Friday, December 29, 2006


2006 has been an awesome year - so what better to do than look back and remind ourselves of The McChronicles' very best McDonald's experiences.

The rules are simple, The McChronicles had to have some form of direct experience with the store/event during 2006. Here goes:

  1. Best Store (building): Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico: From the "curb appeal" to the building design to the materials of construction, this facility is VERY impressive. It reminded us of a museum. After we enjoyed our meal, we didn't want to leave - it is that nice!
  2. Best Owner/Operator: Dennis Stabile (store #13058) Rosemont, Illinois, USA: The minute we walked into this store, we knew it was different. It's not the looks, it's the PEOPLE. And the people are top-shelf due, in part, to what seems to be great management from the top. It also appears that Mr. Stabile has a knack for hiring great people. Elements like respect, empowerment, and appreciation all come together - ultimately creating the customer experience. Great job Mr. Stabile! We'd love to meet and interview you someday.
  3. Best Surprise Appearance: Pop-Up McDonald’s, Shenzhen, China: Imagine our delight ...we were seeking sustinence at a trade exhibition with very low expectations ("show food" is usually abominable). When we found this mobile-McDonald's we were delighted!
  4. Cleanest McDonald’s: Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico: That's right - Zapopan appears twice. That's because, in addition to enjoying a very cool design, the facility is kept impeccably clean - inside and out. This category receives special attention since CLEANLINESS is one of the key elements that McDonald's focuses on - and sells to the consumer. Zapopan really excels in this category.
  5. Best McDonald’s Web Offering: McDonald’s Senior Director of Web Communications - Steve Wilson’s “The McDonald’s You Don’t Know”: The McChronicles likes Steve's style - simple and to the point. Nowhere throughout the site do we detect defensiveness or corporate-speak. And some of the links are really fun, too. Keep it coming, Steve.
  6. Best McDonald’s Blog: Olympic Champion Crew Community: It's simply hard to beat the combination of The Olympics, people on a really cool trip to Italy, and the exuberance of people on a mission. It all comes through here.
  7. Best McDonald’s Mashup - Cortland, NY: This is not the BEST McDonald's restaurant of the year, but it has so many interesting elements that we made up this category. At first blush, the store appears typical. But, when you walk in, you are surrounded with a great classical music theme. Then there's the McDonald's history stuff, then there's the Hershey's ice cream parlor. Phew!! So much stuff to enjoy.
  8. Best McDonald's Billboard: Wrigleyville (Chicago), Illinois: The combination of simplicity, complexity, artistry, and ancient principles had the McChronicles shouting, "Wicked Cool" You've got to love this one on so many levels.
  9. Best McDonald’s Image on Flickr: Kate Blood’s “Mood Indigo: Here is one for the fans, from the fans. Kate really used her artistic eye (and photographic skills) to create this awesome image. Thanks for this, Kate.
  10. Best McDonald’s Ad: McShawarma ad: A ton of work went into this effort - but it was well worth it.
And here is a special year-end bonus to The McChronicles TOP 10 BEST McDONALD'S EXPERIENCES OF 2006.

Since we are committed to chronicling the McDonald's brand ex
perience from the CUSTOMER'S point of view, we want to honor the person that has so much to do with our experience: the store manager. The store manager kind of reminds us of an Army sergeant - caught between two worlds (management and the rank and file). These people struggle to keep both ends of the equation happy - even when they have conflicting agendas. In addition, they are responsible for transferring the teachings and skills to the people that have EVERYTHING to do with the customer experience - the frontline crew person. In other words, these are the people responsible for the interactions that we, the consumer, have with McDonald's - every visit.

  • Team Spirit: Jean Si Jean really impressed us with her appreciation of, and dedication to, working with and learning from her team of local managers. The result is a store that adheres to the corporate principles, runs well, and delivers on the McDonald's promise.
  • Passion: Steven HOU Yan Ping Steven LOVES McDonald's! And he totally respects what the corporate program can do for both the employees and the customers. Steven, we're still hoping that you get selected for the Beijing Olympics McDonald's crew - you deserve it.
  • Personality: Jays C Jays is blessed with a great owner/operator - and vice versa. This manager found time to be interviewed, take drive-thru orders, cheer on a colleague who was mopping the floor, explain a new entertainment system to us, and more. Her energy, enthusiasm, brains, and smile add up to an excellent managerial style.
  • Positive Attitude: Zhong Xiao Li Miss Zhong can do ANYTHING! At least it seemed that way during our interview. Her McDonald's training seems to have empowered and encouraged her - but her "can do" attitude is all hers. The combination makes for an excellent ambassador for McDonald's, and a super manager for her team.
Each of these winners really stood out. The McChronicles had an easy time conjuring up the great feelings and/or experiences that each delivered. What a pleasure it is to bestow these accolades. They are all well-deserved.

