[AMA] I'm an Employee at Hungry Jack's

Hi everyone,

I'm an employee of Hungry Jack's and have been working there for 6 months. I work in the kitchen, commonly called "burger room" for employees. Happy to answer any questions about Hungry Jack's. Although I have no major knowledge of the service area, I will do my best to answer any questions you have. Out of confidentiality I will not be revealing the branch I work at, nor any other identifying information.

Any off topic questions I'll be happy to answer too :))

Fire away!

Poll Options

  • 82
    The Burgers are Better at Hungry Jack's
  • 16
    The Burgers AREN'T Better at Hungry Jack's

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Hungry Jack's
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closed Comments

  • +2 votes

    Why did the onion rings change?

    • +3 votes

      There was alot of complaints that the old onion rings clogged up the fryers. The new battered rings doesn't clog up at all and I think that's why they changed over to them. This isn't based off of any actual experience, this is some information I've gathered.

      •  

        If anyone is taking score, the new onion rings are better in our store. The old style were always limp and greasy. I actually compare sit-down restaurant onion rings to the HJ rings!

      •  

        Thanks for the explanation, however I still want the old crumbed rings back lol.

        • +2 votes

          Oh me too, there's just some things which just weren't never meant to leave HJ. Namely the free refills….. those were the days.

  • +4 votes

    Is there an internal policy/order to tell customers the shake machine is broken on very hot days when lots of people come and buy a $2 medium shake?
    Always broken on those days, in Brisbane AND in Hobart. Never on cooler days. Have experienced and observed this for 5+ years now!

    • +1 vote

      It stands to reason that something would be more likely to break when it is being used more.

      • -1 vote

        That's what my wife says each night…

    • +2 votes

      The store should be putting up a sign to tell customers the shake machine is broken BEFORE they enter the store anyways. And also like Quantumcat said, the machine is very high maintenance and will break easily when it's being used at or over capacity.

      •  

        I understand that but for fun we actually kept a log book and without a fail this happens while all the McDonald's branches had no problems whatsoever.
        They keep telling us for 5+ years they are getting a new machine and if that is true I wonder why it still breaks down on hot days.
        Also have come across the situation where an employee was happy to sell the shake and then someone came from the back and said "no shakes, machine broken". But Ice-cream machine works. Hmmm?!
        Maybe it is just a coincidence but I am not convinced (yet).

        •  

          I feel like my store is just super lucky because the machine doesn't actually break that often! Otherwise the front counter people don't report it that much to kitchen people.

        • +2 votes

          “I understand that but for fun we actually kept a log book”

          Your idea of fun differs from mine.

          • +1 vote

            @Mikeyphoto48: Lysander is probably the type of person who thinks adding pepper to their food is "spicing things up a bit" too lol

  • +1 vote

    Does hungry jacks still use mutant tomatoes? I worked at a HJ as a kid and my first job on the morning shift was to put these giant mutant tomatoes through the slicer. A normal tomato has three or four pockets of seeds/juice, these ones had like 20.

    •  

      They do in Sydney CBD at least. Tomato slice is three-quarters the size of the whopper patty.

    • +2 votes

      The tomatoes that are used at Hungry Jack's are heavily dependant on the store. I know that the tomatoes at my branch comes from a local supplier, so the size actually varies every single time I have to slice them. Generally the mutant tomatoes appear in the stock like once a month, otherwise it's the regular tomatoes that you'll find at your supermarket

    • +2 votes

      Sounds like Beefsteak tomatoes. They are quite big and look as you describe on the inside. As you can imagine, they make good slices for burgers.

      I grew some this past summer. The size is a novelty but it's kind of a high risk tomato to grow. If something goes wrong with a tomato, that's a lot of tomato to lose. Plus…it's not really that versatile.

  • +2 votes

    How's your day going?

    •  

      Good! Thanks for asking :)) I've got a shift later tonight that goes from 8pm to 11:30pm. Should be the easiest shift ever since I started as a trainee! Basically just doing some basic maintenance, cleaning the fryers and broiler.

