Ever wondered about the McDonald’s recruitment process, the day-to-day systems and processes, the extra-curricular responsibilities? Well, wonder no more. We sat down with three McDonald’s franchise at different stages of their careers to get the lowdown on how life has indeed changed since taking the plunge and investing in the quick-service franchise.
Just 10 weeks in, Reema has already an impact in the Brent community. The former city slicker reveals how she found the recruitment process and her work with the restaurant to stay relevant in the social media era.
What did you do before you became a franchisee?
I worked in the city with IT companies for more than a decade on the commercial front, which involved selling and sales with financial companies and consumer brands. It was a big career change becoming a McDonald’s franchisee.
Why did you decide to become a McDonald’s franchisee?
I travelled a lot and I have two young children and I never got to see them and missed being with my family. I got to a point in my life where I realised that I was missing out on seeing them grow up and knew something had to change.
You’re only 10 weeks into being a franchisee. How did you find the recruitment process?
I actually applied with my husband for the same role. It was hard but we knew that, once we made the decision, it didn’t matter who was picked for the role but we wanted one of us to become a franchisee. We’ve always supported each other in our careers and he was very happy for me when I was chosen to run the McDonald’s in Wembley.
How did you find the training?
Initially, it was very different from what I was previously used to. Just when you think you know it all, you learn something from the management side, or the business side. There are so many processes, and it can seem tough, but at the end of it I was far more confident with my ability to hit the ground running. I don’t think I have ever been through a process as testing as the nine-month training you receive with McDonald’s but it was a fantastic experience.
McDonald’s are known for being engaged with the community, have you managed to get to know your area well?
I’m in Brent and I’m already involved with something called Wembley High Road. I’m involved in hosting and, despite being 10 weeks into the role of franchisee, I will soon be taking a senior position within the organisation. I’ve also met with the local councils and I’m working with a few MPs and helping with youth centres and the Jobcentre.
How does McDonald’s manage to keep the restaurant relevant and up to date in the community?
Well, I’ve actually just managed to launch the Uber Eats app to my restaurant in Wembley, which has gone incredibly well. It’s keeping the business current and it’s about time right!? With McDonald’s, innovation is huge. Last week my restaurant went EOTF, which stands for Experience Of The Future, which means we offer table service, too. When you think the competition is catching up, McDonald’s will throw something else into the mix to stay ahead of the game and relevant.
Will you been more involved with the community in 2018?
Absolutely. I’ve been in talks with the metropolitan police regarding little picking. I’m also going to be involved with local schools and helping out with education and anti-social behaviour. What’s more, I will be working closely with the recruitment of young people from centres, which is a topic very close to my heart.
You’re also working closely with the McDonalds’ Encouraging Women into Franchising programme?
First and foremost, I am a feminist. Having worked in the city, I know how men can dominate the industry. It’s something I’m passionate about and was involved in in previous careers, too. Motivating, supporting and inspiring women into business is something I will always be part of. There are far more challenges for women, as we want a career but also want to support our families. I want to show women that you can have both, which is evident in franchising.
Are you looking to open more restaurants in time?
Of course! I’ve become a franchisee knowing full-heartedly that I was to grow the business and expand. I hope that there will be a point when my husband will join me and help me. We want this to be our family business, which is the beauty of the franchise concept.
As a successful businessman Paul wanted a new challenge and to go down a completely different route. Only having been a franchisee for one year, Paul is a well-known presence in his community and is involved heavily in helping others in local charities.
Do you need experience in running a restaurant to become a McDonald’s franchisee?
No, but you need to be a people person. McDonald’s starts with people and ends with people. You also have a great training process with McDonald’s and they help mould you into the best franchisee you can be. It’s about investing in the franchisee, spotting the talent and giving them the opportunity to grow and flourish. The most important thing for a franchisee to do is care.
Has becoming a McDonald’s franchisee lived up to your expectations?
Without a doubt it’s certainly given me complete validation. A year has gone so fast and I’m really please with what we have achieved – the results have been fantastic. I’ve always had high standards and McDonald’s has certainly lived up to them. I’ve actually been offered two more drive-thru restaurants already – there are not that many franchisees who can say that after just a year with the franchise! It’s a big honour and a huge statement of trust, too.
Have you managed to work with the community in your territory?
I’m out there all the time giving back. I work with the local football teams and working with the kids, too. I speak to my local MPs about what we can do to improve the area for the young ones and I work closely with the charity Banardos and McDonald’s housing charities, but I also avidly look out for opportunities to help in the area wherever I can.
What has been you personal highlight so far?
I think it has to be that I haven’t lost a single member of staff since running my franchise for a year. It shows that there is a mutual level of respect and they want to work with and for me. I’m really proud of that.
David , Sutton Coldfield
Having commuted from his home in the West Midlands to his business in London on a weekly basis for six years, David wanted a better work-life balance. Having been with McDonald’s for XX years, he has ditched the humdrum and enjoys life to the full/
What made you become a franchisee?
I moved from London to Sutton Coldfield to be close to family, which meant I spent six years commuting from London up to Sutton Coldfield on a weekly basis. I was becoming a weekend Dad but, while that worked well in the short-term, we knew it wouldn’t work full-time and I wanted to see my family. I looked for other investment opportunities in the West Midlands to get a better work-life balance and my default was to look for other IT companies, as this was what I knew best having worked in this industry most of my life. It just so happened that I got chatting to a McDonald’s franchisee and, the rest as they say, is history.
How did you find the training?
The training was one of the reasons I looked more seriously into because I knew that the franchise was famous for its brilliant training. The nine-month training process really was phenomenal. While I was used to running multiple companies and managing large teams, the training gave me a greater perspective on how the restaurant is run. The process really did send me on a journey from day one, including working in the kitchen to business management. How can you manage a business if you don’t know the ins and outs of how it’s run?
What was the support like?
Fantastic! I felt supported the whole way through. I was assigned a support consultant from the beginning, and I spent a lot of time with them whilst I swatted up on the business and met the suppliers.
How has your life changed since you became a McDonald’s franchisee?
It has certainly given me the work-life balance I have been looking for. It gives me complete flexibility in the amount of time I spend outside and inside of work. My wife has also become very involved in the business, which means I get to spend more time with her, too. Being a McDonald’s franchisee does mean long hours and a lot of hard work but I can now take the time to see my children’s school plays or sports events if I need to and not be confined to the 9-5.