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


The McChronicles has noted a trend in several McDonald's recently. Here's how it goes:

  1. the crew person at the counter says, "Who's next?".
  2. the customer steps up and places their order.
  3. the order is taken, the customer pays and receives their change.
  4. the customer suddenly acquires super powers, becomes invisible, and the crew person acts as if the customer evaporated.
  5. the crew person says, "Who's next?"
The McChronicles is kind of "hip". We "get it". So the first time this happened we accommodated it as we sought to understand what was happening. The behavior was attributed to inexperience or rudeness on the part of the crew (or maybe it was our breath). Then it happened again ... and again ... and ... you get the point.

Imagine the customer experience of someone who doesn't visit McDonald's a lot. Imagine the customer experience of someone who is a little slow. Imagine the perception of someone who is used to a slightly more respectful dignified level of treatment. Virtually ANYONE is going to wonder:
"Did I just become invisible?"
"Is my order in progress?"
"Am I supposed to stand here or move somewhere else?" "How will I know when my order is ready?" "Who will tell me when my order is ready?"
    Now, this is bad enough when things go to plan. But when an order ends up going into overtime, then a person's mind starts getting crazy. We won't attempt to list the things that may occur to a person while they're in that zone.

    Needless to say ... STRIKE THAT ... we'll say it:

    McDonald's crew:

    1. Do expect to be respected and treated kindly - by your peers, management, and customers. You deserve that.
    2. Real, warm-blooded human beings are your customers. We're ALL not jerks/rude/outrageous. Some of us are actually decent, nice people who are hoping for a nice meal and a modicum of acknowledgement.
    3. Please act as if you are waiting on a human being. Act as if your Mom/Grandma/favorite teacher/coach/guru/friend was on line.
    4. Be aware of the fact that virtually none of us know what you are doing when you type on your register - and we certainly don't know the protocol or the system. We assume that we will order, pay, and be handed food. If there is a minor delay, we expect that you will SPEAK TO US LIKE WE ARE HUMANS (remember your Mom/Grandma...?), tell us what is happening, and keep us informed as the unexpected (unadvertised) delay plays out.
    5. Customers should know that you don't know, or care, about what is going on in our lives. Customers have no right to blow up at you because their marriage sucks, their car is falling apart, and their kids don't respect them. We are to be civil and respectful.
    6. Please don't take it out on us if your manager is a jerk, or if anything else in your life is irritating you.
    In short, please tell us what just happened, what you want us to do next, and what we are waiting for. We'll be OK with it. Please.

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    Image: One of the BEST customer service moments encountered by The McChronicles in 2006.

    Monday, December 18, 2006

    The Holiday Rush

    The Holiday season really packs people into the shopping malls. So, The McChronicles dropped by New Hartford, New York's Sangertown Square Mall to see how their McDonald's was holding up.

    As expected, the crowd was thick with hungry shoppers. And the queue at the McDonald's was long. The crew seemed to be handling things fairly well. But there was a bit too much confusion behind the counter to say things were going "perfectly". The stress must be quite high back there (but it isn't like the crowds are unexpected, either).

    During our long observation we noted no surly customers, and the crew did a great job handling the business.

    When you drop by McDonald's during your holiday shopping trips be sure to give a word of encouragement to the people behind the counter. They'll appreciate it.

    Any holiday mall McDonald's stories to share? Add them to our COMMENTS section, below.

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    The McChronicles.

    Sunday, December 17, 2006

    McChronicles named TIME MAGAZINE Person Of The Year!

    According to

    "Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I'm not going to watch Lost tonight. I'm going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I'm going to mash up 50 Cent's vocals with Queen's instrumentals? I'm going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?"

    "The answer is, you do. And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is you."

    So, we'd like to thank the academy, and everyone else involved in this flattering achievement.

    More importantly, The McChronicles wants to thank our friends who gave us McDonald's Arch Cards this holiday season (we're SO easy to buy for). Rest assured that these will be put to immediate good use. You should consider this excellent, handy gift for your friends.