  • +1 vote

    What’s your opinion on chicken nuggets, people here reckon McD and KFCs are better.

    • +4 votes

      Ooh good question. I think that HJ nuggets sit somewhere between McD and KFC. They're not actually that crispy unless I let them sit in the fryer for like another 30-40 seconds longer than the timer. The meat itself doesn't differ that much from any other fast food nugget. That being said, 1. McD 2. HJ 3. KFC. I like the sauces at Hungry Jack's the most though, especially the honey mustard. That stuff is bomb.

      • +1 vote

        Our family rates HJ has the best nuggets in our area and honey mustard sauce is the best.

        Thank you for your service. grin

        •  

          That's great to hear mate! And thank you! grin

      •  

        HJ nuggets are definitely better than Mcd IMO.
        Mcd ones are the worst among the three.

  • +2 votes

    is phone OK for vouchers?
    .

    • +6 votes

      phone is fine ;))

  • +1 vote

    Why were the deals on the app so lousy? For a while Hungry Jacks stopped issuing the paper vouchers which had a lot of 2x deals, but nothing like that was on the app. I stopped going to Hungry Jacks until they brought out paper vouchers again.

    •  

      I'm honestly not sure why the deals are so lousy now, I'm more upset than anyone really because I used to always eat the xtra-long chickens. I guess that HJ has already made enough revenue and can therefore slow down on the good discounts?

      • +1 vote

        X-tra Long Chicken Burger.
        Two for $5.99. And also one for $3 in Shake N Win.
        Those were the days!

  •  

    Where you work, are the burgers always burnt to a crisp (cough cough Parramatta cough cough) or are they actually cooked properly?

    • +1 vote

      The meat for the burgers and their consistency really depend on when they're cooked and also how well the broiler is cleaned the night before. I know that some of the burgers I cook in the machine are burnt to a crisp, but of course I throw them out and record the waste. If Parramatta is always burnt to a crisp I highly suggest following it up with the local health authority or even just complaining to the restaurant manager, that shouldn't be an issue a customer has to deal with…

  •  

    whats the ratio of drive through to instore for order completion ? when you order instore at macs its about 2 drive through to 1 instore customer but at jacks it looks like 3 drive through orders to 1 instore order?

    whats the official policy - is it standard?

    • +1 vote

      As far as I know there isn't really any "official policy" for the order completion ratio. But there is always a higher priority for the drive thru because we can send out alot more orders faster there, in comparison to the front counter. If I'm being honest, it would be more like 3-4 orders on drive through to every one in store order. If that answers your question :))

      •  

        Why can you send out more drive through orders faster? Doesn’t it take the same time to make the same order whether it comes through front counter or drive through?

        •  

          It's not that the orders are faster per se, but that in the same time that you serve one in store customer, you could serve 2-3 customers on drive thru, hence why that is the case.

          • -2 votes

            @avgbowlofpho: Well thats not really true but if in store customers have to wait while 4 other customers are served then clearly the stores should all just be closed.

            That would save money allowing prices to be reduced at hungry jacks who clearly don't want out front traffic.

            Treating out front customers like 3rd class will inevitably produce that result anyway… allowing mcdonalds who do not treat instore customers so badly to take over.

            only cheaper burgers can save jacks from its longer term stupidity.

            • +2 votes

              @petry:

              the stores should all just be closed.

              This is actually the case at nighttime/overnights. Front counter is closed so that all orders must be made through drive thru to increase efficiency.

              That would save money allowing prices to be reduced at hungry jacks who clearly don't want out front traffic.

              This is a personal view, but all of the fast food places now are moving to a delivery/drive-thru priority system. Sales are growing exponentially in the delivery sector of the business, alongside the already very well established drive-thru.

              With front counter there is alot more effort that goes into having to find the customer, call out the number. With drive-thru all of these steps are combined together, someone usually takes orders while getting payment from the current customer.

              allowing mcdonalds who do not treat instore customers so badly to take over.

