New look for an old favourite

When Paul Pomroy took charge of McDonald’s UK as CEO in February 2015, he spearheaded one of the most ambitious re-imaging transformations the company has ever seen, bringing the familiar and much loved stores into the future.

“We are almost half-way through the re-imaging program now. We are committed to re-imaging all our 1,250 restaurants. The belief that I have is that we have to keep upgrading the customer experience and make sure that we keep investing in what truly matters to our customers,” says Paul.

We’re continuing to focus on what really matters to our customers around nutrition and choice. We’ve continued our journey to reformulate our food, removing sugars and salts. For example, we have removed up to 30% of the salt from our happy meal menu in the last 10 years.

“We are transforming the whole look and feel of the restaurant. From the time that you walk in, you will now see a completely new décor scheme, new seating, new shop fronts and food ordering arrangements.”

More nutrition and choice on the menu

From the introduction of table service to a new Signature range of gourmet burgers, McDonald’s UK has been busy making sure it is doing a lot more to meet customer expectations than simply giving restaurants a facelift. “Every product is now freshly prepared for every customer and we continue to expand our menu through the promotional calendar we have, introducing new blended ice drinks, smoothies or frappes through the summer,” Paul says.

“We’re continuing to focus on what really matters to our customers around nutrition and choice. We’ve continued our journey to reformulate our food, removing sugars and salts. For example, we have removed up to 30% of the salt from our happy meal menu in the last 10 years.”

Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s UK
Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s UK

Catering to its customers’ diverse demands is a mammoth task for McDonald’s due to the sheer scale of the business. Its UK restaurants serve 3.7 million customers a day. Paul says, “Our customers don’t want us to complicate their lives or make their lives slower. Customers come to McDonald’s and they want a great experience and great tasting food. They want choice and flexibility but they also want their food to be served quickly — hot and fresh.”

Recruiting and training for successful careers

Paul says recruiting from the communities where McDonald’s restaurants are located is one way the company understands its customers and is also why it invests in a range of training programs. “We recruit good people with different backgrounds and the right attitudes. We pride ourselves on our approach to training and we continue to invest in our training,” he says. “Last week we had 10 of our top managers going through our own degree program and receiving our degrees at Manchester Metropolitan University. We have a real range of training and education.”

Myth busting

Having spent 20 years with McDonald’s, Paul has become frustrated with some enduring myths surrounding the business. He believes these misunderstandings devalue the passion and commitment from his staff, the McDonald’s supply chain, and its long term partners. For these reasons, Paul has been proactive about engaging the media and his stakeholders to set the record straight.

“I want to really kind of open up McDonald’s, even more than we have done in the past. I’ve been keen to tell our stories around our sourcing, whether that’s our free-range eggs, 100% British potatoes, RSPCA assured pork or 100% British and Irish beef. I also like to talk about how good we are with our people. We spend over £40 million a year on training and development, which is not necessarily something people would expect from McDonald’s.”


McDonald’s UK key facts