in my day it would have seemed very Back to the Future like!
During my two year stint working for a QSR, I worked for a small coffee shop where there were only three employees: The owner, manager and myself. I would work both the front and back of the house since usually on shift there was only one of us, unless it was during peak hours, or there was an event going on nearby where we knew we would have elevated business. During my onboarding and training, I shadowed the manager for about two weeks then I was on the clock by myself. We not only did specialty coffees, but we also did ice cream, sandwiches, baked goods, soups, and salads, so there was a lot of stuff to learn in a short period of time. Overall, the team chemistry was good since we were such a small team, everyone knew how to do their job correctly and we knew we could count on each other. VR training would have been super helpful when I was first starting out my training because I could have had a safe environment to learn all of the different recipes without wasting food and money.
During a year in high school, I worked at a coffee and donut shop on the weekends. I would work the front of house working the register, making coffee, grabbing the baked goods, and making sandwiches. My first day of training consisted of shadowing the manager on a slow Friday night, then my first real day was on a busy Saturday morning, where I was the slow man on the team. I started off on the register and they then moved me around which was how we worked generally; We would rotate and shift positions like a volleyball team. Overall we had a good team dynamic since there was a wide range of ages and experience, which made for a good mentor/mentee relationship. If we were able to train in VR, that would have been personally super helpful because we would be able to have simulated a crazy rush, without slowing down the line or adding to the cost of food waste from messing things up. Even though I was there for a year, if I would have been able to start in VR and get things down in a simulated environment before real work, I would have been less stressed that first weekend. It also could have improved workplace safety. While making coffee, if you don’t pay attention and take the basket out while the coffee is percolating the hot water will splash and burn you. The mantra was not to do it, but also “Everyone does it.” So, of course, I did, and burned my fingers badly.
I worked at a burger and fry chain for 4 years throughout high school. During my time there I had a similar training and onboarding experience to Jean where I watched training videos (on an old computer in a broom closet) and then I shadowed other employees till I got the process down. Since we were working in a fast paced environment, and everyone had their routines, when I had to train someone new it really slowed me down. I would say it was about 50/50 when it came to my coworkers being equipped enough to do their job. Personally, I found myself picking up the slack of other employees quite often. One of my biggest pet peeves was having to train new employees because it slowed me down, especially when we were busy and trying to get through a full screen of orders. If someone was able to train in a simulated environment, where they could take their time, learn how to do something, and learn it correctly, it would drastically speed up the time to train. Turnover was a big problem at our location and one of the main reasons someone quit was because they were overwhelmed and felt they could not do their job well. With proper training, employees will be more engaged and confident in their work.
For more information on how PIXO is improving training and customer satisfaction through VR training, click here!