Over the past few years in the UK each and every McDonald’s store has been going through a revamp process. The introduction of electronic kiosks to order your food, and a more streamlined kitchen process where the food is “Made For You”. I was invited along to the Rotherham store, near Parkgate, to see for myself the changes that have been gradually rolled out since 2014.
*This post has been sponsored, however all wordings and opinions are my own!
We were given a brief introduction to the franchise owner and supervisor, Franco and Matt. It was really interesting being able to see how both of them had progressed their careers through the company. I never knew how much you could actually progress through McDonald’s. There is definitely a stigma around joining a fast food restaurant and it offering no career prospects. However, hearing about Franco going from Part Time staff to Business Manager to Field and Operations Manager for the whole of Scotland was definitely an eye opener. Who knew that this possibility to progress was there?
It also seems that Matt was moved across as franchise supervisor after having had a career in operations. It seems like Franco and Matt have known each other for a while and have a good partnership together. Although with this change it now means that Matt is only running 3 restaurants instead of 10. It seems that he is preferring this switch though as it gives him the chance to have more involvement in the day to day running of the stores. You could really tell that both of them were passionate about their careers here!
One thing I never knew about McDonald’s was the amount of input that the company have on the franchises. Its not something I’ve ever really thought of but I guess it makes sense. It allows the restaurants to be more uniform and also means that they are all operating to the same standards! This means that although the franchisees will have a better understanding of an area, and to work to optimise this, you can be safe in the knowledge that they are working to best standards. This means that every restaurant has free range eggs and organic milk!
The main thing that they showed off throughout this tour was the way that the stored had moved into the digital age! The main way they have done this is with the introduction of the kiosks! Something that I’d seen in Europe since around 2013 but I didn’t see my first one in the UK since 2015. These are honestly my favourite thing ever! It is a little sad to admit to but my sister can confirm, unfortunately. There’s just something about having the leisure to order what you want without issue. And that seems to have been the point of them.
The idea of the kiosks was to give people the chance to order without feeling rushed or stressed out, especially useful for those with families. Combine this with the new table service and you don’t even need to wait for your food! I have used this previously when I’ve been to my local chain and it was nice to be able to sit down with my nephew and wait for the food to be brought across instead of having to stand and wait with him. I can completely understand why this has made the restaurants more accessible for people. Also, the kiosks have the option to change the screen display. This shrinks the display to the bottom of the screen so smaller or younger customers can use them with ease. Also it allows people with any disabilities that restrict their reach to use them without issue.
Another thing they have added is the iPads. It might not seem like a big thing to do but it means that anyone can gain quick access to the internet without having to use their own device. From what Franco said to us on the night, it seems that a huge variety of people use these devices for many different reasons. He loves that in a morning people have a quick browse on new sites before heading off to work. Also, after school hours he sees that a lot of children use them to play on the games pre-installed. The great thing with these iPads is that they’ve been locked down so that they are safe for everyone to use. You might have to take care to log out of your social profiles before you go though!
After this quick tour of the branch, we got to go behind the scenes! That’s right we went through the staff doors and became McDonald’s employees, for a few minutes anyway! We started the behind-the-scenes tour in the staff room where we were presented with our very own uniforms. I was definitely happier about this than I thought I would. To be honest, I was a little jealous of the staff room. They had games consoles so they could fully relax on their breaks, and also computers for them to work towards any of the qualifications that is available to them with the computer.
We were quickly whisked into the kitchen where we got the chance to make our own Big Macs! I will hold my hands up now and say I have never been a Big Mac fan. I don’t like trying new things, and the first Big Mac I had wasn’t that nice. Looking back on it, I think there was too much sauce on it for my liking! Before we prepped our own version we got to see a little in the kitchen. All of the grills are now digital and timed based on a computer metric system! I never realised that there was so much technology in the kitchen! But then it was time to wash my hands, and prepare my food!
The entire process couldn’t have taken more than a few minutes but I felt like I was going really slow. I don’t think that I would make a good McDonald’s worker. We had to grab pinches of onions and lettuce and place two gherkins on top of the burger. From the way mine tasted, there were definitely too many onions! But I thought it looked pretty good! And the taste, it was so much better than I remembered! I’m not sure if I was being too reserved with the amount of sauce I put on or not. Or if my taste buds have just changed, but I may have to order this again when I next go in!
I had so much fun during the evening, even though the freezer is not something I want to experience again! My love for McDonald’s has only increased with this trip and I am eagerly awaiting the next time I can set foot in my local restaurant.
Hasta la fuego