Your New McDonalds*


What springs to mind when you think about eating at McDonalds? Greasy, unhealthy food? Ingredients of dubious quality? Poor service from a spotty, grumpy employee? Well - think again! I was invited along to the new-look McDonalds in Didcot, just outside of Oxford, to challenge these stereotypes and show just how McDonalds has evolved with the times. Our group of bloggers, including my lovely blogging friend Hayley, descended on the Didcot branch of McDonalds for a guided tour of the new facilities, and a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the kitchen. We even had the chance to have a go at cooking the most famous of all McDonalds staples - a Big Mac! Keep scrolling to find out how we got on!


The highlight of the visit for me was definitely donning a McDonalds apron (with my own personalised name badge!) and hopping into the kitchen to cook up a Big Mac! We were taken through the exact same process that the McDonalds chefs go through when preparing every single burger, which are made to order. First comes toasting the bun (to make sure that the all-important sauce doesn't seep through), followed by piling on the salad and sauce, then adding the cooked burgers. It was a really slick operation in the McDonalds kitchen, with food being cooked quickly, kept hot throughout the entire process on the specially warmed countertops, and presented to the customer within minutes.

 
 

Another key part of our trip was a tour through the McDonalds store rooms, where all the ingredients are kept. What horrors would await us?! You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that all of the ingredients we found in the stores, and in fact all ingredients that go into McDonalds food, are fresh and responsibly sourced. I was very pleased to see that the staff and managers showing us around the restaurant had absolutely nothing to hide. We had dropped in on a regular working day for them and no special effort had been made to sugar-coat things for us. The restaurant's franchisee was also there to answer any questions that we had, and he was very open when I questioned him on the source of McDonalds' meat. McDonalds only use whole cuts of British and Irish beef in their burgers, and they can trace every single burger back to the farmer who produced it. None of the rumoured "pink slime" in sight! McDonalds keep such good controls on the meat that goes into their food that they were one of the few fast food franchises that were not caught up in the horse meat scandal, so there is absolutely nothing unexpected heading into their meals. In addition, at every ordering platform, the number of calories in every meal is clearly displayed, allowing you to make informed choices about what to order. I really admired McDonalds' transparency.

   
    
Heading into the restaurant, it was clear that it had undergone a major makeover. But this wasn't just in terms of new seating and a fresh lick of paint, the entire McDonalds experience has evolved! Instead of queuing for ages to get to a till for placing your order, now you can order in moments using the new kiosks. We were guided through the intuitive ordering proces, where you can select your desired items from the screen, customise your burger with many different options, pay at the kiosk, then simply collect your order from the service point. It couldn't be simpler! If you're in even more of a hurry, you can even have your order prepared before you enter the restaurant! Using the McDonalds app, select the food you'd like, then just touch the QR code from your phone to the kiosk when you enter and the kitchen will receive your order instantaneously. Perfect if you're with a large group of friends who don't want to crowd around inside!

 

Something that you may not expect from a visit to McDonalds is table service. However, this is another area in which you might be surprised! Now, when placing your order, you can choose for your food to be brought over to you in one of the designated seating zones. That means that you can sit back, relax, and have your food come to you! Home delivery is another thing that McDonalds are currently trialling, so lazy gals, your prayers have been answered!! But if you do choose to pop into a new-look store, you can keep any younger members of your party entertained, or just surf the web and check your emails using the new tablets built in to some of the tables.

 

Our visit culminated with a chance to try the brand new Signature Collection burgers. Made from the same high quality beef as the Big Macs, these burgers simply have a thicker patty which makes for a juicy and delicious bite. The BBQ Signature burger, which I tried out, was formed of a tasty brioche bun, and packed with fresh salad. What's more, it actually looked like the picture of the burger from the ad! A burger such as this wouldn't have looked out of place at a Wetherspoons or another burger joint, so I was very impressed.

When did you last go to McDonalds? Have you tried the signature collection? Has this post dispelled any McDonalds myths for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

A x

*This is a collaborative post with McDonalds
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