These days, Taco Bell has customers covered all day — from breakfast to fourth meal. (It even does
weddings.) And while we're well-versed in every new menu release from the Naked Chicken Chalupa to the Loaded Taco Burrito, there's one thing we've always wondered: what is it really like to work there? We went hunting for the inside scoop.
Thanks to an anonymous interview with a former employee, we now know exactly how long you have to grill a Crunchwrap. Still a fan of the fast food chain, she was more than willing to answer our questions — from secret menu items to kooky drive-thru stories. Ahead, she shares some highs and lows, as well as why she still eats the food after all these years.
The following interview was told to Refinery29 and edited for length and clarity.
Starting Out " When I started out, they had me work as a cashier for the first year...I remember the register was super old and the abbreviations for all the food items were very strange and kind of hard to learn at first, but I learned the ropes pretty quick. Working the front register also meant you were responsible for cleaning the dining room. Things could get messy, especially when young kids came in. And there was the dreaded men’s bathroom. We’d sometimes draw straws for who had to clean it.
"I eventually got moved to the drive-thru, which was definitely more fun. I’d get to be in a sort of rhythm. You’d get people their drinks and sauces, then take the order for the next person while you were giving them their food."
Photo: Elijah NOUVELAGE/Getty Images. More
The Customers " I had more good experiences than bad with the customers, but, of course, some people could be really mean...A woman and her adult daughter came through the drive-thru [and] when I gave them their change, they tried to claim that they gave me a $100 bill even though they only gave me a $20 bill. My manager came over and they said, 'Check her pockets!' I don’t want to say it was traumatic, but it made me feel bad. I was super honest, and my manager checked my pockets in front of these people who tried to scam us.
"That was one of the most extreme instances of customers trying to get free stuff out of us. There’s definitely a lot of times, too, where customers will do whatever and say whatever they can to get free Taco Bell, as you can imagine with any food place. It helped me learn how to deal with angry people throughout my life. People would yell about silly things, like their burrito wasn’t supposed to have sour cream. My strategy was to follow policy and apologize and solve the problem.
"Working the drive-thru, especially, sometimes people would give me their number. There was more than one occasion when I was offered a shot through the window. My most positive interactions were with the regulars. There was an older guy who would come in every day, sometimes with his wife — I still remember his order. A bean burrito, triple-layer nachos, and a water to share. Sometimes they would get a Tostada. They knew everyone in the restaurant, and they even gave us cards for Christmas. They were kind of an extended part of the Taco Bell family. "
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