McDonald's Impresses with the Spring #McDOpenDoorTour
***I received compensation from McDonald’s in exchange for writing this review. Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.
Growing up as a kid, we were no strangers to McDonald’s. My grandfather would take me there as a little kid and we would enjoy a little breakfast or lunch together. As I grew older and became more active in competitive swimming, McDonald’s became one of those staples that was a reward to enjoy after a swim meet and prior to going to a water park during the long ride home! McDonald’s is on a journey that involves listening more and assuming less. They’re asking questions and getting answers. Today, they’re working harder than ever to evolve with their customers and the changing world. For more than 55 years, McDonald’s has evolved its menu to meet the changing needs of its valued customers. McDonald’s is committed to giving you more delicious choices to feel good about now and in the months and years to come, with the overarching goal of making sure the food you and your family love is something you can feel good about. So when I was recently invited to take part in the #McDOpenDoorTour at their Hyannis location, I was thrilled to be able to take a behind the scenes tour and learn more about how this company is continuing to make strives towards healthy options while still keeping it affordable and while giving back to the community.
I was unaware how much the local McDonald’s franchises do for our community locally as well as in terms of education opportunities. The more I learned during the Open Door Tour, the more impressed I was with just how involved they truly are.
Locally, the McBee family owns the 12 local locations on Cape Cod and the surrounding areas. The McBee family is an engaged employer and they strive to help their employee’s seek education as well as career opportunities. Through their Archways to Opportunity program, they are able to offer education benefits to their employees who seek to do so with no cost as long as they work between 8-10 hours a week. One of the programs they offer is an online high school diploma. Employees are able to transfer prior credits and have advisors who work with them to meet their goals. This gives the employees confidence as well as helps them make gains in house at their store. As we all know education is key to success in this world and the more the employees are able to fulfill their educational dreams while employing direct practice on site, the more they are able to succeed in the world and truly achieve their dreams. They offer English as a second language opportunities at no cost and currently have 30 employees enrolled in the program. They also offer a college tuition reimbursement program on a yearly basis. Employees are eligible for up to $700 in reimbursement and managers are eligible for up to $1050 a year. The McBee family has given disbursed over $23,000 in education monies. I personally find it quite incredible as well as find pride in the fact that the locally owned McBee franchises have invested in local employee education opportunities. This only helps to improve our community and help foster employee loyalty!
Many of you may know that McDonald’s runs the very popular and necessary Ronald McDonald Charities. They have two houses near the local major cities: Brookline & Providence as well as family rooms at several hospitals including UMass, Mass General and Providence. McDonald’s truly believe in helping families during their time of need and taking care of their mental and emotional health as they go through some of the toughest times in their lives as a family. They have two apartments they have a treatment room as well as colorful and relaxing room where they can forget about the treatments they are receiving. They offer passes to local attractions including museums, tours and more. These programs are funded through a portion of Happy Meals that are purchased as well as customer donations. McDonald’s, especially the McBee family, as well as their suppliers help provide the volunteers for many of the programs and volunteer work.
They also have three mobile care units Over the course of 16 years, they have served over 74,000 children in the area of Worcester alone. The other mobile units serve the Rhode Island and New Hampshire areas. The mobile units focus primarily on families and children who do not have access to care especially dental health including emergency dental work, restorative care, etc.
Locally they offer the families who are seeking medical treatment in our local cities something called “Dream Day”. This is where the families are given a chance to take a relaxing vacation to one of our favorite places in the world, CAPE COD! Those of us who live here year round know how blest we are to live in a such a beautifully unique place. Dream Day allows families a respite from cancer and other treatments. It allows them to have a chance at living normally and taking a break from the stress and tension that they are going through while visiting our own little piece of heaven!
Overall I have to commend the efforts McDonald’s and especially the McBee family makes in helping to give back to the community. I personally believe that these are the most important things that they do and those which make the most difference.
BEHIND THE COUNTER TOUR
After learning all about the education opportunities and charitable work, we were given a chance to check out what takes place behind the scenes at McDonald’s. First we checked out the coffee and smoothie area. McDonald’s partners with S&D coffee, using 100% Arabica beans, as their supplier in order to provide the latest in technology and flavors for their customers. Using a smart machine, they offer a variety of 10 flavors for both regular and ice coffee at a given time including some seasonal that the customer can mix and match to create their own blend. Customers also have this option with the teas! They have no added sweeteners and there are 0 calories from the added flavor. I found it very interesting that both McDonald’s and S&D Coffee partner together using sustainability teams to analyze both the economic and environmental sustainability in the areas where they obtain the coffee from. They also partner together to ensure that 99% of the water used to grow the beans is returned to the villages pure to use again. The smoothies are made from real fruit and yogurt. Customers also have the option to have a smoothie without any yogurt added. Using a smart machine, the smoothies are blended with different types of ice shavings as well as different timing to create the perfect blend each time.
Next we moved on to the famous Filet-O-Fish sandwiches which are provided by supplier, Gorton’s Products. The fish enjoyed by customers is Alaska Pollock, a sustainable fish, and is harvested in the United States. The fish after being caught is frozen within 24 hours and are cut into squares prior to delivery to ensure they are using as much of the fish for efficiency and no waste. They use a dedicated fryer just for the fish (actually everything made behind the scenes has its own dedicated fryer), cutting down on cross contamination.
Martin Brower is McDonald’s supplier for all the rest of the restaurant product needs including the dry and cooler items for all the New England and New York regions. They service approximately 20,000 restaurants in these regions twice a week and up to three times a week during summer months when sales increase. McDonald’s and Martin Brower partner together to ensure control over the product systems and use automated ordering which the local manager can control. All the trucks have three separate zone sections which are maintained at the same temperatures as the coolers to ensure safe product delivery. McDonald’s finds most of the leafy greens for salads right here in the U.S., but some come from Mexico. They use three kinds of lettuce in their Premium Salads: Romaine and Iceberg for crunch, and Spring Mix for flavor. The tomatoes originate in Florida, the Carolinas, California and Mexico depending on the season. They also donate over 600,000 bags of produce to charity each year. McDonald’s burgers are made with 100% beef that is ground, formed into patties and then flash frozen with no additives or preservatives; just seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper when cooked.
One of the last sections we checked out was the famous perfectly round egg breakfast sandwich. Thanks to the tour they let us in on the secret to creating a perfectly round egg! McDonald’s cracks fresh USDA Grade A eggs into an ‘egg ring’ which form the iconic round shape for the Egg McMuffin, which a few of us got a chance to try! These really are REAL EGGS despite what anyone else may tell you, I know I saw it with my own two eyes!
Overall I was quite impressed with the quality and efficiency of the McDonald's business. In recent years there has been a huge push towards healthy and sustainable options for meals. After touring McDonald's behind the scenes and learning more about the company and their efforts towards healthy options and sustainability, I feel very comfortable allowing my child and family to eat here. Not only has McDonald's made tremendous strives towards healthy options, but they also give back to the community. Thank you to McDonald's for allowing us an opportunity to learn more about the business and to see how much thought goes into the business behind the scenes as they continue to improve for their customer base!
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