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    The McChronicles.

    Monday, December 11, 2006

    The Obesity Debate

    Two smart people debating the obesity /fast-food issue. Interesting.

    Please weigh in (pun intended) with your comments on this topic.

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.

    Donee White

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    McDonald's, New York City: Trans Fat Ruling

    Trans Fat is in the news! According to an article in Forbes, New York City's "department of Health and Mental Hygiene, ... argues that the chemically modified ingredient (trans fat) kills 500 Gothamites each year".

    According to Reuters (yesterday): "New York City banned most artificial trans fats from restaurants on Tuesday, forcing national fast-food chains and mom-and-pop diners alike to phase out artery-clogging oils from their cooking."

    "The law is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States and will require restaurants including McDonald's Corp. to eliminate trans fats by July 2007."

    The article went on to say, "McDonald's Corp. has been trying since 2002 to reduce trans fats in its french fries.".

    So, the rule went into effect yesterday, but the product doesn't have to change until this coming summer. And this is only for New York City McDonald's.

    According to the Chicago Tribune, " McDonald's Corp. might not be able to meet New York City's proposed deadline for eliminating trans fats in its cooking oils, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said Thursday after meeting with a company official. Oak Brook-based McDonald's is struggling to find a substitute oil that preserves the flavor of its french fries, and isn't likely to do so before the July 2008 target, said Vallone, who met this past Monday with McDonald's lobbyist Patrick Theisen."

    So, is it July of 2007 or 2008 for McDonald's?

    In the same story an analyst from A.G. Edwards said, "The company is 'getting very close to perfecting the formulation'

    According to the
    Wall Street Journal, to check out fast food french fries made without (or with reduced) trans fats, stop into one of these restaurants:

    • Wendy's
    • KFC
    • Taco Bell
    • Arby's
    • Ruby Tuesday
    • Chili's
    The previously-cited Forbes article included this interesting tidbit:

    "The science has changed,” (McDonald's CEO James) Skinner was quoted as saying. “You look at when we went to vegetable oil in the early 1990s, when that was the supportive science, ‘Oh you have to get out of saturated fats, you gotta get out of beef tallow,’ we made that change. Now the science has changed. Now it’s a TFA [trans fat] problem.” Skinner said he thought the concerns were being blown out of proportion. "It's more of a media thing," he was quoted as saying."

    UPDATE: The McChronicles recommends this informative article regarding Trans Fat and McDonald's from if you want to learn a bit more.

    The McChronicles would like to see:

    1. McDonald's lead the way on this (too late)
    2. McDonald's take the high road (they're limping)
    3. McDonald's not whining about it (versus negotiating with city officials and ... well ... whining about it)
    It's too late to make us proud, McDonald's. But there is still time to quiet down and comply with the ruling. You can see that this will spread like wild fire - so get with it.

    Will the french fry ever be the same? Maybe (it seems to be at Wendy's - their fries taste great). Or maybe not. How about reinventing the french fry? Or making it NOT about the french fry? Do something so outrageous that we all forget about it and fall in love with something else. Something healthier and tastier.

    Or compromise with a technology you already have. Why not run with your
    Shaka Shaka Potato concept to cover the reduced flavor of a non-trans fat french fry?

    What do you think about this trans fat issue? Please comment.

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    New Store in Stroudsburg, PA

    Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania has some excitement brewing. A brand new McDonald's is being erected this week.

    In these images (taken last Saturday at 330 Main Street) we can see a typical restaurant with what appears to be a PlayPlace, going up right before our eyes.

    The McChronicles can't wait for the restaurant to open!

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    Image: roving McChronicles reporter, Chris.

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    San Antonio - Very Cool!

    The McChronicles headed down to old San Anton' since we had heard of a McDonald's that offered up something unique. We're not talking about a new sandwich - we're talking about style.

    We noticed something interesting before we even entered the restaurant. This place is located in a very old, wild west-style building. It was built in 1897 and had previously served as a grocery, according to the managers.

    And speaking of managers - these people were excellent ambassadors. Obviously proud of both McDonald's and their store, they made time to extol the many virtues of their unique establishment. And, by the way, this McDonald's has earned the Outstanding Restaurant Award for the Houston San Antonio area this summer. This place is clean and friendly. They even post a sign PROMISING QSC (quality, service, cleanliness).

