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The Important Lesson Jay Leno Learned From Working At McDonald's

Jay Leno smiling
Jay Leno smiling - Paul Morigi / Getty Images

People working at a fast food restaurant typically don't expect to learn a life-changing lesson as they're flipping patties and ringing up customers, but these lessons can sneak up on you. This was true for television host Jay Leno back when he worked at a McDonald's in Andover, Massachusetts from 1966 to 1968.

As Leno relayed to author Cory Teets in the latter's 2012 book "Golden Opportunity: Remarkable Careers that Began at McDonald's," the "Jay Leno's Garage" host would help prepare McDonald's fries. One day, he and the store owner, Tom Curtin, went to the storage room for a fresh batch of potatoes. Inside, they noticed a pair of underwear on top of the potato sacks. Leno assumed Curtin would ask him to throw out just the top layer, but to his surprise, Curtin wanted him to discard the whole batch.

Curtin, according to Leno, went above and beyond to ensure his restaurant's products were top-notch, and Leno found that quality impressive. The incident taught him that if you're making a product, no extra effort is too much when ensuring its quality. "The standards for quality were quite high. It was one of those life lessons I never forgot," Leno recalled. As for why someone left their underwear in the storage room in the first place, Leno explained that this was where employees sometimes changed into their uniforms.

Read more: McDonald's Menu Items That Even The Staff Won't Eat

McDonald's Fries Are Made Much Differently Now

McDonald's fries on tray
McDonald's fries on tray - Mario Tama / Getty Images

Back when Leno worked at McDonald's, each location cut its potatoes in the kitchen by hand. Since Leno prepared the fries every day, his forearms apparently grew massive due to all the cutting involved. The fast food chain no longer employs this method, however. According to McDonald's website, it now processes and prepares the fries in a factory before shipping them out to the restaurant's locations, where they're fried onsite. This process involves peeling, cutting, and blanching the potatoes before partially frying and freezing them.

Over the years, people have even wondered if McDonald's uses real potatoes to make its fries since the potatoes are so evenly sized and cut. According to the chain, the answer is yes. Its website claims that McDonald's World Famous Fries are made with Russet Burbank and Shepody potatoes. Additionally, it looks for potatoes of a certain size that will neatly stick out of the red box.

Read the original article on Mashed.