Several dozen protestors stood outside two Greenville fast food restaurants, holding picket signs instead of operating cash registers.
Fast food employees across the country and around the world are upset over working for low pay and lined the streets to demand higher wages Thursday.
The employees are calling for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation.
Strikes were expected in cities from Oakland to Raleigh.
Around the world, workers are planning major protests in at least 33 countries.
Locally, some 35 workers walked off their jobs for the first time ever as part of the wave of strikes in Greenville.
"It's hard for me to have gas in my car, to take care of my kids and put clothes on their backs," said Robin Walker, a KFC employee.
Fantria Alman has a criminal justice degree from Elizabeth City State University, but also works at KFC. "I couldn't find a job in the criminal justice field, there was nothing really available, so I have no choice but to go back to fast food work," said Alman. "I feel like they could train me for a manager position since I have a degree, but they told me I have to work from the bottom and work my way up."
The protestors staged their strike in front of a Bojangles' and a McDonald's on Farmville Boulevard.
McDonald's released the following on today's strike:
"At McDonald's, we offer part-time and full-time employment, benefits and competitive pay based on the local marketplace and job level. McDonald's and our owner-operators are committed to providing our respective employees with opportunities to succeed, and we have a long, proven history of providing advancement opportunities for those who want it. We invest in training and professional development that helps them learn practical and transferable business skills whether at McDonald's or elsewhere. It's important to know approximately 80% of our global restaurants are independently owned and operated by small business owners, who are independent employers that comply with local and federal laws.
This is an important discussion that needs to take into account the highly competitive nature of the industries that employ minimum wage workers, as well as consumers and the thousands of small businesses which own and operate the vast majority of McDonald's restaurants."
A similar protest was held earlier in Mount Olive.