If you know me, you’ll know how I feel about McDonalds. It’s my happy food, my sad food and my hangover food. If eating it everyday was considered a balanced diet, I’d be all over that. When I was invited to my local McDonalds to see and experience the evolution of the brand, I felt like I’d peaked in life. It was pretty awesome to go behind the scenes of the Didcot McDonalds because it was my local growing up and now again as an adult, it’s my local again. Ok, it’s a 20 minute drive now that I live out in the sticks but it’s worth every minute of that drive.
Everyone was so warm and welcoming on arrival. I met with a group of great local bloggers, the wonderful ladies at Red Consultancy and staff from McDonalds, Ismail Anilmis (Franchisee), Ali Smith (Operations Consultant) and Stuart Silk (Area Supervisor). We had a chat over drinks about the development of the restaurants and what #yournewmcdonalds actually means.
We were given a behind the scenes tour of the back office, the fridge and the kitchen. It was incredibly interesting to see how the kitchen has been designed to create fresh and fast food and how things are going digital with touch screens to order. Did you know you can even order over the app before you get there and that home delivery is currently being tested out in London? Amazing!
Dressed in a cute cap, a cool apron and my very own name badge (YES!), I had the chance to test out the kitchen by making my own Big Mac. No burger takes longer than 100 seconds to cook all the way through, food is fresh and delivered daily and everything is made whilst you’re ordering. Which is perfect for people like my best friend who has no ketchup, no onions, no nothing in her burger! No more parking up after the drive thru and waiting because they now do it there and then. Pretty impressive if you ask me and definitely not the perception I had of McDonalds. I am a bit of a hygiene freak (definitely not a tidy freak though) and the kitchen was a pleasant surprise. Everyone washes their hands every 15 minutes and everyone has their own steps in the food prep process.
If you ask me, my Big Mac turned out pretty damn well. I overloaded on the gherkins, obviously. Stuart said I wasn’t very generous with the amount of lettuce I used… funny that! It was a really good laugh and I enjoyed my time in the kitchen. We moved on to talk more about the restaurants transformation after a quick snack and we discussed another new development, table service. I think that it’s a great idea for families, you always see families struggling to get their food to the table whilst juggling their children. And for me? Most of the time I am too hungry to stand so sitting in a zone and waiting for my food is great. Ordering from the touch screens is also a plus, it’s quick and easy. You don’t even have to speak to anyone which is perfect for me when I grab a breakfast because I am so not a morning person.
They’re also introducing 3 new permanent additions to the menu, the Signature Collection. I tried the BBQ burger and oh my, what a burger! It tasted like a super gourmet burger (brioche bun and all) and even came in pretty instagrammable packaging. It’s great to see McDonalds broadening their menu.
I was excited to experience behind the scenes of McDonalds, of course I was, it’s me, but I definitely didn’t expect to be as impressed as I was with the restaurant, the staff and the improvements on the food. You can really see the brand moving forward with technology, even simply by adding iPads for entertainment at the tables. Sometimes chains can get stuck in their ways but not McDonalds, they’re nailing it. They’re the future of fast food.
I am so guilty of doing the ‘drive thru’ and not going into the restaurant, but now the decor is so lovely and it’s a great environment to eat in, I will be parking up and heading in from now on.
*This blog post was sponsored by McDonalds and I’m lovin’ it.