Imagine a 57 year old management professor donning the uniform of an undercover fast food worker for 14 months. Opting for this “hardship” research project during his sabbatical, he goes through seven jobs in burger chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s.
Along the way, the professor discovers “powerful truths about what makes businesses great” and provides lessons from behind the counter “guaranteed to supersize any management style”.
27 year old Melvin Ong (above) has a vision. And that is to be the king of fries in Singapore.
Together with his partner Steve Tan (also 27), Melvin owns and operates What The Fries! – a snack food outlet located at the basement of J Cube Mall. With the cheeky acronym WTF, the stall has been in operation slightly over a year (it opened on 2 Apr 2012). It serves savoury snacks like Golden Nuggets, Mexicali Wings, Roasted Drumlets, Sunny Hunny Wings, and lots of fries.
Considered the world’s largest restaurant chain serving 64 million customers daily, McDonald’s is probably the most pervasive fast food chain on the globe. Founded by Ray Kroc in 1955, McDonald’s worldwide generates some US$24 billion in annual revenue from more than 32,000 outlets (mostly franchisee and affiliate run restaurants).
Famed for its superior supply chain management, ultra-efficient service quality, lightning speed kitchens, and franchise business model, its ubiquitous golden arches is probably the most instantly recognisable brand symbol in the world. Here in Singapore, McDonald’s serves some five million customers a month from over 115 restaurants islandwide.
First established in 1979 with an outlet in Liat Towers (once the world’s best performing McDonald’s restaurant), the hamburger chain is encouraging members of the public to participate in its “Open Doors” global initiative. Since 2009, over 5,000 customers have participated in this programme, inclusive of a guided kitchen tour. I suppose this is a good initiative to combat some of the controversies surrounding the burger behemoth.