Human Resource Management In Mcdonalds Management Essay

The success of any business is dependent on the quality of its production linked with the excellence of services being provided to the worthy customers. In turn neither the quality of production, nor the effective customer satisfaction can be achieved without an efficient people’s management strategy in place. It considers the acquisition, development, and utilization of resources including financial as well as human resources, that firms need to deliver the goods and services their clients want. The scope of operations management ranges from strategic to tactical and operational levels. Representative strategic issues include determining the size and location of manufacturing plants, deciding the structure of service or telecommunications networks, and designing technology supply chains. Tactical issues include plant layout and structure, project management methods, and equipment selection and replacement. Operational issues include production scheduling and control, inventory management, quality control and inspection, traffic and materials handling, and equipment maintenance policies. High quality products need high quality people to create, design, produce and deliver so if a business is to maintain its reputation it needs to do well at recruiting high quality employees. For any business offering a large element of personal service, an ability to recruit, train and retain high quality staff is particularly vital.


This aim of this essay is to look at how McDonald’s, the world’s largest and fastest growing global restaurant chain; manages its overall operations in general and undertakes its operations relevant to recruitment and training in particular.

Mc Donald’s – A Global Trade Mark

McDonald’s is the leader in global food provision service retailers with over 32,000 local restaurants providing services to over 60 million people in 117 countries each day. over 75% of McDonald’s restaurants located around the world are owned and operated by independent locals . McDonald’s offer the world its famous foods like globally famous fries, Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Chicken McNuggets and Egg McMuffin.

Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald can be regarded as the starting point of its history. The strong base laid continues even today, as its visionary, committed and talented executives as well as exceptionally hardworking work force puts in their best to keep the McDonald’s Arches shining for years to come.

Brand Mission

McDonald’s brand mission is to “be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat.” Its worldwide operations have been aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win centering on the five basics of an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. They are committed to improving their operations and enhancing the customers’ experience.

The McDonald’s Operations

Scale of Operations

The scale of operations in McDonald; the company that revolutionized the business of fast food, can be understood by going back to 1937, when two brothers by the surname of McDonald started a stand of hot dog. In the context of United Kingdom, the McDonald’s opened its first restaurant at UK during October 1974. Just within 20 years, i.e. by December 2004, there were over 1330 McDonald’s restaurants operating in the UK. Approximately, 60% of the outlets in United Kingdom are owned by the company and is being operated accordingly under the company’s management. Whereas rest of the 40% are being operated through franchisees owned by local people. In the entire process of McDonald’s operational management, Operations relevant to supply chain management, Manufacturing and Human Resourcing are extremely pivotal in nature as these encompass the entire functioning of restaurant’s operations. A brief description of each operation is given in the following paragraphs

Core Values of McDonald’s

Integrity and Honesty

Open, Respectful and Supportive

Prepared to take challenges and see them through

Deep regards for Customers, Business partners and employees

Quality in Products

HR Introduction:

At McDonald’s, their people are their most important asset. They provide the best employment experience for their employees in order for McDonald’s to achieve their goal of providing their valued customers with the world’s best quick-service restaurant experience. They strive to recruit the best, hire the best, and provide the best place to work

The commitment to their workers is shaped on the simple fact “We value you, your growth and your contributions” and this is they strive to achieve through their actions every day.

HR Planning

Hr planning’s purpose is to determine what HRM requirements exist for current& future supplies & demands of workers. To realize the McDonald’s service vision, the organization believes in strengthening their team and ensures to deliver the right skills and knowledge to the right person for getting the right job done. The strength, for making the strong team players to shine under the Golden Arches lies in the People Practice and Development Program

Resourcing Operations

McDonald’s can be ranked amongst large scale employers. By September 2004, the number of employees in company-owned restaurants was 43,491 people amongst which 40,699 were hourly-paid restaurant employees, 2,292 restaurant management, and 500 office staff. McDonald’s franchisees employed a further 25,000 people. A typical McDonald’s restaurant employs about 60 people. Most employees are paid by the hour and are referred to as ‘crew members’. Their primary responsibility is to prepare the food, serve customers and carry out tasks for the efficient running of the restaurants. Other hourly-paid employees who work alongside them include Training Squad Members, Dining Area Host/esses, Party Entertainers, Administrative Assistants, Security Co-ordinators, Maintenance Staff, Night Closers, Floor Managers and Shift Running Floor Managers. These employees carry out more specific job functions. Their overall role, however, is to ensure the restaurant runs efficiently. The remaining restaurant-based employees are salaried managers. It is their responsibility to manage the restaurant’s operations, crew and business performance. Each McDonald’s restaurant is structured as an

independent business, with restaurant management responsible for accounting, operations, inventory control, community relations, training and human resources. The remaining company employees are salaried office staff, working in either the Corporate or Regional Departments. (McDonald’s, 2010