    The managers of store #5395 attribute a ton of credit to the store operators, Richard and Celia Acosta.

    The old style decor is very interesting, and much appreciated. The managers mentioned they have heard that all McDonald's are to be fitted with WiFi and flat-screen displays. They are concerned that, if such a program were instituted here, their store would lose much of it's charm. The McChronicles agrees.

    PS: The famed Alamo is just nearby. Be sure to check it out while visiting this super McDonald's.

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    Images: The McChronicles.

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    GPS Disappointment

    The McChronicles was perusing some GPS units recently. We are now able to purchase a device that contains preprogrammed POIs (points of interest) such as gas stations, restaurants, etc.

    Our goal is, from wherever we are, to be able to find all the McDonald's in the area.

    Imagine our surprise when we viewed a unit that boasts over 6 million POIs and did NOT include a single restaurant when we asked for McDonald's.

    Interestingly, they did deliver the address, and a map to, the owner of several local McDonald's.

    What a disappointing turn of events.

    The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    Image: The McChronicles (modified to obscure the address)


    Monday, November 13, 2006

    World Children's Day: Ronald McDonald House Charities

    Helping children in need is, indeed, a noble cause. The Ronald McDonald House Charities is well-known, worldwide, for providing a unique and meaningful brand of help.

    Quoting from the RMHC website, "In honor of World Children's Day and in support of children around the world, McDonald's will raise funds to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities and other children's charities around the world. "

    This event will be held in 100 countries throughout November. Monday, 20 November is the grand finale date. More info can be found on the McDonald's blog. If it makes sense to you, and if you have a little something to offer, keep an eye out in your community and see if you can be a part of this excellent event.

    And if you need some help - isn't it nice to know that others are offering their hand?

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    Images: screen grabs from McDonald's website.

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Big Mac Value Meal: Blended

    The McChronicles LOVES A Hamburger Today. This is a burger blog with a passion!

    So, it is no surprise that we drop by for a visit frequently. Today they led us to something that, in a word, is COOL! A Hamburger Today led us to WillItBlend is an ingenious online tool depicting the capabilities of Blendtec's line of extreme blenders.

    OK - so the point? You guessed it. Blendtec's Tom Dickson's uncle Floyd is Jonesing for a McDonald's fix, but he doesn't have any teeth. No problem. Blendtec proves that, yes, it blends, by dropping a Big Mac value meal into their super duper blender.

    Check out the Big Mac Blender video.

    Thanks to A Hamburger Today (again).

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    WillItBlend website grabs.

    Pop-Up McDonald's

    The McChronicles was tooling around Shenzhen, China and dropped into a trade exhibition at the city's beautiful exhibition center. Imagine our gleeful delight at:

    a) encountering a McDonald's within the exhibition center (exhibition vendors typically offer generic and horrid food)

    b) encountering our first-ever "pop-up" McDonald's!
    That's right fans, McDonald's dragged in a counter, fryers, cash registers, storage racks, and a freezer, threw a tent up around it all, and started doing business.

    This was obviously an event that was very well planned for. The tent was awesome, perfectly-sized, sporting a bank of built-in exhaust fans, displaying a carefully selected and prominently displayed menu, and the outside walls were perfectly decorated.

    The menu was limited (one egg/breakfast sandwich, Big Mac, and 3 chicken sandwiches, fries, taro pie, and canned soda), but adequate - and superior to the usual trade show fare.

    The results? A resounding success. There were actually 3 "pop-up" fast food vendors on hand: McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and a local Chinese food chain. At one point in the lunch hour, with hundreds of conventioneers queued up for food, the Chinese food choice had almost no one on line, the Pizza Hut had a small crowd, and the McDonald's option was mobbed. So mobbed, in fact, that they ran out of Big Macs. We captured this image of the manager calling in reinforcements since the freezer was empty.

    This was a great experience - we had never heard of a "pop-up" McDonald's before . Let us know if you have ever encountered one.

    The McChronicles:
    a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.

    The McChronicles.

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    McDonald's Receipts

    The McChronicles was reviewing some paperwork in the office today and decided to toss out the McDonald's receipts we have been saving. We seem to have accumulated quite a stack so far this year - and this is only about half of the receipts we have collected.

    Our estimate, based on this collection and on our calendar of events, is that we have visited McDonald's restaurants approximately 150 times so far in 2006.

