Last Wednesday I went along to a blogger event at McDonald’s in Small Heath, Birmingham. I’m not a f McDonald’s regular but I do love the odd double cheeseburger and chocolate milkshake so I thought it would be a great opportunity to go along, find out more about the company and see what goes on behind the scenes.
When I arrived at the restaurant, I was greeted by Sarah from the PR company who had organised the event and then I was introduced to Martin, the Franchise Manager. After telling us all about his history with the company, Martin gave us a tour of the restaurant and explained how the brand has progressed over the past few years and what the future plans are. You may have noticed that your local branch has had a bit of a makeover – the new decor is very bright and modern and a lot of new technology has been installed.
With the addition of the touch screens, life has been made much easier for both the customers and the staff working at the branch. With these, you are now able to select exactly what you want, you can see pictures of the food as you are making your selection and you are easily able to customise your order. This is very handy for someone like me who is extremely fussy – I can select a ‘plain’ cheeseburger and I am able to check the order before I pay and it goes through to the kitchen to ensure that everything is correct and I am going to get exactly what I want. When using the touch screens to complete your order, there’s also the option of table service; all you need to do is let them know which part of the restaurant you are sitting in (it’s split up into three different zones) and then leave the receipt on the side of the table. When your food is ready, a member of staff will then bring it over to you which is a great idea if you are dining as a family with small children.
The Small Heath branch also has Samsung tablets installed into one of the tables so customers are able to play games whilst they eat, one of the tables even has charging points for phones which is very handy and there is free wifi throughout the store.
We were then taken into the kitchen so we could see how the food was prepared. The first things we were instructed to do upon entering the kitchen was to put on an apron, hair net and cap and wash our hands thoroughly – something each staff member has to do every half an hour. We were then shown how the patties are cooked on the grill – did you know that the standard patty that you get in a cheeseburger or a Big Mac only takes 42 seconds to cook?
It was then time to learn how to create a Big Mac! We watched as we were talked through the process, starting from toasting the three parts of the bun in a massive toaster which gets the job done in 17 seconds, to adding the special Big Mac sauce, onions, lettuce and cheese to adding the two patties at the end. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a fussy eater so when it came to making my Big Mac, I opted to go without the sauce, onions and lettuce; Martin let me put an extra slice of cheese on to make up for it though! I really enjoyed the whole process and the end result tasted pretty damn good. I’m not sure if I would be able to work there and produce as many as they do – up to 85 an hour and still get everything right.