Friday, September 21, 2007


Mack started my training by teaching me how to make burgers. There was a miniature meat freezer underneath the broiler that held all of the beef patties as well as the Chicken Whoppers®. You could stack 12 of the burger discs or 9 of the Whopper® discs onto the feeder on the broiler at a time. Once they cooked they dropped down into plastic pans that we kept the burgers in for I think about an hour.

Buns were dropped into the bun toaster and loaded 12 at a time for burger buns or 8 at a time for whopper buns into a bun steamer with 8 drawers on each side. They got rid of the bun steamer before I left. Partly because it was a pain in the arse to clean out and partly because people would leave buns in it until they got hard. (The buns, not the people.)

The amount of meat and buns kept up at one time was determined by something called a "level chart." There were different levels according to how busy we were at a given moment. The previous week's sales were used to determine how much food to keep ready except on holidays when they used the previous year's sales. These "levels" also told us how many burgers/Whoppers®/chicken sandwiches/whatever to keep in the heat chutes. The wraps had numbers 1-12 on them to determine how long the food should be held in the chute before it was thrown out. Food was only supposed to be held for 10 minutes. So if you made a burger at 1:05 you would mark a 3 on the wrap. It was the responsibility of the expediters to make sure the old food got thrown out, but they didn't bother checking that and rarely checked to see if they had the right sandwiches for the order they were making. So if you ever get the wrong sandwich but your ticket is correct, it's probably their fault.

Veggie burgers were cooked to order in the microwave. I would simply run them through the broiler since it only took a minute or so to cook which was nearly the same as the microwave. They would come out smelling and looking better with much firmer texture and grill marks. We weren't supposed to run them through the broiler since meat was cooked on the broiler, but the microwaves were often full and nobody really followed the rules unless the owner was around.

I got shown where everything was in the walk-in cooler as well as the walk-in freezer inside of it. For at least two years the safety release was broken, so they're very lucky nobody got locked inside.

After learning the basics I learned how to make burgers. A cheeseburger was simple. Two pickles, ketchup spiraling from the outside to the inside, and a ring of mustard around the middle. Then that bad boy got thrown into the microwave and sent on its way.

Jr. Whoppers® were a bit different since they had mayonnaise which will supposedly spoil in the microwave. After putting the meat onto the bottom part of the bun as well as any cheese or bacon it got tossed into the microwave. While it was being heated mayonnaise, lettuce, and one tomato were placed on the top bun. Once it came out you added two pickles, a spiral of ketchup, and onions before wrapping it and sending it down the chute. Whoppers® were the same way except they had two tomatoes and four pickles. Veggie burgers were the same as Jr. Whoppers®.

During busy times there were three boards open. All cheeseburgers, hamburgers, and Jr. Whoppers® were made on the "burger board." All Whoppers® excluding Chicken Whoppers® were made on the "Whopper board." Everything else was made on the "spec board." When it wasn't so busy, all of the burgers and Whoppers® were made on the Whopper Board.

After a couple days of making burgers, Devon started training me on the spec (specialty) board. This was where anything besides burgers got made. Basically all of the fried food and Chicken Whoppers®.

There was more variety of food on the spec board but the cooking consisted of opening a bag, pouring out a certain amount, dropping the basket in the grease, and hitting a timer. The sandwiches were simpler than the other boards. All a Chicken Whopper® got on it was mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato. The chicken sandwiches were football shaped and got mayonnaise on both sides as well as lettuce on the top. Chicken tenders were easy enough to deal with as all you had to do with them is grab them with tongs (or your hands) and stick them in a box. You could pretty much tell whenever fries needed to be cooked. On extremely busy days such as holidays they would have somebody there just to drop fries. Otherwise it only took a few seconds to push a fry basket into the Sinbad which dropped fries into the basket, then drop the fries into the grease and hit the timer. When they came up the expediter was supposed to push the old fries out of the way though the spec cook usually got stuck doing it. Then they got lightly salted and were ready to serve.

That was pretty much it as far as training goes. Soon after I started working on the night shift.

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