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I’m lovin’ it! Innovations and a new era for McDonalds

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McDonalds is special to me and my family. Full of happy memories.
I remember every school holidays my cousins would come over and we would go to McDonalds for lunch. In the days before I went vegetarian and before I developed my wheat allergy, the Chicken McNugget was king 🙂 We took my grandparents there for their first ever trip, my grandmother asked where the cutlery was! Now I have my own family, we go every few months for special occasions. Matthew asked to go to McDonalds for his birthday this year and we went to the Bracknell restaurant which has a soft play area, yay!
But that is enough about the past and the present! McDonalds is looking to the future!

I was beyond excited at the opportunity to go behind the scenes and find out abuot the changes being rolled out across the UK. I was invited to attend the Milton/Abingdon (near Didcot) restaurant this week. It was the first time I had ever been to a blogger event so I was a bit anxious but more concerned with the drive to get there! (it went great, hurrah, my parking was not so good…)
I arrived early for a 1.30 start. The place was heaving with people. Families. Workers. Elderly couples. Teens. Builders. Businessmen in suits. The appeal of McDonalds is universal.

McDonalds is revolutionising its restaurants, using the latest technology to create a modern style of food and service. This is true both sides of the counter, for ordering and in the kitchen!
There are newly installed touch screens for ordering food and some have the capacity for mobile ordering and QR scanning. This allows you to order when you park and then you just need to scan and pay on entry. Payment is possible via contactless systems on your phone or other devices as well as more traditional methods (no need for my mum to panic!).

Customise! The touch screen allows options such as add or remove items from your meal deal or item. Prefer your Big Mac with no cheese? No problem.
EVERYTHING is made to order, specific to your instructions. This means less food waste for the company which is better for the planet, and also better for you as you get your food exactly how you want it! Making the customer happy REALLY matters.
The display boards behind the counter are full of clear pricing information as well as calorie counts. The images are sharp and seriously tempting!

In a few choice city spots delivery has become a reality! If this option was available to me then I would certainly make the most of it!
Perfect for parents is the table service. Linked to the touch screens mentioned above, you can take a seat with your family and get settled then one of you heads to the board, does the tech and can return to your seat knowing the food will be brought to you directly. No need to juggle trays and a buggy! (actually I have never had to juggle because the staff are always super helpful and offer to carry my tray to the table, thanks!)
Tablets are available for use by anyone and free wifi is available for use on your own device.

So next we headed backstage to the crew room. I haven’t worn a work uniform in over 12 years but was genuinely thrilled to get my very own name badge, apron and hat.

We were allowed to explore the storage areas. The huge fridge and freezer were packed full, they get deliveries everyday to ensure maximum freshness of ingredients. Milk is organic. Chicken is 100% breast meat and the beef is 100% British and can be traced back to the very cow it came from. Quality and trust as well as the latest innovations are the reason why McDonalds remains a firm favourite for every generation.

The kitchen feels small and intimate considering the vast quantity of food that is produced there. This restaurant has served thousands of Big Macs this year so far and I got to make one!
I confess now that I has no idea what went into a Big Mac. I’ve never eaten one! The beef is cooked on a hot plate, both sides at once for efficiency and speed. Everything has timers to ensure that the perfect cook is achieved each and every time. The salad is all laid out in order so even I couldn’t get it mixed up!

I have to admit I was more than a little proud of myself 🙂

Being a vegetarian, I saved my Big Mac for the man in my life, who I know loves them! Chris is really eager to try the new signature range too which promises fantastic quality and flavours.

I had no idea about the community and charity aspects of McDonalds. I can honestly say I was massively impressed by the dedication and passion for helping local projects, national campaigns and the Ronald McDonald House Charities which support families of poorly children to get accommodation near the hospital.
The managers I spoke with had all been with McDonalds since before I was born, working their way up to their current role. They know the business inside out, they know the customers and community they are serving. Their enthusiasm and drive are pushing McDonalds to be the best it can be, and the positivity for the technological advances shows how much they value lifestyle changes.

  

I had an amazing time at McDonalds. The staff were so friendly, the food was delicious (as always!) and I really feel privileged to have glimpsed behind the scenes.

*I was invited to attend McDonalds in conjunction with Red Consultancy. This post has been sponsored but I have full editorial control so all words, pictures and opinions are my own.

