Last night I took my new car out on it’s first official ‘not driving to work’ trip.
I picked fellow blogging buddy Hannah up and we trundled down the M1, headed towards the dizzy heights of Rotherham; a promise of getting up close and personal with McDonalds Aldwarke Lane on the cards.
I’m not sure about you but ‘back in the day’ McDonalds didn’t receive a very good rap. Parents didn’t approve and only took us there once a year for a birthday treat.
We were forever told that the burgers were over processed , full of E numbers, other nasties and generally not very good for us. I have in the past experienced the “why is my burger so flat ‘ disappointment after receiving a very lack-lustre burger with limp lettuce that looked nothing like the burgers in the advert.
I’m pleased to confirm that this is no longer the case, far, far from it.
The Aldwarke Lane branch is a franchise. I didn’t realise but over 70% of McDonalds are.
After a quick drink and introduction to Franco and his Management Team [ all very knowledgeable and passionate ] we were taken into the staff room and given our very own uniform to wear complete with name badge.
Next stop was the revolutionised kitchen to prepare our very own Big Mac.
But first a few facts to clear up any misconceptions you may have.
- McDonalds only use Free range eggs and have done so since 2001. Who knew?!
- When they say their burgers are 100% meat, they are just that. No nasties whatsoever.
- All the fries are made from British potatoes.
- It takes 17 seconds to toast your burger bun to perfection and just 35 seconds to make a Big Mac !! Yes just 35 seconds…
- Your gherkins must be kissing each other but not over lapping! Attention to detail.
- The meat is cooked and stored in a special timed oven. Anything that has been in there for 15 minutes is thrown away.
- The kitchen is spotlessly clean and despite being busy, ran like a dream. It is extremely organised.
So back to my burger…
I was very slow [ I think I took over 3 minutes to make mine ] and messy apparently . I doubt they’ll be offering me a job anytime soon!
It still tasted delicious. My work of art below.
McDonalds have introduced lots of new features to their restaurants including Self Service Digital Kiosks which you’ll encounter in the foyer as you enter.
These spare you the ‘get to the till , struggle to read the menu, squint to see, realise your holding the queue up – panic order’ moments’
You can browse the menu and tailor-make it to your own requirements.
You don’t like gherkins [ what’s wrong with you ?] Simply remove them from your order. You’d rather have a piece of fruit than chips. That’s no problem either. You don’t want a bun with your burger. Sorted .
Something I thought was ingenious – you can press a button which alters the screen height it then moves down to a better viewing point. Perfect for wheelchair users and children who can then read and order without struggling.
With the option to pay by card there and then at the kiosk, pay at the counter, collect or have you food delivered to the table [ yes waitress service!] they really have all angles covered.
The interior looks very slick. There’s not a Ronald McDonald in sight.
Apparently McDonalds have 4 interior schemes and the one at Aldwarke Lane is called the ‘Heart of Fruit‘ scheme . I especially liked the light fittings set against the bold , fruit wallpaper. Just the little touches.
The restaurant is fully equipped with various ports to charge your phone and // or other devices. Ideal for business men on the go , or scatty ladies like me who always forget to charge up. There is also free wifi.
There are a number of tablets available for use by everyone and an integrated games / play area.
Like I said previously – all angles have been covered. Mums [ and / or dads] can grab a coffee , settle down with the newspaper while their kids play to their hearts content within an ear shot of them.
Something I also never realised was how much McDonalds invest in the community ; as well as sponsoring 5 local football teams they offer other incentives such as Apprenticeship Schemes , and flexible working hours.
All in all it was a very enjoyable, insightful visit which laid to rest any preconceived ideas I had.
It’s definitely changed my perspective of McDonalds for the better … there wasn’t a flat burger or limp lettuce insight.
It’s modern , welcoming with all the mod cons and serves fabulous, fresh food which is all made to order. “Im loving it“
And lastly if you’ve not checked out the chocolate doughnuts you really are missing a trick! Thankyou Franco for introducing us!
This post is sponsored by McDonalds who invited me to try #YourNewMcDonalds . Thank you for having me. You can read more here.