McDonalds lets the publisher create his own burger and then names it after him.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 19th, 2106


Introducing new technology into a retail operation with a very strong brand has to be managed very very carefully. There can be no glitches.

McDonalds took a bold step and put in large screens at which people could place their food orders – the device covers all the bases and accommodates just about every need you can imagine.

McDonalds - Aldershot just signs

Some people prefer the smile that comes with the service from a person behind the counter.

But at some locations – the devices don’t get used. “There are people who would rather talk to the person behind the counter” explained Ryan Sgro who has the ability to hold a conversation and at the same time constantly scan the service counters.

“Each McDonalds has its own environment – some get more traffic at the drive through – others have line ups that lead out the door” added Sgro.

The McDonalds on Plains Road and King Road intersection in Aldershot is one of those place people drop into – quite often a group of people getting together to have a cup of coffee. The windows on the western side draw those who want to read a newspaper in the sunshine.

For those who decide to use the screens – they are actually fun.

You sort of talk to the screen by just touching it.

McDonalds - starting out

Eating in or taking it home?

McDonalds - Build your burger

I wanted an Angus burger and the options available to me were right in front of me – all I had to do was touch the screen.

McDonalds - Turning up the taste

I could tune up the taste as well – give it a little zip.

McDonalds - eaating the food

The result of the Angus Burger I created can be seen by the smile on my face. My friend was just as pleased with her salad

The Sgro family operate six franchises in Burlington and one in Waterdown. Ralph, who started out with the McDonalds corporation a long time ago as an employee where he once worked at the Guelph Line location, drops by and remind son Ryan of a task and then nods to a customer who has been coming to the Plains Road location for years.

There are a lot of young people in Burlington who got their first job at McDonalds, said Ralph. “I’m pretty certain that we trained a lot of the people who now work at Canadian Tire because when I go in there to make a purchase I see a lot of my former staff working there” he added.

Ralph talks about the value of community for his locations. “There was once a serious fire at Walkers Line and Upper Middle Road – we made up meals for the firemen (and women) who had to battle that blaze – we ended up feeding some of the people who had to flee their homes.” Ralph explains: “We had a kitchen and food – they were hungry – we fed them.”

Ryan comments on the view some people have that the technology is taking jobs away from people.

“Nothing could be further from the truth” explains Ryan. The technology allows us to handle food orders faster which means more volume which means needing more people in the kitchen.”

Also, people can take their time in front of the screen and they usually aren’t holding anyone up – there are two of the large screens in each location. Once you get the hang of the things they are pretty easy to handle.

McDonalds - pepper order

The burger I created was so good – they named it after me. But the Sgro family nixed that idea – they did let me have the picture.

McDonalds calls the technology – “Create your taste”.

It worked for me.



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