Young people from schools in the Swindon area and as far afield as Chippenham were given the chance to find out more about the fast-food business when Swindon McDonald’s franchisee Carl Room turned his restaurant at the Bridgemead Retail Park into a classroom for over 50 students and teachers.
The catering and business studies students were able to talk to McDonald’s managers about the working environment, training and job opportunities and watch a video about traceabiliaty of the raw foodstuff that go into the company products.
As it was the franchise’s tenth annual open day, the Mayor of Swindon Andrew Bennett was invited to look around the Bridgemead outlet, the first of the new concept McDonald’s in the town which will be the model for the other six in the Swindon area, and also branches in Cirencester and Stroud which are within Mr Room’s franchise.
He said: “My predecessor Paul Booth started the education open days ten years ago and I decided to carry them on as we receive good feedback from students and teachers. The visit is an opportunity for young people to meet our staff, some of whom will be close to their age. It’s our chance to respond to questions about the fast-food industry and McDonald’s in particular, as well present the students with information about working for us.”
He added that the Bridgemead outlet was a great place to show off the McDonald’s of the future. Over the next three years all the stores in the franchise will be fully refurbished to a more modern look, and be fully re-equipped to ensure customers receive food that is freshly cooked
Jenna Burford, who has been with McDonald’s for four years recently transferred from the Cockleberry restaurant, off Great Western Way, after promotion to second assistant manager. She said: “The difference between the old and new style McDonalds is pretty amazing. We no longer cook burgers in batches to be stored until bought, or disposed of after 10 minutes. Customer use the self-service terminals when they arrive, or give their order at the drive through window. The information appears on screens above the food or drinks preparation area and the meal is freshly served very quickly.”
The Bridgemead outlet opened last November with 80 full and part time members of staff; there are now 95. In the last 7 months about 250,000 customer orders have been satisfied, out of 4.5 million across the franchise. Mr Room said: “The new McDonald’s way of doing things has been a great success. The environment is more modern, the food is freshly cooked, the service is more responsive to customer requirements, and there is little waste behind the scene. Nearly everybody comments that the meals taste much better now.
“I’m very proud of all of the staff and the standard of our operational procedures. I hope that sharing our practices has been useful in helping the students learn about our business.”
To find out more about training opportunities visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/people