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40 comments

  1. I’m so jealous! We love McDonald’s- especially the fact I can adapt the Kids meal so it suits my one year old. We will have to try the table service when we go today! #thatfridaylinky

  2. Mcdonalds is The Boys treat place. Whenever we go on a Mummy and Micahel date it’s where we go. Ours had had screens and ipads for a while, they are very cool! #foodiefriday

  3. MacDonalds is special for my mummy too as she worked in the first one in Northern Ireland! She was a floor manager while at uni and met some lovely friends working there. The only thing she doesn’t like is the tablets for kids in the stores x

  4. I’m sorry I hate McDonalds. I’ve never understood it. As a kid my mum would make the most delicious food and I’d go with my friends and wonder why they were eating it. That is not a burger. it doesn’t taste like meat. I love a burger but not that. The fillet of fish, which is probably the one I’d have just to be sociable was okay but give me yummy fish, that’s not yummy fish. The bread is also really gross. Even the chips AND I LOVE GOOD CHIPS. I’ve been in a few times but normally order a water or tea now I understand everyone has different taste but it’s not for me . #ThatFridayLinky

  5. McDonalds certainly has its place in the food industry, and of all the similar fast food places it is my favourite by far. In fact I don’t go to any of the others. I tend to go with the kids maybe once every 4-6 weeks, as a treat, usually after swimming. I like a chicken wrap, without bacon, and they share a happy meal – loving the toy!! That said when they did the my little pony toy we went more frequently to collect them!! Love the new computer orders, idea and table service – makes is sooooo much easier with 2 toddlers in tow. Kate http://www.fivelittlestars.com

  6. Have to say that McDonalds is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I also think the work they do in the community is brilliant – their Ronald McDonald Houses are well known here but it’s always interesting to look at how many community projects they have involvement in too. I think the food has improved a lot since I was a kid – and their coffee is epic too!

  7. McDonalds has a big part in our lives more than I like to admit but sometimes it is the only thing my son will eat. I always used to worry about peoples jobs with how our tech is advancing but being a mum to a pre-verbal child I love that in the future he will be able to order his own food and not need to have to talk. I must admit I do still like to talk to a human ;0)

  8. Ooh I would love to see behind the scenes! My 4yr old adores McDonalds and we go at least once a month as a treat. I love the new order boards as it means I can have a proper look at what they do as otherwise I feel a bit rushed and the table service is great too!

    #ThatFridayLinky

  9. This sounds like a fun experience, we enjoy a Mcdonalds every now and again but we have to be careful not to have too many :p we love the new touchscreens in our local one

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  11. We don’t go very often, as it’s not my favourite, but did a couple of months ago. Loved the new ordering system. A real advance forward. The children loved ordering their own. My sister’s family have been grateful for the support of the Ronald McDonald House charity when they were on holiday in the US, a few years back. Turned into a longer “holiday” than expected. #MMBC

  12. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with McDonald’s. I think I love it, then about an hour after I’ve eaten it, I hate it because I’m hungry again and wish I’d also got a McFlurry. Must say I am just a wee bit jealous that you got to make your own Big Mac #MMBC x

  13. The Tubblet loves McDonalds so we use it as a treat. I don’t think any of our local ones offer the new things. What a fascinating picture of behind the scenes as well. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Wow this looks so cool! When i was in Uni, i literally lived on Macdonalds but these days i try to give it a miss to promote home-cooked meals for the kids however this their new system sounds so good! #blogstravaganza

  15. I find behind the scenes so interesting and I’d love to have a poke around. Sounds like they have upped their game in recent years. #triumphanttales

  16. I am loving their new tablets and touch screen ordering service. And the best bit yet is that we discovered when on holiday in Portugal recently that there they are now serving gluten free burgers in gluten free buns so as a coeliac I never ever thought I’d ever be able to experience a McD’s cheese burger again but I did, and it was truly delicious! So exciting. Unfortunately they’ve not rolled it out in the UK yet but I don’t know why, I thought London would be a first stop but hoping that they will do soon. #TriumphantTales

  17. Hadn’t been to McD’s in well over a decade but had occasion (nothing else around) to visit one in Denmark recently. Really impressed with the way they handle their recycling there. No scraping a whole tray into a bin – they have a wall with different sized slots where everything gets separated and recycled. Really efficient and done automatically by the customer. They’ve come a long way since my last visit, but not sure if they do the same here in Ireland or in UK. #globalblogging

  18. I can’t remember the last time I was in a McDonalds but it sounds like they’re moving with the times which is a must for any business. I like the idea of the tablets for customers to use.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂
    Debbie

  19. I want a Happy Meal now.
    I remember having birthday parties at McDonalds. (Back then, WAY BACK THEN, it was cool to have low key b-day parties). They supplied a sheet cake & some super weird guy dressed as Ronald McDonald would lead the party singing Happy Birthday! Wow. Things have changed!

    #globalblogging

  20. I got to look behind the scenes of a McDonalds in Hull and it was the best experience! I already expected everything to be fresh and high quality (you can tell by the taste) but seeing how everything was done and having a go myself with pretty special. That Select burger was amazing too!

    #RVHT

  21. I love the table service in McDonalds now, it’s a god send when you have a kid in tow and there’s only one adult! I love a Maccys – in fact I think we’re heading there for dinner tonight! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up to #TriumphantTales – hope to see you again on Tuesday!

  22. I only have a McDonalds about once a year, for no other reason than I can’t drive and if they delivered then I’d be calling them thrice a week! You’ve made me crave a double cheeseburger so bad now!! It certainly sounds like you had a great day! Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging

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