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The importance of recruitment

For McDonald’s, employee are the most important assets. This is because of the fact that predominantly the function of McDonald’s is related to full customers satisfaction rather than manufacturing etc, Hence the fact that ‘customer satisfaction begins with the attitudes and abilities of employees and committed, effective workers are the best route to successes’ forms basis of McDonalds recruitment themes. For these reasons, McDonald’s strives to attract and hire the best, and to provide the best place to work. Like any other good organisation McDonalds make an all out effort to keep the staff turnover as low as possible but the reasons such as career change, leaving the area, returning to education, a new opportunity elsewhere do result into frequent turn over, Recruiting and training staff is financially demanding therefore an approach to ‘choose wisely, and treat well’ is the thrust line of recruitments at McDonald’s.

McDonald’s require staffs who wish to develop and progress in provision of exemplary services. In order to ensure that the company employs the right people, it has identified essential skills and behaviours that applicants should possess and be able to practically demonstrate. For each appointment there exists a job description streamlining the duties and obligations and a person specification highlighting personal skills and competences.

Recruiting suitable applicants

In accordance with the McDonald’s recruitment policy, each individual restaurant is suppose to fill its vacancies of employees to be paid on hourly basis. Whereas, for the Management Recruitment department in East Finchley co-ordinates and conducts the managers recruitment.

According to MacDonald’s (2010), ‘for recruiting hourly-paid employees McDonald’s use several avenues. Positions are generally advertised in the restaurant. The company’s recruitment history shows this is the best method of hiring quality staff e.g. people living locally and/or friends of existing employees. McDonald’s also

uses local job centres, career fairs and other local facilities. It is vital to use effective hiring material with a clear message targeted at the right audience.’ A recruitment procedure at times generates more applications than the vacancies, thus the manager will select the applicants to be interviewed and will conduct the interviews.

According to McDonald’s (2010) ‘Over 60% of restaurant crew are aged 20 or under and; for the majority of applicants, a job with McDonald’s would be their first experience of employment. For many young people, McDonald’s also offers a career opportunity. A well-run interview will identify an applicant’s potential to be a successful McDonald’s employee. To find people who will be committed to excel in delivering outstanding service, McDonald’s scripts an interview guide that helps the company predict how an applicant’s past behaviour is likely to influence future performance. It uses a fact-based decision-making process. The questions look for actual events or situations rather than allowing applicants to give a general or theoretical response. Interviewers look for behavioural evidence in the applicant’s life history that fits with the requirements of the job. The interviewer rates candidates on their responses and offers jobs to those who earn the highest ratings’.

The future managers of McDonald’s come from two main streams. More than 50% of all salaried management positions are taken up by temporary hourly-paid employees who earn promotion. The remainder are directly inducted graduates.

In most of the cases, McDonald’s direct the applicants to apply on line at People without an internet access can call the Recruitment Hotline, or pick up a pre-paid Business Reply Card from a McDonald’s restaurant. ‘The selection process includes an initial online psychometric test. This test produces an initial score. The applicant then attends a first stage interview and is offered “On Job Experience” (OJE). This is a 2-day assessment in a restaurant. Successful completion at OJE will lead to a final interview, after which the manager decides whether or not to hire the applicant (McDonald’s, 2010)

Appointing the suitable applicant

On completion of the final interview the manager will grade the applicant’s responses. For an applicant, to be declared as successful, a demonstration of skills and behaviours that have been identified as a key to the position is mandatory in addition to the production of documentary evidence to prove his work status. The initial stage is the notification to all candidates as to whether or not their application has met success or not and accordingly the same is pending for satisfactory references. The notification to all applicants is served in writing.

According to McDonald’s (2010) induction of all new employees into the business takes place through a Welcome Meeting, which is mandatory to attend.

The Welcome Meeting gives an overview of the Company, including:

• job role

• food, hygiene and safety training

• policies and procedures

• administration

• benefits

• training and development.

New employees will also meet their trainer, and tour the restaurant.

The company operates a 3-week probationary period, after which employees are rated on their performance and are either retained or have their employment terminated.

Training at McDonald’s Restaurants Limited

McDonald’s is characterised by the highest standards of quality assurance, customers’ services and hygiene and cleanliness of the venue as well as the products delivered to its worthy customers in each of its restaurants around the world. Skilled through proper training, its crew and managers are the initial step to attain and maintain these high standards. The company, as a policy offer career progression opportunities that enable

employees to polish and develop their abilities. This necessitates a multidimensional and comprehensive training programme coupled with a transparent career progression system its crew members. This in turn ensures smooth and fool proof operations management and career progression to enable a ‘first job’ employee to develop and progress through to a senior management position purely in accordance with a merit centric criterion.