    That's "Lovin' it!"

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    Image: The McChronicles.

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China

    Beijing's Tiananmen Square McDonald's sports a semi-cheesy "famous western people" theme - almost EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what The McChronicles expected to see!

    We were disappointed at not seeing a high-class, inspirational China theme. And we were almost (though not) stunned to see Jim Morrison, Sean Connery, and a handful of famous western actors, singers, and performers hanging on the wall. By the way, these posters seemed to be tacked on the wall in the same manner that a teenager would tack up an idol poster. Where is the class?

    The counter seems to be sitting right on top of a keyboard. Cool! The dining area featured a musical theme, with musical notes and the like all over the place. This kind of threw us a bit since the rest of the place featured actors and other non-musical people (in addition to some singers).

    All in all, it was nice to have a McDonald's when needed, but we expected a little bit more.

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    Images: The McChronicles.

    Thursday, October 19, 2006

    Regional McDonald's Sites II

    The McChronicles posted previously about interesting regional McDonald's sites.

    That posting elicited a response from Steven Wilson of great America Parks who
    told us about ... McOklahoma! This site contains all the usual stuff found on other regional McDonald's sites, such as: local charities, jobs at McDonald's, national promotions, and more.

    So, add this to our list:

    Thanks, Steven!

    The McChronicles:
    a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    Screen grab from McOklahoma website.

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    Rome, NY McDonald's: "This store's a dump!"

    Hot on the heels of The McChronicles visiting some extremely impressive McDonald's comes this disappointment. We are talking about the West Gate Plaza McDonald's in Rome, NY (store #2561 on Erie Boulevard).

    First off, the store was dark. Then, the service was slow. And then, it was dirty, and messy.

    DARK: this store needs some replacement light bulbs or a few more fixtures. In the middle of a bright sunny day it felt like something was wrong.

    SLOW SERVICE: No one was waiting in line of ahead of us.
    We ordered ONE HAMBURGER. Here is what happened:

    • Online Time: 60 seconds
    • Order Wait: 4 minutes
    • Quality: good
    • Service: non-existent (the crew person didn't even speak to us)
    • Cleanliness: poor (dark, dirty, and unkempt)


    Check out the images to see what we had to experience while eating at the Rome, NY West Gate McDonald's. It is obvious that the crew either has not been trained, motivated, or given the resources to keep things tidy. By the looks of things, and based on the fact that it appeared the crew had ample time to tidy up, we surmise that the crew just isn't motivated. How sad for everyone.

    The problems with this McDonald's make it easy for us to drive the extra mile and hit one of the other Rome stores. Maybe they don't care which you go to. But maybe we won't choose McDonald's at all if things are to remain this unprofessional. This McDonald's is a dump.

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.

    Images: The McChronicles.

    Thursday, October 12, 2006


    Mexico is home to many cool things, but maybe the COOLEST thing going in the home of the Aztecs is the Zapopan (2691 Avenue Mariano Otero - Jalisco, near Guadalajara) McDonald's. This place is awesome!

    The McChronicles has been hitting it lucky recently, visiting several incredible McDonald's restaurants. Let us share some info about this gem.

    First off, the sweeping multistorey glass dining area is almost breathtaking.
    The traditional corporate colors are artistically presented, the landscaping impeccable, the drive-thru is both logical and obvious while blending in quietly, and the whole presentation reflects a great sensitivity to the local culture and style.

    First impression - the approach:
    As we neared the store we were impressed with the verdant and lush vegetation. The Zapopan landscaper has clearly been working overtime - and doing things right. We felt like we were in a luxury resort. As we neared the building, the facility's exterior decor charmed us with its understated elegance and strength. The stage had been set for excellence. We wondered if the interior could meet the expectations set by the exterior.

    Inside: Simply put ... Wow! The McChronicles felt like it had entered a museum. The place literally offered a feeling of subdued respect and dignity. The architecture was greatly appreciated as it made for a relaxing and inspiring experience. Our plan was to dart in, grab a bite, and run off. From the moment we entered, we knew we would be staying - drinking it all in.

    The high ceilings, expansive glass (offering views of the landscaping and the sunny sky), and an incredibly-clean environment were greatly appreciated. And we even enjoyed the clouds of mariposa
    (inlaid ceramic tiles) throughout the restaurant. In essence, this McDonald's sets an enchanting mood that overcame any thought we may have had of indulging in "fast" food.

