Hundreds Of Teens Who Work At McDonald's Are Using TikTok To Vent About Their Jobs
"On everyone's videos SOMEONE always comments no wonder my food takes so long."
Walking around your garage filled with insanely expensive cars. Getting cuddled by your perfect boyfriend. Panning across to reveal a celebrity you happen to be related to.
They’re all common scenes found in TikTok "check" videos, in which teens flex by sharing braggy footage of their lives under hashtags like #privateschoolcheck and #famousrelativecheck.
But a new type of check — one where you're more likely to see someone making greasy burgers under the heat lamps of an industrial kitchen — isn’t exactly like the others.
Hannah, 16, set out to make a video to show her friends what it’s really like to work for McDonald's in Australia.
“I originally made it as a joke to put on my Snapchat private story just for friends,” Hannah told BuzzFeed News. “And then I just decided to post it for the laugh.”
She didn’t expect the #maccascheck — in Australia, McDonald's is widely known as Maccas — to become so popular.
Since Hannah’s video, hundreds of other TikTokers have posted videos using her "Maccas Job Check" audio. Together, they have been viewed more than a million times.
The hashtag offers a behind-the-scenes look at the good, bad and boring bits of working at McDonald's. Some videos show people frying food, stacking shelves, cleaning, dealing with broken drink machines and taking out the bins.
In others, people dance, play pranks, distract their colleagues, complain about the smell and answer the classic question: "how much do you get paid working here?"
Stacey, 15, made a #maccascheck because she’s “obsessed” with TikTok. She thinks others have jumped on the trend because the fast food giant, which hires employees as young as 14, has a lot of young workers.
“Maccas is probably the best known and popular fast food store and lots of teens work there,” she said.
Unlike lots of other check videos, the #maccascheck hashtag gives an unfiltered and unglamorous view of what it's like to work in the service industry. Including being abused by customers.
Jeven, 18, saw TikToks about McDonald's trending and thought making a video from the perspective of an employee could go viral because, he figured, viewers like knowing more about the people serving food to them.
He said he hopes the videos will make people kinder to workers.
“Maccas employees are abused regularly and I see it first hand,” Jeven said. “People forget that we are always under the pump working at fast food restaurants and we make mistakes sometimes, but we always try our best and people definitely don’t respect that.”
The #maccascheck videos are usually shot in one of the chain's restaurants and feature people wearing company uniforms. One user commented on a video “On everyone's maccas videos SOMEONE always comments no wonder my food takes so long”.
None of the TikTokers who spoke to BuzzFeed News have faced, or are concerned about facing, any ramifications from the company over their videos.
McDonald's did not provide a copy of its social media policy to BuzzFeed News, but a document hosted on the McDonald’s Australia website titled ‘en_social_media_policy.html’ says that employees may not use their own private social media accounts to “undermine the goodwill, reputation, development and or operation” of the company.
A spokesperson said the company “takes appropriate action” for posts that breach its social media policy.
“I never thought about how posting stuff about my employer would affect me,” Jeven said. “But as I didn’t do it in a personal way or talk about the business negatively I assumed it would be allowed and wouldn’t cause an issue.”
Hannah was not particularly worried either.
“I made the video on my break so I was allowed on my phone,” she said. “My store has a TikTok account ran by another girl so I’m guessing my managers are okay with us posting on social media.”
Emily van der Nagel, a social media lecturer at Monash University, said that McDonald's could actually learn from the hashtag, using it as a form of feedback about working conditions at the company.
“There's a rich amount of information here about what it's like to be a young person working in a fast food restaurant,” she said.
Hannah thinks the videos are helpful because they’re a place for current and even prospective employees to connect.
“I’ve had a few comments from people with interviews and spoke to them [about the job] which was fun,” she said.
“I know this sounds dumb but it’s sort of connected a lot of people. Like, you can go through and watch other workers and see you’re all on the same page. I guess it sorta shows how everyone makes friends here.”