In difficult economic times, questions are rightly asked of businesses about their overall ‘contribution’ to the UK – what good do they add back to their communities, how do they treat their people, and what is their long-term commitment to UK PLC? Regardless of the answer, you get an idea of what that business stands for.
These are questions that I enjoy answering as Managing Director of McDonald’s UK, because they give me a chance to talk about the positive contribution we make to our people, our customers, the communities in which we operate, and to the national economy.
What I hope stands out is that the way we approach our people, our customers, our communities and our suppliers is a vital part of why we are successful as a business, and ultimately, why we can create new jobs and help to bring investment and economic growth to all parts of the UK. This approach has resulted in a contribution of £40 billion across the UK over the last 40 years.
So what have we done?
First, we’ve invested in our people. Since opening our doors in Woolwich in 1974, McDonald’s has supported the creation of 1.5 million UK jobs, and we now have over 1,200 restaurants across the UK and together with our franchisees, serve millions of customers every day. Our customers expect outstanding service, outstanding quality, and that we behave as responsible members of our communities.
To deliver all this depends on a happy, motivated and engaged workforce. We have committed to creating an extra 8,000 jobs in the UK over the next three years, we will continue to do this in ways that are right for our people, our communities, and our suppliers, because we know that this is the best way to secure the long-term future of the business, and to make sure that our economic contribution over the next 40 years is just as strong as the last 40.
Together with our franchisees, we employ over 97,000 people in the UK, making us one of the UK’s largest private employers, particularly of young people. Around three quarters are aged between 16 – 24 years old, and for many, McDonald’s is their first job.
Second, our commitment to source quality ingredients locally, whenever it makes sense, has seen us spend over £26 billion with UK-based businesses over our 40 years. In fact each year, an investment of £2 billion can be traced back to our supply chain, with 53% being spent directly by McDonald’s.
Through working closely with our suppliers for the long-term we help to create the stability that both enables us to maintain quality and gives them the security they need to expand, invest, and create new jobs for their communities too.
Finally, we’ve made it our business to embed ourselves in the heart of the communities in which we operate. With over 1,200 restaurants, we have an almost unique opportunity to use our national footprint to make a real difference to local communities. We operate a franchised business model, which means about 70% of our restaurants are individually owned by over 150 businessmen and women in the UK.
So rather than being one big company, McDonald’s UK is actually made up of hundreds of small businesses, delivering growth directly to their communities. As well as our people, it also means their families, friends, neighbours, and other businesses all benefit too.
This is a short introduction to McDonald’s UK. I believe our unique commitment to our people, our customers, our communities and our suppliers makes us stand out from the crowd; and these principles are what have guided the last 40 years of McDonald’s in the UK, and what will continue to guide the next 40.
Mark is the Managing Director of McDonald’s UK. Mark was born and raised in Australia, and first started his McDonald’s career on his 15th birthday, joining as a Crew member at Coffs Harbour in New South Wales. He has progressively broadened his role across the McDonald’s System including time as a Restaurant Manager in Australia, seven years in the finance team in Australia, launching the Boston Market partner brand in Australia, Director of Strategic Supply across Australia and New Zealand, and five years as Managing Director of McDonald’s New Zealand.