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.