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Alex Frank / Spoon

Ideas to Change the McDonald’s Franchise For The Better

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Being a part of the McDonald’s crew teaches you many key skills that you can take with you through life, and to pretty much every employer who will discover that you have gold in your hands. The job teaches you to work well under immense stress and pressure with high expectations for good quality, speed and finesse. In fact, according to a recent survey, 70% of employers said that seeing McDonald’s on someone’s CV is a really good sign. But employee growth aside, this fast-food chain produces almost two million tonnes of packaging waste a year and its reputation as the world-leading fast-food franchise needs help.  

Investing in Sustainable Wrappers and Packaging

Have you ever seen a McDouble or Jr Chicken wrapper on the ground, empty ketchup packets stuck to parking lot floors, or a McCafe coffee cup at the bus stop? I see them everywhere I go and know that they are probably going to stick around to see my first, second, and third-born child. The company’s latest sustainability report highlights that 99.6% of the chain’s paper bags, food wrappers, napkins and cup carriers come from recycled and sustainable fibre sources.

Although McDonald’s sources the majority of their paper packaging from recycled and sustainable fibre, they are still lined with plastic to make them grease-proof. 

Imagine trying to take a sip from the drink you bought from McDonalds half an hour ago to find a soggy mush of straw. Many people find the new paper straws, adopted by companies in a bid to help their ecological footprint, annoying and inconvenient. As much as the effort towards sustainability is widely appreciated, we all miss the practicality of plastic straws. That being said, few do know of a better alternative that feels and works just like plastic straws while being 100% biodegradable. Incredible, right? Sounds too good to be true but it is, indeed, true. Loliware is a company that specializes in seaweed technology and has successfully manufactured straws that completely resemble and maintain the functionality of the plastic versions. McDonald’s should take this first step to be the only and leading fast-food franchise sporting seaweed technology as a sustainable alternative. Like Loliware, Evoware is another company that specializes in seaweed technology. They have perfected making burger wrappers that have several attractive qualities to consider for partnership: 

  • Wrappers dissolve in warm water, making it a zero-waste product
  • 100% biodegradable and works as a natural fertilizer for plants
  • Two years of shelf life, even without preservatives
  • Halal certified, safe to eat, and produced in compliance with HACCP standards
  • Nutritious, contains high fibre, vitamins and minerals
  • Can be customized to give a specific taste, colour and brand logo
  • Printable and heat sealable

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has gotten a splinter on McDonald’s new wooden cutlery. They are probably the reason for the poutine fries spilled on your car floors. You can barely pick any food up with their shape and they make messy eating even messier. However, the change is a step towards sustainability and this effort can be applauded. Thankfully, there is a simple solution to preserve our hands from further splinters and our cars from more messes. Notpla is a company that also specializes in seaweed technology to replace plastic packaging. They have created a grease-proof coating for cardboard boxes that could also be applied to the cutlery. The coating will keep the wood in place and keep it from splintering into our skin while we’re trying to eat. This new coating will also replace a large number of littered plastic-lined boxes and waxed cups everywhere, making these products 100% biodegradable. Better too, Notpla manufactures sauce sachets, also 100% biodegradable and can be composted. The company makes use of brown seaweed, one of nature’s most renewable resources. It grows up to one metre per day, in need of neither fertilizer nor freshwater to grow, while de-acidifying the water it grows in. If there are still sachets littered in parks, bus stops, or parking lots, the material of the sachets will break down four to six weeks after its use, not even as long as the first trimester of pregnancy! 

Transforming the PlayPlace Into Child Care Centres

As an aspiring teacher, I understand how hard it is to acquire the necessary teaching experience, however, as mentioned before, McDonald’s is one of the best first jobs to have on your resume. They tend to accept every applicant from the age of 15, and provide an amazing experience in dealing with high-stress situations. With this glowing employer reputation, having McDonald’s as a credible source of child care experience would be ideal. McDonald’s does give Team Leaders and Crew Trainers leadership opportunities by having them train new crew members and cross-train co-workers. However, this training experience coupled with child care experience would be worth more than gold on any aspiring ECE or teacher’s resume. This gives people access to work experience while being paid minimum wage, possible at the young age of 15. 

Everyone knows that McDonald’s never has less than a surplus of children coming through its doors every day. Though PlayPlaces may be closed at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they will inevitably reopen when we are better adjusted to the new normal and our health is less at risk. This time allows the franchise to make changes to the PlayPlace and install the necessary equipment to tend to child care services that could be offered. 

McDonald’s has a team of Guest Experience Leaders (GELs) that are specially trained in customer service. Additional training can be implemented towards child care as GELs are already taught to deal with young customers. These specially-trained individuals would be the ones to watch the kids and attain experience in child care for their future and the next step beyond McDonald’s. 

What things does a child need during the day? Food would be the first and most important answer to that question, and as a child’s favourite fast-food restaurant, McDonald’s is more than equipped to provide kids with snacks. Upon dropping off their kids, parents can pre-pay for their kid’s snacks at the counter. The kids can be logged through a digitized list of attendance for the GELs so that they can keep track of every new addition to the group. When being picked up, the parents can pay by the hour at the front counter, and voila! A well enough working daycare. Of course, there would still be other modifications to this idea such as a napping area when kids get tired from exerting all their energy in the PlayPlace. Once the idea becomes even more refined, this addition will put McDonald’s over the top as one of the best opportunity employers. 

Are my aspirations and ideas for the world’s most successful fast-food restaurant and golden employer too ambitious? Do you have ideas of your own or counters to mine? I would love to hear your thoughts through the social media platform provided below.  

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Jessica is an English Major at Ryerson aspiring to become a teacher, who is passionate about her writing and thrives on creativity. She aspires to be a published author and hopes to see her name at the end credits of a show, may it be as the screenwriter, producer, or actress. Originally born in Canada, after having grown up for half her life in the Philippines, she is back home and can't wait to see and experience more of the world.
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