It all began in the USA in 1954 with a milkshake machine salesman named Ray Kroc. Ray received an order from the McDonald brothers' hamburger outlet in California. He was fascinated by their operation - the menu was simple and inexpensive but the hamburgers were good; the fries were made in-store; and the shakes were thicker than usual.
So Ray put a proposition to the McDonald's Brothers. "Let me open new McDonald's stores and I'll give you half of one per cent of the gross sales for the use of the name and the idea."
The McDonald's brothers accepted and Ray opened his first store in Des Plaines, Illinois. He began to build the business by granting franchises to local entrepreneurs who were committed to the McDonald's principles.
By 1960 Ray had opened 200 restaurants throughout the USA. In 1961 he bought the McDonald brothers' share of the business for $3 million and in 1965 the company went public and became the McDonald's Corporation.
Today, McDonald's has more than 30,000 restaurants in more than 120 countries on six continents. Every day, meals are served to more than 50 million people worldwide.
Store: Rototuna, Hamilton
Mc Donald's is probably the only restaurant I remember ever going to as a child, and as an adult today I can't say it's my top choice for when it comes to getting fast foods, though if you were to ask my 3 year old what she wanted for dinner her reply would be Mc Donald's, though to be honest I don't know if that's due to her wanting the food contents of her Happy Meal, the toy, or the fact that she gets juice, something we don't drink a lot of at home.
Rototuna Mc Donald's became our local a few years back and is in a great location to our house which makes it very handy, it is cleverly situated at a busy intersection and amongst 2 supermarkets, doctors and various other shops, making it very easy and convenient to just drop in when your not really in the mood for cooking, in my opinion this is a very clever marketing act, which has worked for us on many occasions, especially after long hours of waiting to see a doctor.
I find the Rototuna store to be clean and tidy most of the time, however the service can be ridiculously slow, it has improved though since they have installed self serve kiosks in store where you can make your order without having to see a checkout operator which is handy as you can then just sit down and wait until your number is displayed up on the screen to let you know your meal is ready. There is a small children's playground, which my daughter enjoys playing on, however this seems to be being taken over by teenagers lately which is quite off putting towards younger children.
The food is usually fresh and hot, and the orders usually spot on, though we have encountered a few experiences where they have left parts of our orders out of the bag though they are always more than happy to provide you with these as quick as possible. When eating Mc Donald's I usually tend to buy a Mc Chicken combo, Miss 3 a chicken nugget Happy Meal, and my partner a Mc Chicken Hunger Buster, though he finds the new version of the Hunger Buster not to be as good as the old. Mc Donald's is pretty costly for what you get, but like most fast food places it is good for satisfying the hunger. IF your not feeling like a fast food type of meal they also have a Mc Cafe for more cafe style food, though this is also pricey.
In general I am happy with this branch and love the fact the staff are always friendly and cheerful, I'm sure we will make many more visits to this store.
Store: Princess Street, Palmerston North
McDonalds is one of my favourite places to get Take Outs! I'm a picky eater so often "Make to Order" my burgers which seems to give the person serving an instant attitude towards me but some are fantastic and are happy to help. My regular order is a Big Mac, no pickle, no onion, extra cheese and extra Big Mac Sauce, my mouth is drooling at the thought. When my order is made correctly I am a happy person if not I will complain, I do believe the "Made to Order" service is available to be used.
The McDonalds on Princess Street is always clean, and the staff are for the most part friendly and happy to help. I like that there is tables and seating in the play area. The McCafe is also here which Is great! I ordered an ice chocolate which I was quite disappointed with though but I think that was more my expectations were different to what I received which to me was Chocolate Milk poured over Ice.
For the most part Princess Street is a fantastic place to eat, always clean and you get what you expect from McDonalds.
Store: Invercargill Southland
I admit in my younger younger years I possibly ate more Mcdonalds McChicken burgers than was really needed. For possibly 5 years the McChicken was the only food I had ever tried from the McDs menu. It was not until I had children of my own in my early twenties did I branch out and try a cheese burger, and I was 36 years old when I tried my first Big Mac :)
The food is so so, some days the fries can be nice and fresh and lovely and the burger buns the same but more often than not the food appears old or dried out. It is difficult to rate the staff because truth is staff at our local tend to change on a regular basis. I tend to avoid McDonalds for myself personally but the kids love it. Caught up in the world of Ronald McDonald, silly little toys, and fun play areas (the kids LOVE the play-land and always have so much fun. The playland area is always clean, tidy and well maintained) I like taking them there because I love McCafe.
