By Lauren B. Currin, LMA President


When McDonald’s released their 2nd quarter financial results for 2012 it looks like the fast food chain is coming up “French fries” all over the place!  The company reported generating $6.54 billion and their global comparable sales increased 7.3%.  In an article in Forbes magazine McDonald’s overwhelming success here at home and abroad was discussed at length.  Various factors were reviewed including the chain’s “rock star” franchise model, excellent quality customer service and also how the company had been able to not only survive but thrive over the years through economic downturns and turmoil.  I bet you had no idea that the “golden arches” sold more than 5 burgers every second and feeds more than 68 million people a day!

Although the fast food chain is constantly innovating new products and services to align with the wants and desires of their customers; for example in recent years they’ve introduced  healthy and more natural items – fruits, salads, etc.  And I’m sure you didn’t know that with their all famous “Happy Meals”, McDonald’s is the world’s largest – yes I said largest, toy distributor!  The real key to their success is not the food that comes over the counter, it is the people who stand behind the counter.

As reported in a recent article in the Business Insider, in the US, McDonald’s hires about 1 million employees a year and worldwide has approximately 761,000 – a number that is larger than the population of Luxembourg.  It has also been estimated that approximately 1 in 8 American workers have been employed by McDonald’s at some point in their careers; some of the more famous being: Rachael McAdams, Sharon Stone, Shania Twain and Jay Leno!

The true key for the success of the “customer service”  of McDonald’s lies in several crucial elements which aren’t that hard to replicate – just are very rarely duplicated!

They state their values very clearly – Our values are what we believe in.  They guide what we do on a daily basis.  Sometimes this stuff can sound a little bit like corporate mumbo jumbo, so McDonald’s translated it into “crew speak”:

  • Giving back to the community
  • Growing business
  • Believing in the “McDonald’s System”
  • Striving to improve
  • Cherishing the customer experience
  • Committing to their people

It is important to the identity of your firm to personalize your client service values.  In today’s environment it can often be difficult to find employees with the right client service values that are aligned with those of your firm, but if they aren’t clearly defined and communicated it will be impossible!