I’m sure there isn’t many people that don’t love a cheeky McDonalds, they definitely have their place in my life (hangover I’m looking at you!)
When I was invited to come and check out the new changes that are taking place across all McDonalds stores and get to make my own Big Mac, how could I refuse.
So, on a very cold and wet Tuesday evening I headed in my car to the McDonalds at the Oracle shopping centre in Reading, where I met some lovely fellow bloggers and the franchise owner of the branch Richard. It was great hearing that Richard’s whole career since university has been with McDonalds and that before leaving McDonalds to become a Franchise owner of them, he was the a Vice President within the company.
The reason Richard decided to leave McDonalds and take on several branches of McDonalds to run, was that he wanted to come back to a place where he was born and to help people just like him have that first step on the work ladder. With his wife helping with the book keeping and one of his daughters recently starting to work at the branch too, it has a real family feel to it.
We started off with a behind scenes look in the kitchen, where I was given my very own McDonalds apron, hat and employee badge. This is what dreams are made of! Oh and of course a very attractive hair net.
It was then time to head to the kitchen, where we were shown where the magic happens. If like me you thought that McDonalds still made all their food in batches and then it sat on the tray behind the counter waiting for someone to come along to order it. Then you will be wrong, things have changed a lot in McDonalds.
All the food is freshly made to order…!!
And I got to see this in action. With two lovely ladies making the orders as they appeared on the screen. Even the buns are toasted when the order comes in. It was seamless, they both knew their role and the order was made and ready within minutes.
It was then our turn to make our very own Big Mac. Of course a Big Mac is made up of 3 buns, which they call the crown, the club and the heel. Each of these are toasted first, while they are toasting you grab a Big Mac box ready to go.
Once they are toasted, its a quick squeeze of burger sauce onto each bun, add some onions, lettuce and cheese. In the trays are the burgers freshly made and stacked in 2’s to make it quicker to make the Big Mac. And that’s it, your Big Mac is ready to go.
Recently McDonalds have been rolling out their range of Signature burgers and they made a burger for us to have a taste of and see the difference to a normal McDonalds burger.
These burgers are bigger, seasoned and are more like what you would expect from a gourmet burger place. And the taste? well it tasted like a gourmet burger too and if I didn’t know different, I would never had said it was from McDonalds.
What I was really impressed with in the kitchens, was just how clean they were for a busy working kitchen. I could see employees cleaning everything down each time. They had alarms going off every 30 minutes to remind them to wash their hands. It was a very slick and organised.
We then headed back out to the restaurant to eat the Big Mac that we had made ourselves. I think I did a good job, it tasted just like a Big Mac!
It was then time to be shown the new self serve ordering system that is being introduced to McDonalds across the country. A little interesting fact I was told about this system, was that Richard who is the franchise owner I met earlier is the brains behind this system and implemented it before he left McDonalds to become a franchise owner.
Anyway back to the ordering system, it is all done by touch screen and is very intuitive to use. You can minimise the screen for shorter people to be able to reach everything.
The bit that my dad will love to hear, is that you can customise everything to how you would like it. My dad just likes a good plain burger, with literally nothing on it. When we were children and went to McDonalds for a treat (or because dad can’t cook), he would order a plain burger and we would have to wait for ages!
No more waiting now!
If you have a fussy eater you can completely customise the food for them too. Plus all the nutritional information is right there on the screen and when you choose a happy meal all the healthier drink options come up first.
You have the choice to either request it to be delivered to your table or collect it from the collection point and if all this is worrying you, don’t panic you can still place your order at the counter just like you always have been able to. Someone is always available to take your order for you.
One last thing to tell you about, which is great if you are placing a big order, in a rush or just super organised. Using the McDonalds App, you can click and collect. Place your order at your selected restaurant, then when you arrive at the McDonalds the order is scanned in as you arrive, you pay and your order is ready for you.
If you are eating in the restaurant they have chargers available, tablets to play on and colouring too.
I’m amazed at how much McDonalds has changed, to having freshly made to order food, options to customise your order and click and collect.
And if you are wondering what I will be doing with my McDonalds hat and apron, well I will be wearing it to cook my Christmas dinner this year!
Disclosure: I’m working in collaboration with McDonalds and this is a sponsored post.