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Training starts with the initial step of participation in a ‘Welcome Meeting’ to spell out the company’s high standards and expectations. A properly structured program to impart training in all areas of the business activities is the second step after the welcome meeting. An approach of collective on job training is practiced in which Crew trainers and trainees work shoulder-to-shoulder to learn the operations skills mandatory for operation of each of the 11 workstations in each restaurant. The work stations are in a sequence starting from the front counter to the grill area. All employees are trained to develop skills in a manner so that they can confidently operate the latest and modern gadgets of foodservice, thus, gaining trained in McDonald’s operational procedures. The majority of training is venue based, or “on-the-job” training because of its effectiveness in enabling people to learn more skills with much more retention power than formal class based knowledge system. All new recruits have an induction training period. Here they are made to learn the basics and allowed to develop their skills to a specific level hence, enabling them to competently perform their duties in each and every workstation within a restaurant. The time deputed for induction training depends on the status of employment i.e. full or part-time. A touch of classroom-based training sessions are also provided to complete workbooks for maintaining and recording the standards set for the quality, service and cleanliness.

On completion of induction or initial training period all employees keep on receiving ongoing training. This is ensured through “Observation Checklists” maintained at each workstation where each of the employees works. The grading awarded during these checklists has a contribution towards the appraisal grading of the employees.

The restaurants do have a system of grooming and developing even the part time temporary crew members. In this context such staff members are promoted to the status of hourly-paid management positions. During such exposures they exercise the responsibility for certain areas within the restaurant, or for a shift. In addition to the training and development imparted in the restaurant an additional session is organised in the form of their participation in regular development days. The culmination point of all training activities is an entrance exam, on successful completion of which, employees are offered the opportunities to attend a properly structured

training course held under the supervision of the training department at the regional office. After successful completion of the same they can return to the restaurant in a management type of position.

The Management Development of McDonald’s has developed a Curriculum for the new recruits from trainee manager to Restaurant Manager. This consists of on-the-job training and open learning development modules, supported by courses and seminars at the Company’s National and Regional Training Centres. The Management Development Curriculum is aimed at persons aged 21 or over, either graduates or individuals with some previous management experience. It offers a direct route into restaurant management, through an intensive structured training programme (McDonald’s, 2010) .

The training manuals of curriculum developed by the Management Development encompass four key programmes,

• Shift Management

• Systems Management.

• Restaurant Leadership

• Business Leadership

(Source; Studies on McDonalds: 2010)

Employment Tests:

Every big organization in the world uses a test for the hiring of people, from inside as well as outside. These companies use many types of tests to judge the people we are hiring and to have utmost guarantee that the people we are hiring are perfect from every point of view. These test judge the candidate according to his mental and cognitive abilities.

McDonald’s take tests as far as their candidates are concerned to check there full abilities. The tests are of different nature like:

Test Of Cognitive Abilities

These kind of tests include IQ tests, general and intellectual abilities, verbal fluency, vocabulary etc. These tests are generally conducted while recruiting executives and supervisors.

Motor and Physical Ability Tests

These tests include checking the performance of the employee usually working on the machines in operation department to check their reflexes

Measuring Personality Interest

Involves taking into consideration the personal interests and motivations of

the person in his field.

Candidate’s ratio

Within the pool of candidates, if the demand is for 1 employee then the ratio for selecting is the employees is1:5, and if the demand is for 2 employees then the ratio becomes2:10 and so on

Critique on McDonald’s Operational Management Strategy

Although being the world leader in the fast food retailing, arguably its operational strategy can be regarded as a success yet certain shortcomings observed in the same are listed below.

Cross Cultural Issues

Despite its fame and reputation the operations of McDonalds have failed to create an approach to adjust the cross cultural hiccups. For example the issues relevant to Halal food in the diverse society like UK are still not resolved. More so at times the operations strategy formulated to address one issue creates other relevant issues accordingly. For example, in 1990, when McDonald’s announced it would no longer cook fries in beef fat, but rather in vegetable oil, this led many people to believe the fries were vegetarian. Later, vegetarians and Hindus were shocked to learn that the fries contain beef flavoring and sued. Although quick to point out that it never claimed the fries were vegetarian, in 2002 McDonald’s agreed to dish out $10 million and apologized for confusion [source: AP]. Similarly, McDonald’s announcement that some of its outlets serve the Halal food created so many doubts in Muslims Consumers

A suggested solution of the problems relevant to cross cultural interactions can be the adoption of a multi pronged strategy. Each prong meeting the requirements of each category of customers. Although it will create operational complications at start but will yield better results subsequently.

