As a foodie (and food and lifestyle blogger), I cannot think of anything more exciting than making my own Big Mac. Magically, I got to live this dream.
I was invited to the Aldwarke Lane McDonald’s in Rotherham at 5:30, which meant I had to brave the busy rush hour train and get my butt to Rotherham. Somehow, I was the first person there, although my entire trip was a nightmare - Uber lost some points with me and (ugh) there were SO many people on the train; but I was early and ready to live my dream.
One of the things I love about blogging is meeting new people and seeing people that I already know. There were a few familiar faces and a few new ones.
We got to meet the franchisee of the branch, Franco, who gave us an insight to McDonald’s as a business. Before Franco, I had always thought of McDonald’s as the place I went for 6am chicken nuggs after a heavy night. I now saw it for what it was; a really good business.
Did you know that 70% of the McDonald’s branches are franchised and are developed and run by local people? Did you know that they support local charities, football teams and community? They even fund degrees employees! Like an actual freaking university degree. Impressive.
We were given a tour of the branch; which was fun. I enjoyed learning about the self-service ordering kiosks. As a person who was put on a low fodmap diet, I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat there - but by ordering from the kiosk everything became incredibly customizable.
I am able to add extra Big Mac sauce or Gherkins and I can take away all the bits I don’t want like the bread. I can also choose whether I eat in or out and whether I want to collect or have table service. I feel like McDonald's is getting fancy, I can get my food delivered to the table and it makes it feel like I’m in a diner.
I also got to see the kids play area, which was Billie sized!- my 5”1 self could have had hours of fun in there. The climbing frame looked so fun, but I felt self conscious about looking like a 5 year old. I could also play with, like, this magic projector game and pop balloons.
Then the best part of my life happened; I GOT A MCDONALD'S UNIFORM WITH A BADGE WITH MY NAME ON. I dressed like the best damn employee I could be. Look how cute Tracey, Hannah and I are in our uniforms.
We were given a tour of the behind the scenes; stockroom, freezer, fridge, the drive-thru and the kitchen. The drive-thru was very exciting for me, I would finally know how they give the order to the correct person. What they do is use cameras to take a picture of the registration plate and the front of the car and it's connected to your order, once you have collected the food they clear your order and delete the photo of your car.
THEN IT HAPPENED. I. MADE. A BIG MAC. Yes, I made a big mac. Super quick. Basically, I made it so well that they should employ me. I toasted my buns, added my Big Mac sauce from a sauce gun (it was glorious), burger, cheese, lettuce and the all important gherkins. Voila! - the most beautifully average Big Mac that you have ever seen.
had so many preconceptions about what it would be like to work at McDonald’s that I had adopted over the years; not only were they proven wrong, but I also learned all this:
- All of McDonald’s eggs are free range and have been since 2001
- Their milk is completely organic and has been since 2007
- Their burgers are 100% beef and the only extras are a bit of S&P
- It takes 17 seconds to get those buns nice and toasty
- The Fries are Gluten Free and fried separately (and suitable for a low FODMAP diet)
Since my behind the scenes tour, I have in fact visited my local McDonald’s and used the kiosks to see how much they will let me customize their food. I ordered a Big Mac meal without; bread, onions and cheese and added extra gherkins (my fave food is gherkins) with chips and a diet coke. It was fricking amazing! I think I actually preferred it to the traditional Big Mac.
I thoroughly enjoyed pretending to work at a McDonald’s, I loved learning about them as a business and a supporter of the local community. I will obviously go again because it's McDonald’s, you can’t really avoid it.
*This post was sponsored by McDonald’s