Your New McDonalds*:
I don't know about you, but I love a McDonald's. Their veggie burgers are great and their milkshakes are probably my favourite drink in the world - everyone who knows me knows how much I love a McDonald's milkshake! Sure it's not necessarily fine dining, but for a quick treat I don't think you can beat it.
So when McDonald's invited me to my local branch in The Oracle to see and hear about all the changes they're introducing, I obviously jumped at the chance! When I first arrived, I was struck by how well decorated the restaurant was: long gone are the Ronald McDonald murals of my youth, now the restaurant is airy, walls are decorated with modern graffiti art and the till area has subway tiles that would put even your favourite interior instagrammer to shame. As with every McDonald's i've ever visited, the restaurant was spotlessly clean with lots of staff on the counter and around to assist. I love the refurb, I think McDonald's have done such a good job of making their restaurants look modern and fresh without trying too hard.
After introductions, Richard, the restaurant owner, showed us around the restaurant and told us about all the changes they're making. I had noticed on previous visits that McDonald's have now introduced touch screens where you can place your order instead of directly at the counter. These are great because you can customise your order (great for anyone who wants a burger without the gherkins!) including exploring all the options via a 'What's New' page... perfect if you fancy something new, or want to explore the new Christmas range. McDonald's have really thought this process through, even the Happy Meal section automatically shows healthy drink options (milk, water, etc) with a 'click for more' option for fizzy drinks in the hope it'll encourage people to quick click the healthier options! It's the little things like that that make the screens so useful and they are so well thought out. Probably my favourite part of the new technology was the mobile phone order system - the 'click and collect'. With the click and collect, you can order your food before you enter the restaurant via the app (which saves your favourites, if you're a 'always order the same thing' person like me!) then when you get to the restaurant, simply check in with the bar code system as pictured, and et voila! Your food will be brought to you. This is great if you're still shopping or stuck in traffic, simply place your order then when you arrive, your food will be ready... perfect. McDonald's have also added really clever technology into the restaurant, including charging ports (that have attachments for all phones!) and ipads that have games on.. great for kids, and adults!, to play on while they eat.
After we'd had a tour of the restaurant, we went behind the scenes into the kitchen! We were kindly given our own apron and hat for health and safety purposes and shown around. The kitchen is so well organised and run, did you know the average time to prepare a burger is 35 seconds? We had a go at making our own (McDonald's kindly let me make a veggie wrap!) and it took me a lot longer than 35 seconds to make mine! The other bloggers got to prepare their own Big Mac's and we were told all about how all the burgers are made fresh which I hadn't known beforehand, and thought was incredibly interesting. It was amazing to be in the kitchen and see how organised the kitchen is and how everyone works together as a team. Cleanliness is obviously also a huge concern and it put my mind at ease that not only do McDonald's have alarms to remind staff to wash their hands every 30 minutes, but they're incredibly strict about cross contamination: I saw for myself the different cooking methods and utensils used for my veggie food which obviously is standard, but brilliant to see done so well in real life.
I was so impressed by my local McDonald's: the revamp has been done thoughtfully and with customers absolutely at the forefront. From the ipads, perfect for adults and children, to the new menu items (I can't to try out the Spiced Cookie Latte from the Christmas menu!) and the click and collect, perfect for busy people, McDonald's have really thought about what their customers want and need, and it's definitely paid off. Now, anyone for a milkshake?
*This post is a sponsored post and written in paid partnership with McDonald's. However, as always, all opinions are my own.*