The McCafe staff are always super lovely and professional to deal with. The food is always fresh and the coffee and other beverages are awesome. McCafe is where I frequent when I 'need' a decent caramel latte. I find the McCafe prices much more acceptable compared to the family restaurant. I feel $10 for a combo from the restaurant is absolutely appalling and would much rather buy a wrap, muffin and coffee for the same price.
It is a little difficult to fairly review rate the restaurant and McCafe, because the restaurant would rate a lot lower than the McCafe. So with this in mind I have combined the ratings as fairly as I possibly could.
Store: Lincoln Road, Henderson
I go to the Lincoln Road store the most often as it is the closest to me (that is open nice and late) and it's right next door to the pharmacy where I get my prescription on repeat. I would like to say that 8 out of 10 times the staff are pleasant, always say hello and make you feel like they value your custom. The other 2 out of 10 couldn't care less or not, they just want to get it over and done with, these also tend to be the times when something is left out of the order.
Lincoln Road has a reputation with us of leaving out an ordered (and paid for item), so often in fact that we NEVER leave the drive-thru window now without having checked the contents of our bag. The most popular forgotten item is Apple Pies, after that it's the slice of bacon (which we can't notice till we get home).
I only continue to go here as they are local and convenient and so far no really bad customer service.
We arent a huge town yet we have three McDonalds restaurants! Although I have been to all three over the years (I have lived in Whangarei all my life) it is our central branch that I always visit so will review that one. You can't beat good old McDs for a quick n easy dinner or lunch thats for sure - A kiwi icon most children know the symbol by an early age and a place that is called a "treat" by many.
One thing thats great with McDonalds restaurants is they are almost always open, even on public holidays and there is no surcharge. We are also lucky enough to have a McCafe which I have visited a lot - great coffee's/hot choc, sandwiches, wraps and slices are all yummo! It also means when catching up with friends we all have options as to what we want to eat - burgers, chips & fizzy or something from the McCafe.
The McCafe area is super comfy with couches making it seem a lot more homely than other restaurants you visit - they are also arent worried with you sitting here for a long amount of time catching up with friends (even after you have finished your meal). During these times I have seen staff cleaning tables efficiently as well as other areas throughout the restaurant - it definately seems a clean and well maintained place in all areas.
Most of all however, we tend to get takeaways through the drive through from this store, quick and easy dinner where I don't even have to get out of the car. The service is always friendly and most of the times prompt (we avoid busy times such as 6pm dinner time though). However over recent times (at least the last 6months if not longer) things have gone down hill in this area with orders just about always being mucked up (complete different orders being given to us or wrong burgers etc) or even items not given to us at all. The first few times we were caught out, not realising till we got home and living a good 15-20min drive away it wasnt worth a burger for us to drive back - frustrating to say the least! Now a days we make sure to check our order before driving off to avoid this happening. Overall a good restaurant we will continue to visit!
Whangarei city is lucky enough to have 3 McDonald's restaurants, our central branch, Kamo branch and a food court McDonald's right in the middle of town. So no matter which McDonald's restaurant I go too I can expect the same menu and the same level of service, if not better service as they are all run by different managers and most of the time they are offering a better service to keep the customers coming back.
I enjoy meeting friends at a McDonald's restaurant as they are always open, even on public holidays, the restaurants are always clean and tidy, and always modern these days. With the added bonus of the McCafe everyone in the family is catered for, and when they are open on a public holiday they don't add a surcharge with is great.
Having the added bonus of the McCafe means if I am not in the mood for a burger and fizzy drink meal I can enjoy a muffin, or sandwich and a hot chocolate, which is great when paired together with a friend over a gossip session. I like the McCafe area with their comfy sofas which has a homely feel, and the staff will actually bring over the food and drink when they are ready which I think is great service. I just wish the McCafe had a drive through!
I like that the food is made fresh these days, and made to order. I remember growing up hearing the horror stories that burgers could be sitting around all day until they were bought by someone. Now with the 'make it your way' option burgers and wraps can be added to or something taken away making it perfect for the customer.
When I dine in I always see the staff quick to clear the tables, and wipe the tables down, I see the staff wiping the windows and wiping down the rubbish bins and drink station area. I am always impressed with how clean the bathroom areas are when I use them, and I like the changing stations for children in nappies, such a great facility to see.
The food is always yummy and the staff at the Kamo branch and the Central branch are always welcoming and friendly, the service is quick and that will keep me coming back.
I will be completely honest I am not a fan of McDonald's food but my daughter and her Dad are so there are times where I just have to begrudgingly eat it. If I have to eat a burger I will always have a Crispy Chicken Deluxe or even a crispy chicken wrap as the chicken in them is better quality and better tasting than the other chicken burger or meat patties and the salad also seems to be nicer quality.