              Different fast food companies are going to try out different things and that's inevitable. My branch does a pretty good job at front counter, but there's always going to be priority for drive thru. McDonalds in my opinion offers great service, both front counter and drive thru.

              Either way I still suggest that if you're being treated badly, send a feedback form to HJ Opinions or directly consult the manager. Whilst I do think that drive thru is going to be at the top of priority, no customer should be left out feeling like they didn't have a good experience.

              only cheaper burgers can save jacks from its longer term stupidity.

              I wouldn't say it's "stupid", but it's just how the fast food business is going to gravitate. Deliveries and drive thru are clearly here to stay, so it's not too long until there will be a no front counter restaurant. In fact there's actually such thing called "ghost kitchens" which exist primarily for delivery services, maybe that might happen for fast food too.

              Thank you for your opinions

              •  

                @avgbowlofpho:

                1. counter order is near identical in time
                2. stores are very empty cause of covid etc and order numbers are displayed and called in seconds
                3. being treated instore as completely dumb because 4 other orders get cooked by the same person after your order was taken is insulting service.

                gravitate to any store where you are not treated insultingly was and remains sensible behaviour particularly in regard to fast food - hungry jacks clearly don't see customer care as remotely of interest anymore.

                reckon most people don't like being kept waiting whilst 4 other peoples orders are placed after your order and then cooked before yours as a corporate policy, so unsure why you believe its just one person's opinion?

                closing internal stores would save a lot of money and staff, making cheap burgers cheaper obviously.

                • +1 vote

                  @petry: In the branch I work at, the service is actually very good at the front counter, it's as good as it gets for a branch which is always busy with little to breaks inbetween. I am not sure what the standard of customer service is, like I mentioned I'm in the kitchen so I don't deal with that.

                  Personally I'm in no position to comment on this topic any further than what I have already, because in doing so it might put me at risk of giving out confidential information or jeopardising my position at HJ.

                  Thanks

  • +2 votes

    Back When the app had good free prizes, did you really give a toss if someone went through just redeeming free stuff? I had a birthday whopper and a free something and my husband didn't wanna go through as he felt like he'd be judged a cheapo lol

    • +2 votes

      Your husband is falling for one of the all time classic blunders; that somebody cares about him or is interested.

      When I worked in the service industry you were a meat sack. A meat sack I wanted to have a good time, but still a meat sack. If you have a voucher for something free good for you but you meant nothing to me precisely two seconds after I finished serving you. Two seconds if you did something memorable.

    • +2 votes

      Nope! No one actually bothers to notice whether or not it's free (in fact, no one is even paid enough to care lol). When I see the order for the free items pop up on the screen in the kitchen, it doesn't specify if it's free or not. So your free birthday whoppers or free medium chips are made to the exact same quality as any other order that comes through the store.

      • +2 votes

        That's what I told him, they don't get paid enough to give a sh*t, and made him drive thru 😂 thanks.

        • +3 votes

          Just some tips for ordering whoppers to ensure it's the best quality:

          Order fresh meat

          most of the time this should work, this will result in hotter and fresher (obviously) meat

          Ask for the burger to be wrapped instead of the box!!!

          I cannot overstate this enough, but the whopper boxes get sloshed around alot, from assembly to being pushed down the chute, to being put in the bag. It's going to get somewhat messy. I get sort of upset knowing that the whopper i made looks good, only for it to be terrible looking by the time it gets to the customer. The wrap secures all of the ingredients in the whopper, and there's no sweaty juice marks everywhere like you find on the box.

          Order extra hot

          No, this isn't spicy hot, but temperature hot. This makes the workers in the back microwave it for longer, makes for a better burger overall

          But please don't order DP (divided portions) like some people have suggested because this will take somewhat longer, needing to locate the cutter and wrapping, and then putting it into the box again.

          I very strongly suggest the "wrapped whopper" idea.

