WHEN a young Jamaican gent ordered “fast” food at McDonald’s worker Charlotte Oliffe’s till at the Olympic Park, he really did know the meaning of the word.
The customer in question was the fastest man on the planet – sprinter Usain Bolt!
Charlotte, 22, one of several staff from McDonald’s Basildon restaurants who are working at the Stratford park, was absolutely “lovin’ it” when she spotted the 25-year-old Jamaican join her queue.
The runner – nicknamed “lightning Bolt” – famously chomped on chicken nuggets before making history at the 2008 Beijing Games by winning gold in the men’s 100m and 200m events.
And that’s what he ordered from Charlotte, who spent a week behind the counter at the chain’s official restaurant for competitors and officials.
Charlotte, of Noak Hill Road, Basildon, said: “We had so many athletes coming in and I can genuinely say they were all so nice and friendly.
“But Usain Bolt got the most attention. He was great. He chatted to everyone.
“We weren’t allowed to ask for autograph or get photos which is a shame, but at least we get to say we saw him.”
Given his choice of pre-race grub, Charlotte said she her colleagues were speculating about what he would order.
She said: “We couldn’t believe it when he asked for chicken nuggets. I think he asked for a box of 20, but we don’t do one at the Olympic Park, so he had to make do with a box of six. Still, he seemed to take it well.”
Charlotte, who has worked for McDonald’s on the Festival Leisure Park , Basildon, for the past two years, said her time working at the Olympics Village had been unforgettable.
She added: “I’ve never seen so many salads being sold – and Big Macs. Hash browns were popular, too.
“I suppose the athletes need to be healthy, but need to keep up their strength, too.
“Some of them ate so much – they couldn’t get enough. The atmosphere was amazing.
“The Latvian and Swedish athletes in particular were really friendly and would come back to tell us how they got on in their events.
“I also got to serve German gymnast Philipp Boy, who was nice. Within a few hours, I was watching him on TV, competing. It’s been a-once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The former pupil at Bromfords School, Wickford , said she is hoping to return before the Games are over for another stint behind the counter.
She said: “I’m going to ask really nicely if I can go back. I had the time of my life. As a perk, I was given tickets to go to the Olympic basketball. I wouldn’t have been able to go if hadn’t been working for McDonald’s.”
Charlotte, who is usually responsible for training other staff, was one of a group of 20 staff from Basildon invited to work at Stratford, after rigorous tests of their speed, customer service skills and teamwork.
McDonald’s is the official restaurant for the London Games and a global Olympic sponsor. It has been linked to the Olympics since 1968, when it airlifted burgers to US athletes in Grenoble, France, in response to reports they were missing McDonald’s food.