Do You Clean up after Yourself at McDonald's (or Other Fast Food Restaurants)?

Hey OzBargain, just wanting to settle a question I had. How many of you clean up after yourself when eating at McDonald's or another fast food restaurant. I had this discussion with a friend who believed that while it is technically the job of the staff to keep the restaurant clean, as a customer it is important to be respectful and clean up your own mess. What do you think?

Poll Options

  • 1222
    Yes, I'm not a grub
  • 26
    Sometimes, but only if convenient (bins/paper towels nearby)
  • 34
    No, it's the employees' job


  • +22 votes

    it depends if the food was a bargain or not

  • +19 votes

    Yes. It's not like a trolley stand that might be on the other side of the car park, the bins are literally on the way out.

  • +20 votes

    I only do it if the bin area has been kept pretty tidy - not overflowing with rubbish etc.


    except for the gherkin on the wall/roof/wherever, yes ;)

  • +13 votes

    I usually clean up everyone's table


    yes, unless the service was sub standard


    • -2 votes

      Yes, unless i asked for fresh hot fries and given soggy POS
      Or the staff had attitude problem

      • +2 votes

        Why would you be passive aggressive instead of just nicely asking for fresher fries? I've never had an issue (even though it's usually my friend and not me who does this - I actually like soggy fries….)

        • +6 votes

          I did try that a few times, was met with rolleyes and a sigh, attitude problem as i mentioned.
          But yeh 99% of the time i put my rubbish in the bin


          @payton: Oh damn really? It's not like the fresh chips is coming out of their pay…

        • +7 votes

          Why would you be passive aggressive instead of just nicely asking for fresher fries?

          Never talk back to someone who handles your food, let alone a minimum wage earner, let alone a child, no matter how polite you are.

        • +1 vote

          @Scrooge McDuck: I agree, but usually the fries station at Maccas is literally a foot behind the counter - you can see them get the fries. Plus, I'm not passive aggressive or active aggressive at them lol, I just ask nicely for fresher chips because "these ones are soggy/cold/bleargh". And in my experience they're pretty nice about it so long as you ask with a smile and act a tad apologetic for being troublesome.

        • +1 vote

          Perfect set up for a super innapropriate comment about biscuits.

        • +2 votes

          Pro tip: order unsalted. Once beyond minimum safe distance, break out the free salt sachet(s).

        • +1 vote

          Why do you care if they roll eyes. They can tell you exactly how long piping hot Fresh fries will take, the machine has a clock that counts down before it lifts itself from the fryer.


          @Speckled Jim: no need to do this. Just ask for fresh fries. Most workers would do the same


          i cared because great fries make a good burger better and they rolleyes'ed like i just asked them to stay back another hour

        • -1 vote

          @HighAndDry: It's because the people who ask for fresh whatever it are much more likely to complain about the price or serving size and then ask to speak to the manager. I worked in a chicken shop and some customers would ask for fresh fillets or chips everytime they came in - even if whatever was on display was cooked a minute ago.

          It's fastfood not fine dining - you buy what's on display. Always seemed selfish when customer did this; it slows the server down and then the next customer is going to get the stuff that they turned down.

        • +1 vote

          @rump parliament:

          Which is why:

          ask with a smile and act a tad apologetic for being troublesome.

          Also - "selfish"? Uh…. I'm paying for those fries. I get it's fast food, but expecting hot fries is hardly entitled. I don't ask just because they're not fresh, I only ask if they're noticeably stale or cold.

  • +3 votes

    All relative to the quality of the fries

  • +6 votes

    1 - Yes, it is respectful to clean up after your mess.
    2 - No, I support jobs as businesses try to push DIY and reduce employees.

    Answer = Pack up your rubbish neatly inside the tray and leave it on the table for the employee to pick up. :P

    • +5 votes

      How much should we steal from self-servingce checkouts to support jobs?

      • +2 votes

        How much should we steal?

        Hmm, I would say the direct proportional amount; the manned checkout staff steal from us when they scan fruit & veggies at an incorrect higher amount rather than their discounted amount. Ooops! It was Eve rather than Pink Lady!

        Edit: Actually I don't use the self-service (automated) checkout and don't advocate stealing :P

        I like to interrupt the gas bagging of the youngsters between manned checkout booths when traffic is clear & whilst they pretend to clean the conveyor belts.
        It's actually great service when someone is scanning my items, placing them in the bag for me and conversing about how was my day.

        .. Whilst looking at the long line of people similarly like cows in a race, waiting to help/serve themselves on the self-automated checkouts being watched by a young Cylon (that's showing my age now!) if they are stealing :P


        • +2 votes

          I’d pay $5 per day to not have to ask strangers how their day was for the 100th time. Can’t wait for the robot revolution.



          It is already happening (well not Robotics per say)

          I reckon…

          1 - Mini supermarkerts will be your local Shell (Coles) & Caltex (Wollies) You can see that the local Shell is adopting more aisles and the Coles Themes however more expensive at this stage
          2 - Supermarkets are now pushing online deliveries.
          3 - At this stage you have about on average 3 supermarkets per average 15 kms radius but that will change:

          In the next 5 years:

          1 - 2 of the 3 will of the supermarkets will close within the 15km radius and one will be left (for another 3 years) to get your more difficult items that service station doesn't cater for atm e.g. Meat/Poultry/Fruit/Vegs … this will transfer to pre-sealed to servos eventually.
          2 - 2 warehouse hubs per city (for online orders)
          3 - Online order deliveries will be more abundant/revolutionised and will cater for after hours delivery.. and will be for free
          4 - You want Milk and bread? Go to the servo as there will be no local supermarket (unless you want to travel 20kms to your local)

          IGA and the like will shut shop
          Aldi and Lidl will change to this model as Coles and Wollies will be cheaper than the two when full online is generated and working.