          Enjoy!

  •  

    Thanks for the info on the onion rings. The old ones were better tasting and you seemed to get more in a pack. Is it possible to order the old veggie whopper with normal cheese and one patty? I think I’m being charged extra at my store when I ask for non-vegan regular cheese. Thanks in advance.

    •  

      You're welcome! And yes, you can order the old veggie whopper with normal cheese and one patty, but I don't think that actually gives you a reduction in the product price. As for being charged extra for the regular cheese, you will be charged the same as ordering a regular whopper and adding cheese. (If I'm being honest I feel like the two veggie patties are too much)

  •  

    OP, just want to let you know, you may have inspired a night of AMAs after this post. 👍

    The AMAs are fanned by HJs ;)

    •  

      Haha sweet! I love hearing about other people's careers and I love telling people about mine! It's always good to be a part of community that gives as much as it takes :))

  •  

    I am vegan and only get the veg pattie burgers. Are the fake meat ones still cooked on the same equipment as the real meat products - I know they were initially from posts on vegan FB sites? If so, is there a lot of cross contamination? And again, if so, would there virtually be no contamination if you got the first burgers of the day after the equipment had been thoroughly cleaned after close or before re-opening? Cheers

    •  

      By "fake meat" I assume you're referring to the new Rebel Whopper patties. Yes they are cooked on the same machine as the regular meat patties, as they aren't marketed as a vegan patty, they're marketed as a meat alternative. As for the "cross contamination" issue, there isn't any issues that I know of. All equipment at Hungry Jack's are thoroughly cleaned so there will be no difference between the meat cooked at the start or the end of the day, not to mention that there's an extensive clean of the broiler every night (which is painful for me to do on my shifts). Hope that answers your question!

      •  

        Thanks, answers my question. "Cross contamination" relates to meat juices etc on the Rebel patties. Most vegans will accept minor things, like chips cooked in the same oil as battered fish, but most would not have a vegan "meat" cooked on a broiler that has just had real meat on it unless thoroughly cleaned first.

        • +1 vote

          Yeah, I would highly suggest that if you're a full vegan, please get the vegan whopper only. Which is the only way to guarantee no animal products whatsoever :))

        • -1 vote

          Yeah, but most vegans are morons, and normies don't care what they would accept.

  •  

    I worked for HJ long time back at the airport. They had no waste policy. Once I dropped a few meat patties on the floor and I chucked it into the bin. The manager asked me to take the patties, cook and serve it.
    So they still do this?

    •  

      Woah, if that were to happen to my store I think we would get more than just a few complaints. Personally I don't think I can even do that because it just feels so morally wrong. Absolutely not, also I think I've heard the mention of the "5 second rule" at HJ which was commented on a previous HJ AMA, and that is not the case at all. What hits the floor is always and should be recorded as waste.

      This "policy" is highly dependent on whether it's a corporate store or if it's a franchised store. Franchised stores have more control over their policies and therefore don't follow the same "restrictions" (per se) as a corporate.

  •  

    Are the patties and base piece of the bun always microwaved together when making a whopper?

    Can you ask for a piece of beef to be cooked fresh or does it have to be zapped unless you get the timing right?

    •  

      Yep, they're always microwaved together, and whilst they're being microwaved the top bun is slathered with mayo and the veggies.

      Yes! You can always have the meat cooked fresh, but if you ask for it please be prepared to wait. It takes about 3 minutes per patty so expect your order to get to you within 5-6 minutes depending on the crowdedness of the store.

      • +1 vote

        Awesome.. Id much rather wait for a fresh burger, will try that on my next visit!

  •  

    Have you noticed the Older Junior Employees disappearing as the wages grow higher ?

    • +1 vote

      I don't think the two are actually linked to each other, it's not like an equal reaction like "as wage increases by X, X employees leave". It's moreso that not everyone at Hungry Jack's wants to pursue a full time career there, most of us are just high school or uni students looking to make some money on their first job. Hungry Jack's is a stressful job, and it isn't something you want to do forever for most people, unless you're the 1% who is super passionate.

