Sunday, August 15, 2010

From behind the counter

Some dNYel people plus family walked through McD's Open Doors to view the operation from behind the counter. The idea behind giving us this opportunity was to show that there are no conspiracies or hidden agenda, and that the food they serve is indeed as wholesome, clean and fresh as they claim. Considering I am one of McD's best customers, I didn't need a lot of convincing but it was worth a poke around backstage anyway.

To me, McD's is a symbol of independence. When they first opened here, I was already in my teens, mobile and in possession of  moderate teenager allowance. I could blow a week's worth on a Big Mac and Coke, but if I really wanted to, no one could say, 'no!' I'd starve the rest of the week, but that was MY decision to make, so there.

And so we toured a spotless kitchen -- spotless that is until HP dropped her milkshake and whipped cream on the floor of the freezer. Oops. We saw the process of putting together a sandwich from scratch, cooked to order on the spot. They emphasized their policy of only choosing suppliers with socially responsible and environmentally sustainable practices with no record of animal abuse, at least until the point when the animals become meat patties.

The guides fielded all kinds of questions from us quite openly. We asked about specific kitchen practices, crowd control, marketing procedures and employee issues. Above all other indicators, it is the employees themselves who are the best indicators of the worth of the company they work for. They know the ins and outs of the business and they know best when the company is trying to pull sh*t because they are the ones first impacted by it.

In this tour, the employees we met were fully committed to their employer. My last question was, 'who gets to play Ronald McD?' to which our guide instantly shot me a look of utter incomprehension and replied, 'Ronald McD is Ronald McD!' Now THAT is serious buy-in to the company's branding. If the employees believe in it, that's good enough for me.

Now, if only someone could tell me which part of the cow the beef patty comes from. They assured us that it didn't come from a sirloin, rib-eye or T-bone cut, but definitely somewhere much cheaper. But they didn't know exactly where. Oh well, as my advertising elective prof used to say, a cow is a cow is a cow. It's 100% beef, no gluten, no fillers. Any other questions?


wxin said...

i think it's the cow's head - ears, tongue, cheeks...

Xmac said...

Yeah, that's what he said too, "cows' ears and noses."