Sunday, January 15, 2006

Interview: Shenzhen's Jean Si

The McChronicles was fortunate enough to catch one of the most inspiring McDonald's store managers in action. Here's how it went.

After a long day of visiting McDonald's restaurants in the Shenzhen China area, we started feeling hungry. While walking down a busy street we spotted a brightly-glowing set of Golden Arches. With a quick bound up one flight of stairs (typical in most big-city McDonald's) we entered one of the brightest, cleanest, warmest-feeling McDonald's we have ever visited.

The restaurant was bustling yet spotless. The crowd was peaceful yet upbeat. The line was full but moving swiftly. The crew was busy but productive and energetic. How did all this happen? One word: MANAGER.

McDonald's Store Manager Jean Si graciously agreed to spend a little time with The McChronicles, sharing her recipe for a crowd-pleasing store (the interview was conducted using an English-Mandarin translator).

McChronicles: How long have you worked for McDonald's?
Ms. Si: Eight and a half years. I was an Assistant Manager
for 3 and a half of those years and a Manager for one year.

McC: Is your store company-owned or a franchise?
Si: All China stores are owned by McDonald's.

McC: OK - let's get right down to it. What is your
favorite part of working as a McDonald's manager?
Si: That's easy - the teamwork.

McC: Tell us about your crew.

I have 60 crew members. Most are not from this city or region. The turnover is very large and creates some challenges. They all work hard.

McC: Do you communicate with other store managers in the area?
Si: Yes. We have periodic district manager meetings amongst four local McDonald's. This is a great learning environment - with a lot of teamwork. I really learn a lot from these meetings. For me these meetings are very important.

To the McChronicles, it seems that the community's personality has a lot to do with the personality of the local McDonald's. Can you share your feelings on that?
Si: My store is located in a shopping mall that specializes on children's products. Therefore, we host a lot of children and families. They do create our store's personality. It is fun.

Ms. Si was a most accommodating host - and an obviously proud and humble representative of McDonald's. The McChronicles shared with her that we feel the store manager is THE key position in a store. They are the middleman between the top management and the front-line crew. The customer only meets the front-line crew, so our experience is in their hands. It is the manager that guides these hands. She agreed, and expressed a full appreciation of her responsibilities to her management and to her customers. She also repeated that her crew was an excellent group of hard workers who truly care.

Jean, we really felt your influence during our visit. The experience was superb.

Online Wait: 15 seconds
Order Wait: 60 seconds
Service: Excellent. A girl asked if we needed help carrying our trays to our table. She helped us get situated.
Quality: Perfect.
Cleanliness: Excellent

Store: Huaqiangbei
Branch (Shenzhen, China), G/F & 1/F of Shangbu Industry District, 102 Hua
Qiang (N) Road, Futian

Approaching the store from the street

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

Top: Store Manager Jean Si
Middle: Shots of the dining and counter areas. Very clean and bright.
Bottom: Ms. Si with Chinese New Year decorations fabricated from McDonald's product packaging. Very festive.


Anonymous said...

I have eaten at this location and it was quite nice. Kudos.

McChronicles said...

Very nice, indeed.

The team keeps the place very clean. The "Mom" staff cater to moms and families with a true and obvious passion. The counter/grill team process orders very fast. And the managers keep it all rolling.

Thank you for your comment - please keep checking back and offering your input.