  • +1 vote

    I noticed the old slogan that it takes two hands to handle a whopper has gone the way of centrebounce mud at an AFL game. Is this because people's hands are getting bigger or are the buns getting smaller?

    • +2 votes

      I don't think the buns have gotten any smaller than they used to be, and can't really debunk the bigger hands theory lol. HJ has changed a lot in the few years, going from free refills to no refills, thin fries to thick fries; it's no doubt we do the same with slogans. Although they don't use the slogan anymore, I guarantee you that it still takes two hands to handle a whopper, that is unless you're Shaquille O'Neal…. :))

  •  

    Is the Yumbo selling well?

    • +2 votes

      Yeah! The Yumbos are selling extremely well, in fact there was one customer who came in 1 week before it was even announced and asked for one. We sold about 100 last night. There are a few complaints about too many slices of ham, and also the fact that the bun is hot but the ham and cheese is cold. Massive bummer.

  •  

    How do you make a whopper cheese?
    Do you really microwave some of it?

    • +2 votes

      How do you make a whopper cheese?

      I'll go through the step by step process:

      1. Toast a 5 inch bun (whopper bun)
      2. Grab a whopper patty from the meat tray
      3. Put 2 slices of cheese on it (i like to do it diagonally and side by side)
      4. Put the whopper patty with cheese onto the bottom bun and microwave for about 6 seconds
      5. Lather the top bun with mayo, lettuce, then tomato
      6. Put 4 pickles on the bottom and about 13g of onion
      7. Squirt ketchup, then seal the box

      Do you really microwave some of it?

      Yep! It's because the meat actually sits in the hot tray for about 60 mins so it will get a bit cold, so it should be microwaved. Especially if there's cheese on it because the cheese is always cold and should be somewhat melty.

  • +3 votes

    A little tip for anyone reading:

    Get your whoppers wrapped instead of boxed. I cannot overstate this enough, but the whopper boxes get sloshed around alot, from assembly to being pushed down the chute, to being put in the bag. It's going to get somewhat messy. The wrap secures all of the ingredients in the whopper, not to mention makes it so much easier to handle without anything falling out.

    Enjoy!

  •  

    How does an Average bowl of Pho compare with a HJ whopper? :)

    •  

      As someone from Vietnamese descent, I am immediately inclined to say pho is better, nothing better than a nice bowl of beef soup with noodles for me haha. Whoppers aren't actually my thing, I'm more of a Chicken Royale person myself :))

  •  

    Which items are halal. Does the bigger boxes of chicken come with halal logos on them?

    •  

      Selected Hungry Jack’s in NSW and Victoria serve a limited Halal certified menu. These stores include Bankstown, Wiley Park, Granville, Bass Hill, Auburn, St Peters, Craigieburn, Warwick Farm, Guildford, Greenacre, Hallam, Roxburgh Park, Casula, Deer Park, Dandenong, Fawkner, Jacana, Thomastown, Altona Nort and Truganina. All Halal certified products are listed on the individual restaurant’s Halal certificate which is displayed in-store.

      •  

        Thanks, but that's the official response, wanted to hear the inside info. Some resturants despite being non halal certified openly say that their chicken products are from a halal source as its written on the boxes. May be its in the fine print written on the boxes.

        Is there an official policy / response all employees must give when asked a question on products being halal or kosher.

        •  

          I know that on one of my shifts a few months ago someone did come through drive thru and asked about the meat being halal, and the manager instructed the crew member to say no.

          There's no official certification on hungry jacks products for Halal and Kosher unfortunately.

          I'll be happy to have a look at the boxes the next shift for you! But if we can't guarantee the meat is halal, we will not market it as halal.

          Hope that helps!

          •  

            @avgbowlofpho: Thanks. Would be interesting to know. It seems like a big hassle to have specific suppliers make small qty of products for few specific stores and sell at the same price. Does not fit with economies of scale. Unless its all the same.

