Recently, myself and local blogger Chris, were invited along to meet the staff at one of our local McDonald’s and find out more about what running a successful McDonald’s branch is like. The Cape Hill McDonald’s that we went to is like many McDonald’s branches in that it’s a franchised restaurant. Afia Sirkhot, the franchisee, is a local business woman with deep roots in the community. She started out taking on the Cape Hill restaurant 17 years ago when she had a young family. Nowadays that family is grown up and some of them help her run the restaurant. McDonald’s do a lot in the local community and Afia sponsors, through her various local restaurants (she has 6), a local football youth team, works with the friends of a local park and is in charge of fundraising for the Ronald McDonald House situated close to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
As well as finding out about the people behind the business, we learnt about new table service system at McDonald’s. They introduced table service back in 2016 when you had to state which zone you were going to sit in, so that staff could find you when your food was ready. Now it’s even easier and you can sit wherever you want in the restaurant.
Now for me table service and this level of flexibility is a real help. If you are weighed down with bags or have a child or two in tow, the idea of having your food brought to you, rather than fetching it yourself, is a lot less stressful. If I have H with me, I can sit him down with the bags at our chosen table and then go off to the kiosk to order our food. Or we can just order the food on our way in and then go pick a table to sit at. Either way it’s really easy. I hadn’t realised though how flexible table service is as it can even cope with you moving table – we’ve all done it haven’t we? You sit down and then the table by the window or with more seats or whatever it is becomes free and you want to move. With table service you can still do that as the locator tokens, that you take when you order your food, have a tracking chip in them making you easy to find. The locator tokens system is being rolled out across the country so it should be available at your local restaurant soon, if it isn’t already.
When you are at the kiosk you get the option to choose whether you are going to eat in or take away. Obviously you need to be eating in if you are going to be taking advantage of table service (and table service is free so you might as well). Using the kiosk is really easy and instinctive: I find as it takes you through all the steps in a clear way.
When it asks you if you’d like table service, you simply pick up a locator token (they are in a rack on the side of the kiosk) and you enter the three digit number. You take the locator token with you when you go to sit down. It’s really that easy.
We put it into action and within a few minutes our food and drinks arrived. Being able to order, then sit down and chat was really nice, so I think I’d use table service with friends or even on my own. With a family though it does come into its own and it’s a real sanity saver.
Disclosure: This post is in association with McDonald’s.