          I think 5 years is a pretty optimistic to see this big swing happen.

          I live 50km from Perth CBD at the very edge of Perth metro by about 2 blocks. When I moved here 4 years ago we had within 5 minutes:
          - 2 IGA's
          - 3 Servo's
          - 3 Bottleshops

          Fast forward to today 4 years later:
          - 1 Coles
          - 1 Woolworths (later this year)
          - 3 IGA's
          - 5 Bottleshops
          - 1 ALDI
          - 5 servo's
          - Multiple other fast food places (vs just Chicken Treat)

          Working in the tech industry I still find it easier most of the time just to do my shopping in person myself, having only used online shopping a couple of times out of necessity.

          Knowing people who work for some of the companies mentioned (Coles, ALDI etc) they are still looking to expand retail locations rather than downsize and focus more online.



          I think 5 years is a pretty optimistic to see this big swing happen.

          If i lived in Perth, I would bet you a slab of beer that this will at least start to "initiate" at some part of the country :P

          Of course, before they implement this changeover, businesses must have a Business Plan/Proposal, data & ROI. … to at least ascertain a location to implement

          And one component of the data obtained will be demographics … such as spending history of shoppers, method of payment, whether that same shopper is registered for online, what they buy, what time they shop … etc

          … Oh! How do they get that???? By your friendly neighborhood Everyday Rewards Cards & Flybuys!!

          Of course, not everyone has it (such as me) considering they are rewarding you by obtaining your data for their CRM's & most importantly selling your data to external organisations that give you friendly-perpetual calls several times a week selling you electricity .. etc …

          … and also to give you an incentive such as 4 cents / litre off petrol from selected Servos that has jacked their price up by 6 cents :P

          I'm happy to revisit you in 5 years to continue this conversation.

          Keep well and we'll chat in 5 years time :P




          Thanks for the link

          Although, that the checkout staff will be mostly eliminated, this is the beginning of a full online system.

          Businesses want the shopper to gradually get used to it (semi-automation) … at least still have the "feeling" of shopping by walking in the shop and physically shop .. but then .. eventually full online .. 24/7 hour shop.



          @AustriaBargain: I'd pay $5 per day to not have strangers ask how my day was. It's like, I'm just here to get my food so I can go home and be anti-social. I don't need your overly enthusiastic attitude in my life,

      • -1 vote

        You don't call up cheaper apples for the more expensive ones? Jazz apples on sale AGAIN at royal gala prices? Ha! Just my luck!


          No actually, not yet.

          Usually I get the fruit & veggies on special, unless they look like that the next step will go in the bin as I will assisting in disposal if not consumed within a few days.

          However, in my view, that they have a correction algorithm to offset any losses.

          IMO, that is to get data from customers of their regular daily spend so they know what are the common purchased items and implement the following:

          1 - Highlight the 20% most common items and discount them.
          2 - Highlight the 80% remaining most common items and jack up the price slightly to offset.
          3 - Now they have flogged us off with providing us plastic bags

          The usual 80/20 rule

          Edit: How can they lose???

          Thanks to your Everyday rewards card and FlyBuys :P



          @vinni9284: Oh no doubt they have all the data to be able to do that. However, I'm pretty erratic with purchases and have multiple everyday rewards cards. ;)


          @Munki: they'll get you one day!

  • +31 votes

    Yes. What kind of grubs don’t clean up after themselves ???

    • -4 votes

      You must be from the Eastern suburbs.

      • -2 votes

        4+ people are from the Western suburbs.


        Wrong. I am a Westy.

      • +1 vote

        This is so bang on point. I'm originally from the Eastern suburbs and now live out in the North and holy crap the rubbish everywhere. Not just at restaurants but also out and about in the streets, in parks near housing, you name it.

        The same is true at restaurants in the city, what the hell is wrong with these people that they can't walk their rubbish to the bin on the way out of a busy restaurant where other customers are always trying to find free tables?

  • +41 votes

    Some people are pure bogans, just eat their feed and walk off leaving their mess behind them.
    Like I said - bogans - with absolutely so sense of common courtesy to their fellow diner.
    They should be made to eat outside with the other animals.

    • -40 votes

      I don't think it's merely a case of common courtesy. It can be argued that as you have paid for the good and the right to eat in the restaurant, their hospitality is included in the price.

      • +10 votes

        I think it's a sort of 'shared' respect. As a patron we should put 'some' effort into leaving the place at which we eat at respectable.
        Why not make the next persons job a little easier? 'Pay it forward' sort of attitude. Not like it's hard work IMO.
        Someone said, why not leave a place better for your having been there. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all though more like this?
        Not meaning to sound like a preacher, but it is what it is.

        • -1 vote

          McDonalds don’t charge mom and pop “pay it forward” prices. They pay normal food prices, more expensive even than your corner burger shop.

      • +4 votes

        That makes no sense. You pay for public parks too - and for the cleaners/etc for those parks. Doesn't mean you have the right to litter all over the park.

      • +7 votes

        It is understood when you eat in a low cost takeaway restaurant that part of the arrangement is that you put your food scraps and packaging in the bin.

        If you're paying $300 for a meal, yes you can expect full service. If you're paying $7.95, pick up your own damned mess.

    • +1 vote

      This alone does not make a Bogan.

      Plenty of well to do presentable people also do this.

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