Supply Chain- Too Selective Approach

The analysis of McDonald’s supply chain has revealed that it is too selective in nature thus denying involvement of local producers in the business. Arguably, the standards of the product may be presented as an argument in this context. Yet same can be made more

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productive by involvement of either the local producers in the process or by asking the direct suppliers to involve local growers through training and support in this regard.

Resourcing & Development

McDonald’s follows an extremely comprehensive resourcing and development procedures in its operation management. The entire operation runs smoothly to ensure the survival of the best and fittest. However, the entire development process is focused on opinion of senior management. Thus providing them an powers to retain or relinquish a staff. More so during the entire on job training also a team leader (trainer) can manipulate the induction or de induction of potential employees.


We examined the organisation and the nature of the work in the McDonald’s restaurants, the employment relationship and the characteristics of the workforce in various countries. The detailed study of the German and UK operations and additional evidence from other European countries suggests that virtually the same kind of restaurant hierarchy and organisation is in use in every country. Although there appeared to be some differences in the numbers of workers employed in restaurants in different countries and differences also in labour turnover, this could be explained by a broadly similar employment ‘strategy’.

All of these workers have something in common; they are unlikely to resist or effectively oppose managerial control. In effect, McDonald’s is able to take advantage of the weak and marginalised sectors of the labour market, in other words, young workers who lack the previous experience, maturity and confidence to challenge managerial authority and foreign workers who are very concerned about keeping their jobs. Furthermore, employees in all ‘categories’ may have no long-term interest in the company, in which case contesting management prerogative may simply ‘not be worth the trouble’. Many of the foreign workers in Germany and Austria have a lot of previous work experience and come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and many have qualifications from their country of origin. However, these workers are effectively marginalised in the labour market and find it difficult to find other work elsewhere for several reasons: first, because of problems with language; second, because of problems with the recognition of their qualifications; third, because these labour markets are extremely competitive in terms of qualifications; and, fourth, because the number of foreign and other migrant workers in Germany and to some extent Austria is increasing and unemployment remains relatively high.

The work offered by McDonald’s may have some positive elements, but workers are often choosing employment at McDonald’s in the context of having few other attractive options. Almost regardless of what people think of the work itself, working at McDonald’s could be said to offer advantages for some employees who want flexible hours and are engaged in other activities and responsibilities. For those marginalised in the labour market who have few chances of a job elsewhere, McDonald’s offers much needed work.

However, the employees’ dependence on McDonald’s and/or their tendency to see their employment as a short-term strategy makes them vulnerable to management manipulation. Those with minimum interest simply leave if they do not like it, and this is clearly reflected in high labour turnover. Perhaps they are attracted by the combination of fairly secure employment, familiar ‘family’ surroundings created by a highly paternalistic approach to management and lots of employees of similar age or temperament. This may help to explain how the corporation sometimes retains individuals who could probably obtain better paid and more skilled work elsewhere. As  (1986) puts it, it is ‘recruiting as means of control’. As already suggested, however, whether this is a deliberate ‘strategy’ or something else is not clear (, 1994).

The employment relationship at McDonald’s is managed by a complete spectrum of controls, from simple, direct and bureaucratic controls to the management of subjectivity. At one end of the spectrum, restaurant managers are disciplined to accept tough work schedules and must prove themselves ‘up to the challenge’ of punishing schedules. Long hours and loyalty are locked in, with young managers being persuaded not only to accept as the norm many hours of unpaid work but also to gain a perverse satisfaction from surviving these tough and uncompromising work routines. In addition, young managers who may or may not get similar ‘opportunities’ elsewhere in the labour market are romanced by offers of promotion and career development. At the other end of the spectrum, more direct methods are used to maintain control. However, this still leaves unanswered the question of how the corporation has managed to sustain the uniformity of its employee relations practices despite major differences across societal cultures.

McDonald’s being the world leader in the business of fast food believes that the success of the restaurants and the company cannot be achieved without an efficient operations management. But the nature and scope of its function distinguishes it from other industries. In this case neither manufacturing at a larger scale is involved in the operations management nor is a complicated supply chain being managed. Hence the total onus of its smooth operations is achieved through the people it employs. Hence, resourcing and development of its employees becomes the most important dimension of its operational management. Therefore, the company aims

to recruit the best possible people, makes efforts to retain them by inducing relevant training and offering opportunities for further progression and development. In short, it would be pertinent to conclude that the resourcing and development is the most instrumental operational strategy of McDonald’s in achievement of its aims.

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