            Grilled fillet is the one most stores claim is halal sourced.

    •  

      Which items are halal.

      The fries.

      • +1 vote

        But are the potatoes blessed before they're sliced by hand?

  •  

    The faces of the potato’s were pointed towards Mecca before being slaughtered. Just kidding.

    • -1 vote

      What a shame! They had a view a hell before their untimely death! Haha, just joking. I like the maccas nuggets though :))

  •  

    One observation and question. At my local HJ, once I place the order and get the receipt, my order absolutely immediately moves from "Preparing Order" to "Ready to Collect" even though I can see it is nowhere even close to being prepared. I think this is done to fake the SLAs of Orders. I have waited total 10 minutes once, after my order moved to "Ready to Collect" and thereafter collected it.

    This is easily evident when ordering coffees/drinks. The Coffee preparation has not even started, and the order is shown as "Ready to Collect".

    Any other reason why this is done? And the staff is too reluctant to even answer, if I question them about this.

    • +2 votes

      The truth is that most if not all HJ branches actually compete with others in the district for the fastest times possible. I'm actually someone who is really invested in this competition because it makes me work much harder knowing that there's other people who may be faster. Generally we aim for about 2 mins 50 seconds, but we average around 3+ minutes.

      We also have a grading system in the kitchen and counters to see how long it takes for a customer's order to be processed, cooked, and served.

      Most of the time my branch receives C/D, which is already really good considering we're a small store which has lots of orders. I myself "bump off" (by this i mean clear the order and say it's ready) orders early so I don't risk getting told off by the manager for poor grades.

      Hungry Jack's isn't really invested into the coffees and drinks aspect yet, although the new Jack's Cafe seems super interesting. It's obvious that the crew isn't really trained on making coffees so it will take longer.

      My advice is don't religiously follow the collect screen because it is really bad. Instead just wait for your service attendant to just call out your order, that way you know it's for a fact ready. This isn't the case for every HJ though.

      •  

        take away drinks only of course… a cafe that makes you wait ain't gonna work is it?

        •  

          If HJ did that, it would literally be doing the opposite of what the business is. Very hyped for Jack's Cafe, finally some decent competition against McCafe.

          In fact that's what HJ has been doing anyways, with the nuggets and the Big Jack…

          •  

            @avgbowlofpho: making customers wait for 4 drivethru's after ordering before getting their instore order can't work though - why would anyone even try the 'new cafe' after that crap?

  •  

    How much do over 21's get paid? I worked there in high school for $6.50 an hour.

    •  

      I'll PM you the wages, if I reveal the information to the public I may be putting myself at risk. :))

  •  

    It takes 4-5 hours for the coffee machine to clean at my local every afternoon. Is that the same time for the cleaning !at your store? TIA

    •  
      • at
    •  

      According to my coworker it only takes 10 to 20 minutes but some other stores might have different operating procedures, or some people are lazy haha. :)

      • +1 vote

        Thanks :)

  •  

    How popular is the Big Jack? Are you guys winning the "big" war?

    •  

      It was extremely popular when it first came out! Used to be the majority item on order around Jan-March, but now the hype has died down. As for if we're winning the "big" war, I have extreme doubts, but i'm sure that when the item was first released the sales might have even equalised with Maccas.

  • +1 vote

    Do you know of any new upcoming offers for the 50th birthday celebrations?

    •  

      Unfortunately not sorry! I tried to check the employee portal but nothing. Super bummed :(

  •  

    Hi OP, is it worth to buy a HJ franchise?

    •  

      My advice to you is to not buy a HJ franchise because whilst the income is desirable (I think even $1m a year), revenue is dismal. This is factoring in wages, operational costs etc. Not worth the hassle.

      I'm no financial advisor (though I'm doing a Bachelor in Finance) so please don't take my advice too seriously.

      Thanks!

      •  

        So what should I buy for food franchises if you doing finance?