I was recently contacted by a PR company, offering me the opportunity to visit McDonalds Clifton and experience what it was like at the restaurant and how it has changed over the years. I thought “why not”, I do like to eat McDonalds and have often wondered what it is really like back in the kitchens.
On Arrival I met the PR company, 2 fellow bloggers, the franchise owner, business manager for that restaurant and a man from the McDonald’s head office. Everyone was very friendly and the staff at McDonalds Clifton were more than happy to answer any questions. We were offered drinks and then sat to go over what would happen over the next couple of hours.
It’s crazy to think how much McDonald’s has actually changed and I don’t think I have really thought about it until I was sat talking about it. Now you go into one of the many restaurants and you can either pay at the tills or use one of the new kiosks, there are tables for the adults and children to help keep them entertained and at this restaurant there is even table service!!!
One thing that has to be said is that the food that they serve has never changed. I for one love the Big Mac and the recipe has never changed to lower costs, the portion sizes of fries from what I remember has always remained the same. Something that many companies seem to change in order to save on money.
It was interesting to learn about the staffing at McDonalds as they hire both part time and fulltime, however unlike many companies they work their hours around the staff. If someone only wants to work one shift a week then they can, if someone wants to work every day then they can as well. Perfect for people looking for additional work or for students looking to earn a side income whilst studying.
I have used the new kiosks at McDonalds a few times now and personally think they are an excellent addition. I have nothing against getting served at a till but it’s nice to just nip in, select what you want and pay for it – which is probably why I love self service at Tesco!!
We were given a little tour of the kiosks and actually learnt a thing or two about them. If you have not used them before then i’d really recommend giving them ago. You select what burger or happy meal you want and it will then ask if you want the burger alone or as part of a meal. You can then select your side whether you want fries or salad and then finally the drink that you want.
One of the things I loved was how you can actually customise your order and food in the kitchen is actually made on a order basis and not mass produced and left on the back waiting for someone to pick them up. If you get a drink you can choose to have no ice, select fries and you can remove the salt or if you want to make a change to the burger then you can do this as well. I personally love the pickles but many people don’t, now you can select to have these taken off your burger.
They were also talking about in the future you will be able to customise your food even more by being able to add additional items to it, really improving the customer experience and getting exactly what you want.
You can also see the difference with the whole restaurant area and how they are trying to make it more appealing and less stressful for diners. The introduction of tables is one of these changes which I expect has helped families keep their children entertained whilst waiting for the food, no doubt people of all ages use them since you can connect to the net or your favourite social media site.
After having a chat and a look around the dining area we were shown back to the staff room, which they called the crew room. Here we were given our very own hat, apron and name tag – which I really appreciate and and was a nice touch. Look at how good they look below 🙂
We went through a couple of health and safety things, and then put our new apron and hat on ready to have a look around the back of the restaurant. The first place we had a look at was the store cupboard which kept all the dry stock such as sauces, paper cups etc. We looked in the walk in fridge which was very cold and then went into the walk in freezer, which believe me was incredibly cold!!
We had a quick look outside where the bins and stored, what really impressed me is how much McDonald’s seem to do about recycling. Literally everything is recycled which I think is really good. They have cages for the boxes, bins for just food. Oil is typically something that you cannot throw away, it needs to be disposed of properly. The lorry that delivers new oil takes the old oil away in metal crates and this is then recycled to become fuel for the lorry that collects it, perfect!
One thing I did notice was how clean all the areas where, even the outside which you imagine could be dirty as no one really see’s them but it was kept very clean and tidy.
Now that we had a look around the back it was time for us to get our hands dirty (in a good way not with dirt! :)) and get in the kitchen to make our own Big Mac. On entering the kitchen we had to wash our hands, all staff have to wash their hands every 30 minutes which I think it’s a good system.
We were shown how to make a Big Mac from toasting the bread, adding the secret Big Mac sauce which comes in an impressive sauce gun, adding the onion, lettuce, pickles, cheese and then finally the meat. It’s all done in a specific order and the measurements are exact, 3g of onions and 14gs of lettuce. I enjoyed eating my very own made Big Mac and I have to say it tasted pretty good!
Heres me making my own Big Mac 🙂
This was the end of the tour and I have to say I really enjoyed it and want to thank everyone that showed us around and staff for making us feel welcome, even though I am sure we were getting in their way at times!
I do think McDonald’s has come along way, I cannot comment on any other Restaurants as I have not seen them but the McDonalds Clifton restaurant was very clean and the staff seemed to really enjoy their jobs.
We all know that McDonald’s is not going to win any prizes for the healthiest food award, just like many similar restaurants. They have however gone in the right direction by providing alternatives such as fruit and salad as well as displaying the nutritional information on the menu and product packaging. This at least gives people the power to decide if having one of their meals is suitable for their diet.
I personally don’t see any harm in eating this kind of food, if like anything it’s all in moderation 🙂
Again I want to thank the people at McDonalds, those that organized the event and the staff at the McDonalds Clifton branch.
Do do, do do do, i’m lovin it 😛