Jeff Bezos and Other Famous People You Never Knew Worked at McDonald’s
Working at McDonald’s is far more common a job than you may imagine. The fast-food chain is one of the biggest employers in the nation, signing paychecks for one in every eight Americans at one time or another. Since opening its first door back in 1955, McDonald’s has given first jobs to teenagers all over the globe.
Despite receiving a bit of a bad rap over the decades for its unhealthy menu, McDonald’s has been a stepping stone for many highly successful individuals. So even if Americans love to hate the Golden Arches, landing a job with the multi-billion dollar company could set you up for major success. Take a look at these famous Americans who all put in time with McDonald’s.
The wildly successful and impassioned pop singer Pink spent a portion of her early professional life working the drive-thru at McDonald’s. Even though the multi-tasking mastery that comes with such a job likely benefited Pink’s career in some capacity, the singer wasn’t in love with the gig. She stated that “Sometimes I dream I am back there, broke and working at McDonald’s. It’s like the worst nightmare because I would never want to be back there. I’ve worked hard to get where I am.”
Next: A small-town Canadian girl wasn’t too great at this job.
Believe it or not, the Canadian-born actress who stole our hearts in movies like The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Notebook was once employed by McDonald’s. Rachel McAdams is honest when it comes to her job performance at the fast-food chain. She told the New York Times that, “I’m not sure why they kept me: I am something of a daydreamer and a dawdler, so they would only let me be the ‘’friendly voice’’ that greeted you when you entered the restaurant.”
Next: This beauty queen had to make ends meet somehow.
Prior to her modeling and acting days, Sharon Stone was punching the clock at Mickey D’s. Did the stint in the fast-food business prepare Stone for her ridiculously successful modeling career or her acting role in Total Recall and Basic Instinct? Well, probably not, but it likely made her appreciate her accomplishments even more.
Next: McDonald’s awarded this comedian with his first seal of approval.
Everyone knows him for his comedic relief, his tenure on NBC’s The Tonight Show, and his over-the-top car collection. But surprisingly, Jay Leno spent a portion of his teenage years flipping burgers at his hometown McDonald’s. The minimum wage job helped Leno learn basic people skills, along with honing in on his joke-telling. In fact, Leno once snagged first prize at the regional McDonald’s talent show.
Next: Grill cook to multi-billionaire isn’t too shabby.
A lot happened between Jeff Bezos’ high school valedictorian graduation and the founding of Amazon. Well before any of that, he was working the grill at McDonald’s as a teenager. The billionaire seems to value his time spent in that fast-food kitchen, claiming the best skill he took away from the job was cracking an egg with just one hand. In a single morning shift, the Amazon mogul would crack 300 eggs before the breakfast crowd arrived.
Next: A short-lived stint made him realize burgers wasn’t for him.
The Grammy-winning singer and songwriter from London, England knows how to charm. He once dated Tyra Banks and even married international supermodel Heidi Klum. Clearly, Seal has experienced a solid amount of success. His job at McDonald’s, however, was far from the highlight of his career. In an interview with The Guardian, Seal spilled the beans on the job being the worst of his life. He ended quitting after just two weeks.
Next: This performer would work at the drive-thru before heading off to perform in bars.
Shania Twain went from the frontline of McDonald’s to working the drive-thru, and eventually became a trainer for the company. The Grammy-winning performer would work at the restaurant after school for a few hours then head over to the bar where she would perform until the wee hours of the morning.
Next: This musician wasn’t happy to be working.
Pharrell Williams has experienced a lot of highs throughout his career as a singer and music producer. Everyone fell in love with the Despicable Me 3 song “Happy” back in 2013. He went on to earn a Grammy for his album G I R L. His career at McDonald’s was a little less productive. Williams was fired three different times from three different locations for simply being lazy. Williams said that “at a certain point, they realized I was no help.”
Next: From fry cook to lawyer to celebrity
She is a lawyer and a talk show host, but before enrolling at American University, she was a fry cook at McDonald’s. Yes, it’s an unlikely role for this successful TV personality. Star Jones was eventually promoted from cook to cashier before leaving the chain.
Next: Mickey D’s may have made this girl famous.
Macy Gray owes a lot to McDonald’s. The Ohio-born singer and actor worked at the restaurant as a teenager, but after college, she took on a different role with the company. In 1996, Gray starred in a McDonald’s commercial. Shortly after in 1999, she debuted her first album. Since then, the performer has graced the silver screen with minor roles in movies and television shows.
Next: This pretty face spent some time flipping burgers.
Andie MacDowell’s career in the spotlight began as a model working with L’Oreal and Calvin Klein. She went on to act in Sex, Lies and Videotape, Short Cuts, and Four Weddings and a Funeral. But before all that, MacDowell’s first job was at a McDonald’s in South Carolina. She got the gig as soon as she was legally old enough to work.
Next: This rockstar had to work at McDonald’s to make ends meet.
This North Carolina-born boy grew up to become the frontman of the rock band Limp Bizkit. Fred Durst did most of his growing up in Florida, where he also landed a job with McDonald’s prior to fame and fortune. Durst’s career path has been colorful, to say the least. After his stint at McDonald’s, he served in the Navy and worked as a tattoo artist.
Next: A politician who ignored one manager’s opinion.
Serving as the 54th speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan is known for his extensive career in politics. However, before Ryan was Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012, he was working at McDonald’s as a teen. Ryan brings up his time at the fast-food chain often, recalling that, “The manager didn’t think I had the social skills to work the counter, and now I’m in Congress!”
Next: This actor went from McDonald’s manager to celebrity.
Keenan Ivory Wayans
It seems like Keenan Ivory Wayans has always been a man on a mission. The Harlem, New York-born comedian and actor was the second of 10 children. Yes, 10. His career has been successful, and it appears to be that way largely due to his talent and discipline. Before his days on In Living Color, Wayans managed a McDonald’s as a teenager. That big responsibility seems to have laid the groundwork for his impressive and hilarious success.
Next: Can McDonald’s make an Olympian?
Last but certainly not least, Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis boasts about the benefits of his time working at McDonald’s. Lewis was featured in one of the Golden Arches’ commercials in the early 2000’s in an effort to change the company’s image of being a dead-end career opportunity. Also, Lewis connects his time at McDonald’s with his Olympic win by saying, “Time is very important … you couldn’t let the fries get cold. If I was 10 seconds off, I’d have no gold medal.”