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‘My 3 takeaways from 3 decades at McDonald’s’

Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti
14 August 2017 1 minute readShare
McDonald's mascot Ronald McDonald

As one of the biggest brands in the world, McDonald’s holds a lot of wealth which SME owners can tap into, explains a veteran of the fast food giant.

According to Chris Green – who is now CEO of Red Rooster, after working his way up through the ranks of McDonald's for 28 years – there are three key elements to posting growth in a heavily customer-focused industry.

“I’ve worked around the world and the one thing that stands out to me is people and training,” Chris tells My Business.

“You can recruit people that don’t have skills in this industry, but what you’ve got to do is make sure that you’ve got a very strong culture around standards and training of people. So I’d say that’s number one: it all starts with people.”

Steps two and three then revolve around how well you utilise the people you hire into your business, explains Chris.

“Two, I’d say definitely standards need to be well documented, but … we have a process for serving a customer, but you need to actually encourage people to go above and beyond that,” he says.

“McDonald’s used to have six steps of service, but you don’t want to be robotic; you’ve got to let people use their personality as well. We really encourage that.”

The third lesson from Chris revolves around not getting too big for your boots so that you lose the connection with the community that helped you grow in those early days.

“We found this particularly as a franchisee – our franchise network runs much, much better restaurants than we do in our corporate business. We’re 99 per cent franchisee, and that’s because they’re involved in the local community, they know their customers, they hire their local community, but they’re on the front line. So they’re obviously heavily incentivised because they own the business,” says Chris.

“I think that sometimes if you grow too rapidly, and particularly if you do it in a traditional sort of corporate way, you can lose some of that drive and desire at the front line.”

Hear more insights from Chris on growing a business, delivering customer value and what fast food giants can teach up-and-coming businesses on the My Business Podcast below:

‘My 3 takeaways from 3 decades at McDonald’s’
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Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the former editor of MyBusiness and a senior freelance media professional, specialising in the fields of business, personal finance and property. In 2020, he also embarked on his own business journey – inspired in part by the entrepreneurs and founders he had met through his journalistic work – with the launch of customised pet gifting and subscription service Paws N’ All.

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