21st century burger

*Many thanks to McDonald's for sponsoring this post

McDonald's was a huge part of my childhood. Every Saturday, I went into Belfast with my grandparents and most weeks, my moaning for a Happy Meal & whatever toy was inside usually landed us in the Donegal Place store. It was cheeseburger Happy Meal for me & 2 x Fillet O Fish for granny and granda. 

As an adult, I still adore a McDonald's. There's something so comforting to know that for the past 20 years, their products are still the same. What isn't the same however, is how their stores look and operate. McDonald's kindly invited me down to the Sprucefield Centre branch to experience their new look store. Not only does the store look fabulous but they've stepped up their game in terms of technology! 

I learned 4 main things (and also lots of little surprising things!) during my hour behind the scenes at McDonald's:

It's a big operation
The Sprucefield Centre McDonald's is the busiest franchised drive-thru in the UK! Over 1000 cars visit every day and they have over 120 members of staff. I never realised this because the kitchen is segmented for all of the different operations (drive-thru, drinks & desserts, cooking etc) so you often don't see all of the team behind the scenes!

Team work is everything
It takes a production line to make a burger. I was so impressed at the accuracy and speed at which the team carefully create everything from a Big Mac to a McChicken sandwich. It's a carefully constructed operation and the kitchen is incredible. Everything has a place & things turn around so quickly! Full time McDonald's staff take 8 months to train & they learn all parts of the business making them fully equipped to make a delicious burger or to deliver excellent customer service at the drive-thru window. 

They are forward thinking
McDonald's Sprucefield is one of the many new Experience of the Future stores. This means you can step into the store, order your food easily on a screen (a bit like a giant iPad), pay with your contactless card and take a seat - YES THEY HAVE TABLE SERVICE! This begged the question about staffing - did it reduce staff numbers? In fact, quite the opposite. Becoming a Experience of the Future store actually requires more staff both on the floor to ensure customer satisfaction & in the kitchen to cook everything from fresh. 

The possibilities are endless
With the new screens in store, it's even easier to customise your order. The screens also help you to track the calories in your food as well as explore many more new options - who knew they did Toffee Lattes or Fish Finger Happy Meals? 

It was truly an eye-opener to make my own burger & really appreciate something that seems often so instant! Many thanks to Rita & the team at McDonald's Sprucefield for a fun experience!