Fast Food Chain Workers
Fast food companies have a reputation for avoiding skilled workers while preferring the unskilled ones. An open secret is that some of them even embrace a “zero training” mantra in their business with the argument that workers have a steady paycheck and thus need to take care of their own job skills. However, a popular approach in many contemporary business organizations across the world is the on-job training sessions where workers are empowered with new skills in their area of trade to help them perform better. This is normally done to enable them keep the pace with the dynamic technology environment. This paper argues that fast food companies have an obligation to augment job skills of their workers and need to embrace training culture notwithstanding steady paychecks.
Fast food companies operate under closed doors partly because of the nature of the business they are involved in. It requires ensuring that formulas and ingredients are kept in secret from the potential competitors. This culture perpetuates a working culture where the environment in which the workers do their job is not safe to themselves and to the foods that they produce. According to Schlosser (10), a number of accidents occur within the precincts of the many manufacturing plants that are detrimental to the health of the employees. Equally, the foods that are being manufactured may also get contaminated. A greater concern of the fast food companies should thus be upholding safety of their employees and the food manufactured in those companies. Having relevant and updated job skills will help in avoiding accidents that occur in these industries. To this end, fast food companies have an obligation to ensure that workers are trained and have better skills in keeping in line with the requirements in the production lines.
Most of the fast food companies manufacture foods using different methods and chemicals. This explains the unique tastes and preferences that consumers attach to certain foods from a particular company. The distinction is a result of unique processes that these companies use in the manufacturing. As a result, there are limited facilities that offer such specialized skills even if the workers were to take private courses. Even more, the fact is that these companies need a tailor made course to enable workers to perform activities that are geared toward an identifiable food characteristics. A common practice in other business companies is the aspect of seminars and conferences where employees are given the opportunity to share on the new challenges and opportunities in their respective areas of trade. However, this practice is lacking in fast food companies compounded by lack of experts who can conduct training of the workers. I believe that these companies have the capacity to form up a team of experts in the area of culinary and offer job skills services to the workers even if that will be deducted from their paycheck. It still will be better than embracing zero training as the ultimate goal. Untrained staff is an unproductive staff, especially in products that are consumable by human beings.
According to Schlosser (58), fast food industry uses a number of complex methods and processes in manufacturing the kind of foods that permeate restaurants across many parts of the world. Notably, more people are turning to fast foods to quench their palates each day with some making as many as five visits to a fast food restaurant in a week. Children have become even more sated with fast foods, especially with the packaging and smell that these products promise to their consumers. The kind of insatiability that both children and adult are exhibiting and the increased cases of obesity among children call for a review on how fast foods are manufactured in the backyard. A common factor that may be a hindrance to the embankment of this nature is the secrecy that surrounds fast food companies. It makes it difficult for investigators to access the kind of environment and chemicals that go into manufacture of fast foods.
Fast food companies present employment opportunities to many people who may not necessarily be trained in food industry and therefore there is a need to have a well trained workforce. Building a workforce that is well versed with the technicalities involved in the production of fast foods requires the management of the company to actively participate in provision of training seminars to the workers. Based on this knowledge, I highly believe that fast food companies have an obligation to ensure that their team is trained well on how to handle their food products. As indicated by Schlosser (91), fast food has become popular across many countries and competition in the industry is very high. Therefore, for any company to survive, it requires a skilled workforce to deliver products that are competitive on the market.
Schlosser (25) acknowledges that fast food companies use sophisticated technologies in manufacturing their products. Multiple chemicals with complex formulas are used to achieve certain colors, tastes and smells that are loved by their consumers. Hundreds of different chemicals may be used in manufacturing of a single product and mixing of the ratios needs to be precise in order to meet a desired taste or even smell of a particular product. For instance, Schlosser (27) notes that artificial strawberry flavor, like that found in Burger King strawberry flavor, contains over fifty different food ingredients that are combined to produce that savory taste. All this expertise requires a sense of luster in the application of the processes while manufacturing the food. However, most of the fast food workers, especially those who work in companies’ labs, are experts in their respective areas of specialization. These include: florists, biologists and psychologists. Even though they may be experts in certain areas, I think that with the changing technology, there is a need to have a continuous training in the job skills in order to keep up with new development in the science of producing fast food.
Another reason why workers need new job skills is to keep up with standards that will deliver health products to the people. Fast food chains, like any other business organization, have the responsibility of teaching their workers new job skills with the aim of providing better products to the consumers. The scientific nature involved in production of fast food is complex and sophisticated. The food produced impacts on the consumers’ health. In fact, studies have shown that there are an increasing number of people, especially children, who are falling into the trap of obesity and the first culprit is the fast food because it is loved by the young generation. If enough and better skills were employed in production of these foods, it could help to decrease side effects of obesity in the consumers.
In conclusion, fast food companies produce products consumed by people. Therefore, there is a need to ensure expertise and professionalism during production. A workforce that is using the last century technology and knowledge in handling sensitive products cannot achieve professionalism and expertise. Furthermore, different chemicals used in the production of fast food require well-trained people to ensure achievement of desired taste and flavor. However, the amount money that the workers are paid, cannot substitute that need for expertise and professionalism in the fast food industry.