Recently I was asked to go along to one of my local McDonald’s to take a sneak peek at the ways they are revolutionising fast food. McDonald’s came to the UK in 1974 and since then has grown to 1249 restaurants spanning the length and breath of the UK (as of 2014). Pretty much everyone has heard of McDonald’s and 9 out of 10 of us eat there at least once a year. That’s a very impressive figure! Personally, I’ve used McDonald’s since I was a teenager, even doing a brief stint working in one of the Cardiff restaurants and I continue to use McDonald’s now with my own children. Charlie trains at least three nights a week and after training on a Tuesday we head down to our local McDonald’s for a drive through. ‘McDonald’s Tuesdays’ as we call them, are always met with excitement and we did visit McDonald’s as a treat after Jack’s hospital appointments until we realised that we were in almost everyday given the frequency of some appointments! McDonald’s has, for us, that magic charm of being casual, yet warm and inviting. It’s a place where my children feel safe, both the youngest and the oldest. Nothings confusing, everything the same, although there have been some changes. Changes that we might not have realised were taking place or had taken place.
McDonald’s is revolutionising the way we experience fast food, right from the ordering to the cooking. There’s the new self service kiosks, allowing you to place and pay for your order quickly and efficiently. I’d never used one as I thought that I wouldn’t be able to order the wonderful concoctions that Jack likes . It turns out that I can. I can order a hamburger and remove every single filling, just leaving the bread, which is just how he likes it. I can select table service (nope, I didn’t know that existed either!) and once I’ve paid at the self service machine and selected which zone I’ll be sitting in, I can sit down and my food will be brought over. This is a great feature for families, people with disabilities, people who struggle to carry a tray laden with food (like me!) or just people in a rush with things to get on with. Once you’re seated you can hook up to the free WiFi, surf the net on some really easy to use, cool tablets, let the kids play games on the tablets and charge your phone free of charge at once for the brilliant tables with built in Android and Apple charging points. Self service machines don’t mean less staff in store though, not at all. There’s still a small army of people cooking, serving, cleaning, welcoming and helping customers.
When your food comes it will be freshly cooked and piping hot. This is all thanks to a revolutionised ordering system and kitchen design. No more cheeseburgers waiting patiently in the shoots for someone to buy them. Once your order is placed, it is sent to the kitchen where a team of incredibly well trained and fast staff, toast, cook and assemble your order to your exact specifications. Some of the machinery in the kitchen, which selects burgers based on freshness were mind blowing. I honestly had no idea there was this level of sophistication in the kitchen. I was lucky enough to not only visit the kitchen but was also given the chance to make my own Big Mac. I was so impressed with the speed everyone in the kitchen worked at! Assembling my Big Mac was straight forward thanks to the kitchens innovative and organised lay out ( and the fact that Matt was super patient and helpful). Matt was informing me of the exact measurements I needed to take of ingredients for my Big Mac (which means that each item of food that the kitchen puts out is consistently excellent). Orders requiring ingredients taken out or something different put in are communicated efficiently, meaning few mistakes and a quick turn around. I know that every time Jack orders something a little different, his order is never questioned and is just how he wants it, which is such a relief as some places really struggle to accommodate his needs. There was a real team atmosphere in both the kitchen and front of house and I put that down to the fact that McDonald’s looks after it’s staff incredibly well. I do genuinely recommend that people take a quick peek at the apprenticeship, training and opportunities that are open to their employees, which you can find here. I’ve actually told my eldest two that when they are old enough they should look at fitting a job in McDonald’s around their studies. I really was incredibly impressed with the new technology in both the kitchen and front of house and the knowledge and expertise of the staff. McDonald’s really is changing the way fast food is brought to us.
For further information about McDonald’s and what they do visit here
P.S, The new Signature burgers just came out. Big, juicy burgers in a brioche bun, available in Classic, Spicy and BBQ. I’m totally trying the BBQ next time! I just wolfed down the Signature Classic and it was delicious! Have a look at McDonald’s for more menu information.
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