Tuesday, 27 June 2017

McDonald's - What's new?

I recently got the opportunity to have a behind-the-scenes tour of McDonald's in Plymouth - this was right up my street as I do love a Maccies, and I have a background in catering so it was interesting to see what McDonald's have changed from the perspective of both a consumer and a caterer.

You may have noticed that your local McDonald's has gone through a few changes recently.. so far 800 restaurants in the UK have been upgraded, and the rest are soon to follow. We got shown round the latest improvements to #YourNewMcDonalds which have been introduced to make the customers' experience better all round. 

We were introduced to David, the franchisee, and learned how he went from working part-time to fund his studies on to owning most of the McDonald's restaurants in Plymouth and Cornwall. McDonald's staff have been unfortunately stereotyped, but David is proof that you can move fairly quickly up the career ladder with a lot of dedication and hard work.

David still works on the shop floor occasionally, but he does spend a lot of time travelling around the South West. He also sits on local committees, and ensures McDonald's plays an active role in the community, which can involve anything from sponsoring children's football teams to having a say on the Christmas lights in the city.

To prove he still knew his stuff, he showed us how to make a Big Mac, before lettings us have a go ourselves.

Who knew the layers of bread in a Big Mac had names? L-R The Heel, The Club and The Crown (useless trivia alert!)
Adding the special Big Mac sauce
Apparently I was stingy on the lettuce - oops!
Obviously one of McDonald's main selling points is fast food - but how do they get your food so fast and still maintain the quality?

As well as the improvements to the front of house, the kitchens have undergone refurbishment to enable them to cook everything fresh to order. 

Here are the burgers going in to be cooked... and coming out 45 seconds later!

I was impressed to learn that the ingredients of the burgers are just British beef and salt & pepper - definitely de-bunked some myths you hear of!

The customer sees the main changes front of house, some of these include:

  1.  Self-Service Kiosks - You can choose whether to queue up and speak to a person to order or you can use the touch screens. These are handy if you are in a rush, and are especially useful for people with communication needs who may have trouble speaking or hearing. The screens can be lowered for children or people who use wheelchairs.
  2. Table Service  - again brilliant if you are tired or disabled, you can go straight to your table and sit down and your order will be brought to you, no need to hang around awkwardly!
  3. iPads - There are tables with iPads provided, these are great if your phone has run out of battery and you need to check up on anything online (it automatically logs out once you've stopped using it). They also come loaded with nutritional information about the food and, the most used feature, a load of games - perfect for keeping the kids (or kids at heart) entertained!

Although I have McDonald's fairly regularly anyway, this visit has enlightened me on what I'm actually ordering and how it is prepared. And I will certainly be getting a coffee or Frappe from Maccies if I'm in town, rather that pay double for pretty much the same thing in some well known coffee chains!

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This post is written in collaboration with McDonald's. All views are my own. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

January Sales Picks

 If there's one thing I learnt whilst shooting these photos, is that sunset is a terrible time for taking outfit photos, especially when you only have an iPhone 5c camera. I liked these shots though, so if you ignore the quality and focus on my snazzy new threads then that'll be grand. Also the beach in winter is even colder after the sun sets - who knew? Kudos to Mark for coming down with me to take these pics.

Yay new clothes!! I HAVE to start with the uuuuhmazing shoes. I mean.... HELLO SPARKLY GOLD BROGUES! I got these bad boys just before Christmas in Clarks when I went to Shrewsbury with my Mum, and she kindly bought me these for my Christmas present. At first I spotted a lovely dark green pair that were leather, suede and patent. They were very very nice and I would have gone home with them quite happily. While I was waiting for the shop assistant to fetch the other shoe of the pair to try on, I spotted these beauties. I then spent about 15 minutes walking round the shop with one green shoe and one gold shoe on trying to decide which to buy. My mum was being practical and saying I'd get lots more wear out of the green pair, I could wear them on placement etc, but I've already got tan and black brogues, so I feel I'm alright for practical boring shoes for now. What I didn't have though, were fabulous sparkly shoes! Not to mention incredibly comfy. My other brogues are New Look and F+F at Tesco, and needless to say, these Clarks ones are by far the comfiest, and I dare say the most durable. Good old Clarks - not just the home of school shoes eh?
Oh yeah - these were an absolute bargain at £30 - half price!

plz excuse socks and cankles
 After Christmas I went to Aberystwyth and got this gorgeous scarf from Accessorize. I've wanted a paisley scarf like this ever since seeing my friends' wearing them in 6th form so we're talking at least 6 years! I love the jewel toned colours in it, and its really soft (hence why I've got it all over my face!)
This wasn't as much of a bargain as the shoes but still pretty decent at £17.50 reduced from £25.

Last but not least is this green ribbed jumper from New Look. Yeees it is green (see above about outfit shoots at sunset - won't be doing that again). Now THIS was a steal at only £6!  I didn't even look what the original price was and took it to the till straightaway (I've just checked - it was £17.99 - yay bargains!). It's a very fine knit so you can wear it as a top or over a vest top or something. I wouldn't recommend wearing it as a single layer on a beach in December though. I told Mark's mum about it and she went and ordered one in a different colour the same day. SUCH a good buy, I can see myself getting a lot of use out of it both casually and for smarter wear.

I hope you like these purchases (actually who cares? It's me that's wearing them and I like them). I enjoyed doing this outfit shoot so hopefully there'll be a lot more to come this year - hopefully in better light! If you're wandering the dungarees are last year's from Fat Face - I like them but I think I'd prefer a skinny leg? And the watch is Mantaray at Debenhams but also a few years old.

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