Progressive Young Farmers: A McDonald’s restaurant at the end of an exciting journey

Young farmers
Katie, Alice and Annie in restaurant

In the final part of their journey through the McDonald’s supply chain the Progressive Young Farmers tell us why they spent the last year ‘Lovin it’


Throughout the last year Alice, Annie and Katie have talked us through their experiences as they travel through the McDonald’s supply chain.


From farm and fields to factories, the young farmers have had an experience they won’t forget. In the final part of their placement, the girls worked in restaurant so they could see how all the great ingredients they have seen produced is prepared, cooked and served.


Read now: Introducing McDonald’s new Progressive Young Farmers


Here they tell us exactly what they thought of their restaurant experience:


What did you think working in the restaurant would be like?


Alice: I was really looking forward to the experience. I was expecting it to be very busy with lots to learn.


Katie: I was quite apprehensive as I’d already heard what hard work it would be! I expected it to be intense and fast paced, and difficult. It didn’t let me down!


Annie: I expected it to be really full on and it was!


What was the highlight of the week?


Alice: For me, it was seeing the final stage of the process having followed McDonald’s supply chain from start to finish. It was great to see that final step and have the opportunity to interact with customers who purchase the food and crew responsible for preparing and serving it.


Annie: I really enjoyed being on the tills, as it was such a sociable job, getting to chat to all the customers really suited my personality and I found myself able to tell them all about the facts I’d learnt. It was great to tell people about the 100% British and Irish beef burgers, free range eggs and RSPCA Assured pork. Something that some still don’t expect, despite it being available on the McDonald’s menu for years and years.


Read now: When Mcdonald’s Progressive Young Farmers took on OFC16


What most surprised you about being in restaurant?


Katie: One thing I found surprising was how versatile the staff are. Most of the staff can work on every station within the restaurant, from food preparation to drive thru and tills. They knew the menu by heart and can make burgers and wraps without even looking at recipe boards.


Annie: The sheer amount of people that enter a McDonald’s restaurant every day. There was no quiet time be it people coming in for a coffee or ordering food they ate on the go.


Who the most interesting person you met?


Alice: Definitely the restaurant business manager – he was responsible for all the planning and behind the scenes work within the restaurant, such as stock management and ordering. They provide leadership to the team as well as being responsible for ensuring that the business can deliver at all hours of the day – every day.


Katie: The most interesting person I met was one of the crew who had worked in the Islington restaurant for 29 years. He genuinely loved his job and had lots of stories to tell me all about his experiences. He had genuine pride and passion in his work and that translated into the service in which he offered customers every shift.


Describe your experience in restaurant in 3 words


Alice: Speedy, nonstop, organised


Katie: Friendly, fast, versatile


Annie: Busy, exciting, full on


What lesson will you take away from the experience?


Alice: I will take away the importance of strict quality standards across all stages of the supply chain. Restaurant is like all the other stages of the McDonald’s supply chain, there are lots of protocols that have to be followed in order to achieve high, consistent standards.


Katie: It was great to get the opportunity to talk to consumers about the food and hear first-hand what they look for when they buy food on the high street. I look forward to sharing this insight with the farmers I know, as its super important for developing and innovating the industry.


Annie: It is not an easy job and the staff deserve the upmost respect for what they do everyday – it’s such hard work.


Alice says….One thing I’ll never forget about this year is the fantastic few days we had at the Oxford Farming Conference back in January. There were some excellent speakers on a huge range of interesting subjects which expanded my knowledge of different aspects of agriculture such as politics, new technology and entrepreneurship.


Throughout this year I have been really impressed by McDonald’s high standards and attention to detail all the way through the supply chain. Animal welfare standards on all the farms I have visited have been extremely high and these high standards continue through the rest of the supply chain all the way to the customer in restaurant.


Read now: BlOG: Travelling along the Mcdonald’s suppy chain


Katie says….The entire year for me has been overwhelming. I’ve managed to learn so much in a short space of time. I’ve found it amazing how much everyone has been willing to share their knowledge and welcome me into the industry.


I don’t think I will ever forget what I learnt in the abattoir I worked in. Learning what the retailers want from farmers has been a real benefit to me as I now have a much broader understanding of the right targets to ensure the business is economically sustainable.


Annie says….This year has been an incredible opportunity and I have done so much I would never have dreamed of being able to do without the backing of the McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer programme.


The most fun part of it all was working on farm. The people I worked with were so great and the huge breadth of things I was able to do, meant I learnt so much. The best way to learn really is on the job and I valued every day on the programme. A real opportunity I would encourage every young person interested in the food and farming sector to grab!

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