    And more: So, we sat, forgetting about our cares. Bathing in the elegance, relaxing. Then - a surprise. A charming young lady (crew) appeared and offered us a free sample of coffee. She had all the requisite supplies, was able to describe and promote the product, and helped us get just what we wanted. Incredible! We were reminded of the similar program occurring the previous week in the New York City area.

    While there we tried a regional product, McPatatas. These are french-fried thick potato slices. Warm and hearty.

    We then ventured over to the convenient yet private-ish Play Place. It was great to have the Play Place available yet not allowing the view or the noise to intrude on the main dining room.

    At the end of the experience we simply didn't want to leave. The atmosphere was so wonderfully-relaxing that we could have sat for an hour. In the end we succumbed to the call of Mexico's myriad other beauties and forced ourselves out the door.

    What an excellent accomplishment for McDonald's. To design, create, and deliver this unique oasis that somehow remains true to the corporate template. We all knew exactly where we were, but felt like we had experienced something quite special. Zapopan - simply awesome!

    The McChronicles:
    a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    The McChronicles.

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    Rosemont Rocks!

    McDonald's store #13058, corner of Higgins & River Roads in Rosemont, Illinois, USA ... YOU are the best!

    Settle in, this one is going to take a few minutes.

    The McChronicles was making its way through town when it drove by a fairly typical-looking McDonald's. We made a mental note of the location, for future action. Admittedly we were intrigued by both
    the convenient location and the huge water tower right behind the store. But we were mesmerized by the painters repainting the imposing structure.

    We came back a day later, prepared to be unimpressed. Man were we wrong! First impression: this was the CLEANEST McDonald's we had ever seen. It looked like the store was just built yesterday. We peeked behind the counter and were stunned by the incredibly neat, labeled storage area and items. Impeccable! And the condiment area was in perfect order: clean, well-arranged, and fully functional. Customers LOVE that.

    Next up was a wall full of awards. Year after year of OUTSTANDING MANAGER awards, year after year of OUTSTANDING DRIVE THRU awards. Wow!

    Then we noticed something really cool. A large number of large flat panel displays showing very current music videos. As we sat down we noticed, at each table, a menu for music. This McDonald's had just unveiled, this very day we were told, a new music system called m-Venue Juke Box "Top Pop". According to BusinessWeek Online,

    "McDonald's restaurants in Schaumburg, Ill., and St. Augustine, Fla., this month launched an in-store entertainment and marketing service that is activated by mobile phone. Customers in designated multimedia zones can send text messages to order up music, music videos and movie previews from Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Sony Pictures.

    This "m-Venue" service is to be offered at more McDonald's locations by year's end -- for free during the launch, then available via download for a fee."

    Customers can select a song/video from the menu, text message its code, and have their song play. The McChronicles was given a brief tour of the new system by an excellent Swing Manager named Jays C. We let her choose the song (Justin Timberlake's newest release) and we texted away. Within 60 seconds our selection was playing throughout the store. And the sound system is perfect! Full sound, not too loud. Awesome!

    We were pretty blown away by the whole situation, until we saw "it". "It" was a beautiful banner. Bright, simple, and really easy to understand, and it said, "The World's Best Employees Work Here". Finally, we understood. And we were beyond blown away.

    We re-engaged Jays and asked her about this banner, about the person behind all the cool things in her store. Jays made it clear that the store owner is a really awesome person. A person who truly believes in people, who empowers their crew, and who truly likes their team. The McChronicles noticed a small sign on the side of the order area, for crew's eyes only. It said that, since this was National People Day, the owner wanted to take the opportunity to thank every crew member for being so good, so productive, etc. And it was written in 3 languages.

    The McChronicles is a firm believer in the saying, "Take care of your people and your people will take care of the customer". This store's owner truly respects their crew, and the crew does the rest: spotless exterior, CLEANEST interior, proud workers, helpful staff, cheerful faces, innovative devices that the crew knew how to operate. Simply outstanding!

    This McDonald's is truly the most impressive that we have ever seen. It is the model that all others should follow. Not because it has the coolest decor, or because of some gimmick. No, this is the best because it embodies everything that we have been told McDonald's is. It lives up to the brand promise. It delivers QSC to the max, and it delivers due to the respect and appreciation shown the crew. Simply awesome!

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.

    Images: The McChronicles.