McDonald’s is more than just fast food

By Parker Happ

What is a McReality versus a McStereotype? To some, the association of McDonald’s and climbing a corporate ladder may not be synonymous, but that is not a valid.

McStereotype: “Would you like fries with that?”

McReality: “Would you like NIU credit with that?”

Currently, ACE or the American Council on Education recognizes McDonald’s as the only academically accredited restaurant in the United States for its restaurant management curriculum at Hamburger University. Yes, there is a college that is named after everyone’s favorite dollar menu item.

Junior Spanish major Courtney Young works as a manager at a McDonald’s. She told me how the golden arches offer transfer credit to NIU.

Through the McDonald’s Credit Connection company program, employees can transfer as many as 46 hours toward a bachelor’s degree, certificate program or associate’s degree from the Oakbrook-based business school. Additionally, if you need help with school, McDonald’s USA National Employee Scholarship Program offers over 50 $2,500 scholarships every year and one $5,000 to the “McScholar of the Year.”

Also, since 1985, the Ronald McDonald House Charity has awarded scholarships totaling $44 million to students seeking their degree, no employment necessary. Would you like a diploma with that?

McStereotype: You will only flip burgers.

McReality: You may one day run a restaurant.

A 38-year-old mother, Army veteran and defender of McDonald’s told potential employees to “Get over yourselves. This is the way the working world is. Face it, you are not God’s gift to fast food, hon.” To some, the association of McDonald’s and climbing a corporate ladder may not be a synonymous, but that is not a valid.

Work hard and management mobility from crew to owner is certainly a possibility and pays in time. Between more than 13,500 locations, the average location boasts an employment of nearly 50 people. About 33 percent of franchisees and 70 percent of managers today started on crew. Concerning pay, McManagers make upwards of $50,000 a year, ranking in file among elementary school teachers, police officers and firefighters. Flipping burgers? Psh. I’d take $50k.

McStereotype: Cheap food, even cheaper looking locations.

McReality: Investing – in locations and menu innovation.

What can $1 billion buy you? In 2011, McDonald’s introduced a new restaurant design featuring free WiFi, flat screens and freed up space from demolished play places. A year later, its billion dollar infrastructure initiative has paid off, and since upgrades, McDonald’s maintains dominance in the field of quick service restaurants.

Due new double drive thru’s and automatic conveyor soft drink dispensing technology, productivity in the drive thru increased more than 50 percent, Young said. Reinvested infrastructure now ushers the public into a new era of convenient food and comfortable locations.

Young further articulated that the innovation behind McDonald’s is in its ability target non-productive menu items and create deals to make them more appealing to the masses. Customers now enjoy 20-piece McNuggets, 2 for 5 Big Macs, and Big Mac snack wraps for this reason.