The bonus of my local Mcdonalds on the corner of 11th Ave and Cameron Road in Tauranga is that they have a McCafe so within it's opening hours I can go and get my self a sandwich and a proper coffee and the rest of the family can have their burgers and chips. The McCafe makes really nice coffee as good as any other good cafe and they have a range of healthy lunch alternatives like sandwiches and scones.
The Mcdonalds Restaurant itself also has a wide menu and there is something for everyone's taste and budget. The value range are really affordable so you can get a cheap takeaway meal for the family on those nights when you can't be bothered cooking or you are away from home. I always get good service when I go into the restaurant and order, however when I go through the drive thru something always gets left out usually being the sweet and sour sauce which drives my daughter nuts as she loves the sauce with her nuggets.
I will say though that on all occasions where something has been missed the restaurant has always replaced the item or sent vouchers out if we have already made it home. When the vouchers have arrived they have generally been for more than what was left out also.
Store - Bulls
In today's competitive market, one would expect only the best customer service... because let's face it, the general trends of fast food are rapidly becoming so equally paced, it's easy to blur them all into a generic menu. Service can make or break a store. So it was with utter horror I departed from this store on a recent visit. I just didn't seem to learn from my last experience, but since this was the fourth time out of four visits in 2 years... that makes a statistically viable trend of a shop's progress.
A friend and I, with my son in tow, made a visit to Wanganui recently, and as I drove us home the cry arose, "Food!" from all... alas, due to traffic, it was easier to enter McD's than try and park for Subway. "Well, the little fella loves the toys, so I guess..." was all I could say. We walked in and presented ourselves at the counter. A lovely young lady came over and enquired as to how she could help. We finished our discussions and presented the order: "one cheeseburger happy meal please. Can we have no pickle on the burger please?" "Sure things!" she cheerfully replied.
"Great, one Beef'n'BBQ deli sandwich please, but no BBQ sauce. Can I get Ceasar dressing instead please? I know there is an extra charge." "Erm, umm, I don't think we can, I'll just get my manager." Mr Anonymous Manager presented himself. "No." and turns away. "Hang on mate, it was OK when I had it done 2 weeks ago through your drivethru." "Are you sure it was Bulls drive-thru." Now that was just a dumb question.
"Yes, that very window there." -point at window- "Well, we don't change the recipes. They are fixed." "Can you leave off the BBQ sauce at least?" "No sir, the recipes are fixed." "Ok mate, goodbye, you've lost the sale." I gather up 1 little man from the playground, one friend, and we head back to the car. As I climbed into my seat, I looked back only to see the manager standing in the drive-thru window, mouthing abuse at me.
I left there with great haste vowing never to set foot or dollar in that store again. Total boycott in place. 4 out of 4 is 4 too many.
Overall, if you are passing thru Bulls, you might like to consider your nourishment options carefully. You might wish to plan for food at Palmy North Drive-thru instead.
Store: Rangitikei Street, Palmerston North
Not a great fan of McD's food much these days, so when I do decide to eat fod, service counts a lot. After a recent disasterous visit to McD's Bulls I found myself still hungry and so drove home to the one store that constantly impresses me. Even when they inevitably stuff something up, as soon as they are made aware of it they sort it out and stop it from reoccuring. It has been a real pleasure to frequent this store over the years since it was first built.
On this occasion, I had just been refused a modified-recipe deli sandwich from the Bulls store (also reviewed here) so we drove all the way home for dinner. I thought I would try an experiment in service, so asked the duty-manager if I could have a beef'n'bbq deli with ceasar dressing instead. His response was predictable... "Sure thing! Since we make them on the spot, we can easily grab the ceasar bottle instead of the bbq bottle. be with ya in 2 minutes." Always the right response to a simple request.
Paid the extra $2 to get the fries and drink, a sundae-cup-lid for the squirt-ya-own sauce dispenser (the supplied pottles are tiny and too many on a tray can be messy), and the orders for my companions... and away we went to enjoy our food in peace, while the little fella played in the space playland.
Overall, just another normally-pleasant visit to this store. A dramatic contrast to the attempt made at the Bulls store less than 30 minutes prior. Kind of ironic in some aspects.
Random listing from 'Food'...
Crunchy tortilla chips, made from our fresh, gluten-free corn tortillas. This medley uses blue, yellow and white masa harina, with jalapeno and chipotle. Fried in sunflower oil and coated in chilli to give a nice bite. Eat with your favourite dip or salsa, or just eat right out of the bag.
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