McDonald’s is at the forefront of fast food restaurants and has made some serious changes to keep ahead of the game and take it into the future with everything from digital self-service kiosks, food to your table and even tablets for customers to play on. It’s somewhere I remember from childhood as being the place to go for chocolate milkshakes, it still is my go to choice of drink there so I was excited to be invited to check out my local store to see the changes first hand along with a tour of the kitchen.
Of course it wouldn’t be right to go behind the scenes in McDonald’s in my normal attire, so we were given a staff apron, cap and name badge to really feel like part of the family. The first thing you can’t fail to notice when you enter the store are the Self-Service Kiosks – a large easy to read screen with a scroll bar on the left that runs through all the categories on the menu such as burgers, meals, drinks, Happy Meals etc. Once you select a category, you then choose your option and size of item. Dependent on what it is you can customise it, for example in a burger you can choose which sauces you have. I think once you’ve used it a couple of times, its really user-friendly and certainly a lot easier to see your options compared to the overhead menus at the manual counters.
Table service – If you notice in the image above, hanging to the left of the kiosk are some table numbers, if you take one of these and enter the number onto the screen at the end of your order, your food will be delivered straight to your table, no waiting around and then struggling to find a seat while your food is going cold! I was intrigued as to how quickly the staff would be able to find your number as with their new kitchen set up they aim to hand you your food within 45 seconds of it being ready. Well the answer was quite impressive – the table numbers are installed with a tracker technology that shows the kitchen exactly what area of the restaurant you are seated at so if you change your mind and move seats, don’t worry, the kitchen will know that!
Then it was time for a tour of the kitchen which at this restaurant has been modernised and evolved to become incredibly efficient allowing a remarkably streamlined process to get the food made freshly to order and as quick as possible to the customer. The main burger line runs down the centre of the kitchen with stations each side to make the burgers. You then have everything you need right in front of you and starting with picking the correct type of bread roll, passing it through the toaster you move along gradually filling the burger/wrap with the right sauces and accompaniments until it is boxed, then it is then placed on a clever little conveyor belt that takes it to just behind the front counter where it is added to the rest of the order. As a bit of fun I even got to try building a burger, which although not difficult, I’m not sure I could stand there doing that all day especially when its busy and the pressure is on to get all the burgers out timely and to the correct specifications!
One of the things I learnt about McDonald’s is the high quality of fresh ingredients they use from 100% British & Irish Beef, fresh free range eggs and responsibly sourced 100% Arabica coffee beans. Also now all of their food is freshly made to order, no more pre prepared burger boxes sitting around waiting for customers to purchase.
Moving on to the customer experience when dining, there are now stations of tablets for customers to freely use so whether you want to check social media, play games or read up on McDonald’s nutritional content there is plenty to keep you occupied.
I really enjoyed my visit to McDonald’s and was pleased to meet my local franchisee owner Dave Wynne who has worked for the chain for many years and gone on to run a large number of restaurants in the South West. He kindly showed us round and told us many interesting facts about himself, the branch and things that McDonald’s do for the local community such as providing youth football teams with kits as well as much more.
With my tour over it was time to say goodbye but I walked away feeling like I’d really learnt a lot and saw McDonald’s as much more than just a quick stop of for food with the kids. It really does care about its customers, the food, it’s staff and the community – all in all a company worth remembering!
With a long journey last weekend and knowing there was a roadside McDonald’s midway, I knew it’d be a great opportunity to stop off and see what the kids thought about one of the new look stores. They didn’t need any encouraging and refused to let me assist as they swiftly placed their orders on the digital kiosk screen themselves.
Then while we waiting for our food to be delivered to our table they busied themselves on the tablets playing various games.
When the food arrived they continued their games along with enjoying their minion themed Happy Meals – a big hit!
The whole experience was great, I loved not having to wait and stand for my food, my children got to join in the ordering process and my little boy picked carrot sticks over fries having seen the options clearly in front of him. Then the pair of them sat silently eating their meals, a welcome bit of peace for mummy and daddy after the constant moans and groans of the car journey and the many cries of “Are we nearly there yet?”. The new look McDonalds won them over and is somewhere we can’t wait to visit again!
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and this is a sponsored post in order to write an honest review.