McDonald’s will use a new meal prep training system for its staff this fall
McDonald’s customers in the United Kingdom will soon notice subtle changes in how their meals are prepared. To carry out these seemingly small changes, corporate leaders are making some big changes in how they train their managers. In order to bring all restaurant managers up to speed in a quick and uniform manner, McDonald’s is turning to games-based training.
McDonald’s needs the new training system because the company will soon be launching a new approach to food preparation at many of its UK restaurants. Instead of stacking burgers and fries ready to go, food will be prepared as it is ordered. For customers, this preparation should result in burgers that are hotter and fresher, and fries that are crisper. But this “just in time” process will be more complex and will call on store managers to manage their staff differently, Diginomica explains. Traditional McDonald’s restaurants that keep food stacked up and ready to go operate with more staff at the counters to take orders. But in the new model of McDonald’s restaurants, staff need to be more flexible to adjust to the changing demands.
In order to train managers on this new food preparation system, McDonald’s will use a 3D virtual reality game that simulates the new approach. The 3D environment allows a player to virtually walk through a McDonald’s restaurant and react to changing scenarios. Mark Reilly, UK head of corporate training at McDonald’s, told Diginomica that the game allows managers to make decisions just as they would do doing an ordinary work shift. As they make these decisions, they will see the consequences of their choices play out in the store – even the mistakes. The hope is that managers work out any trouble spots in the game before they try the new process live and in person. “The most powerful way to learn is by doing and by making mistakes,” Reilly said.
This 3D game is new to McDonald’s but the restaurant chain is actually well acquainted with gamified training. The company started using gamification several years ago when it developed a game to train staffers how to use new cash registers, according to Diginomica. The game simulated processing orders and serving customers, becoming more challenging as players progressed. Diginomica reported that McDonald’s saved approximately 500,000 British pounds in training costs. Depending on how the 3D training progresses in England, McDonald’s could roll out the training system to its managers worldwide.
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