Welcome to McDonald's perhaps the most recognisable brand on the planet, home of Ronald, the Golden Arches, the Big Mac and now McJob, defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as 'low-paying, dead-end work'. Not so say bosses at the much-maligned firm. So what is it really like to work for McDonald's?
It's hot, greasy, disorientating with the harsh strip lights and noisy ping of microwaves, deep fryers, toasters and hot plates competing for the crew's attention. Over on the tills, two school children demand breakfast and shoot a look of total contempt at Faiz Ullah when he explains only the lunch menu is on offer after midday.
"Gimme a cheeseburger," the mouthier of the two says, spilling coins dismissively onto the counter. Faiz cheerily sweeps them up and takes the order. Good customer service, it appears, takes a thick skin.
It is undeniably repetitive and sweaty work, but the staff at the Notting Hill restaurant still smile and joke their way through the shift.They come from across the globe, some are studying and McDonald's provides them with a regular wage and flexible working hours.
"The atmosphere is really friendly and you learn about other cultures," says 42-year-old Seychelles-born manager Josh Choppy.
Choppy started with the company in 1984, working in the kitchen to make cash while he studied dance. He stayed on after university and quickly scaled the ladder. He was sent out to Budapest to open the first branch after the collapse of Communism - marking a seminal cultural moment if ever there was one as thousands of curious Hungarians queued for hours to see the fabled Golden Arches.
It was one of many opportunities he has enjoyed with the firm, convincing him the "McJob" tag is just a slur invented by people who don't understand the business.
"I laugh at people who say this is dead-end job. I have a house, a good career and have built the skills and tools to work in lots of industries. I really don't think I would have got these opportunities anywhere else."
Charles Shyngle, area manager for six local restaurants including Notting Hill, Queensway and Victoria, agrees."There's a buzz here, it's fun and if you want to stay and work hard there are lots of chances to earn good money."
A McDonald's blurb says 80 per cent of branch managers started as hourly-paid workers in the kitchens, as did half of the franchise owners.
Staff start on £5.35 an hour (or £13,000 a year), boosted by performance-related incentives (and the much-derided star system). Managers earn a basic of £40,000 plus a good benefits package, something which must help brush off the snooty attitudes some people have towards the job.
Shyngle now runs restaurants with more than £3million in turnover each year and he bristles at the suggestion MaccyD's provides dead-end work. "It's not true. I provide for four kids and have a house and car. You do get people who are shocked you are still with a fast food chain, even some of your own friends.
"But they've learned to keep quiet about it because they know you don't spend 15 years with a company and not have pride in what you do, and the people you work with," he explains.
In tune with other American brands, McDonald's spreads an aspirational message to its staff. Company president for Europe, Denis Hennequin, started behind the counter and now each summer sends his daughter to work in the Notting Hill branch.
At the same time "McPassport" gives staff the chance to work across Europe for a period of time, helping students and gap year travellers earn some cash. Franchise owner Pru Naik says the training and rigorous selection process equips staff for good jobs outside the company.
"People want our employees. McDonald's is the ultimate brand and the training is very good. A lot of our crew build up their confidence and organisational skills working here and, of course, our customer service is second to none," he adds.
There are undoubted benefits to joining the firm and McDonald's is a gateway to the job market for immigrants who rely on steady jobs, and youngsters looking to support themselves through college.
Foreign workers can even take an online English GCSE in the upstairs training centre.
They are also introduced to the company's unique lexicon of customer service with phrases such as "magic moments" and "keeping a smile in your voice" appearing throughout the handbook.
Cheesy, and ever so slightly scary, they may seem, but in the cut-throat world of the service industry, staff trained with those values are gold dust to potential employers. And the mantras are working at McDonald's - which remains streets ahead of rivals Burger King and KFC in terms of queuing times.
But I'm quickly reminded of why McDonald's isn't for me.
A snooty-looking man hands back a perfectly full box of fries and, in a tone I thought had disappeared with the Empire, demands I fill them up to the top.
"Certainly, Sir," I reply a grin forcing itself onto my lips.