McDonald's Open Doors Kitchen Tour

For the third consecutive year since 2009, McDonald's Singapore has already welcomed over 5000 participants in its' free Open Doors kitchen tour.

Thanks to the invitation from OMY and McDonald's, I too attended the kitchen tour at their King Albert Park outlet last Saturday.

After a brief welcome and introduction by the kitchen tour Ambassadors, we were first brought to the store room which is surprisingly spacious and airy.

It is here where we got to know that McDonald's only work with suppliers who do not harm the environment. This is comforting to know because every little effort counts!

We also learnt that the inventories were used based on the first-in-first-out (FIFO) system.

In layman terms, this simply means the items acquired first will be used or sold first.

(Those with Accounting background should be very familiar with this)

Also, for safety reasons, the heavier items are put on the lower shelves while the lighter ones go on top. This is to minimize the risk of someone being hurt by falling items.

I am delighted to see a real life example of what I have learnt about previously from my Business Fundamental class!

A company's biggest asset is it's staff so I am glad to know that McDonald's did not overlook this aspect of workplace safety!

 I am bad with names but she is McDonald's Ambassador for our kitchen tour

I vaguely recall her name was Ling... or Ting.

Notice the cartons are off the floors?

My favorite chilli sauce

Our next stop is at the walk-in chiller where the perishables are stored.

Inside it, where the temperature is kept at a constant -19°C, I see items like Cinnamon Melts, Cupcorns, packs of liquid eggs and Hotcakes.

Outside the chiller

Cinnamon Melts!

Cup Corns

Within the walk-in chiller, there is another walk-in freezer where all the meats are stored!

It was freezing and my hands were trembling thus the blurry shot! LOL!

The temperature reading inside the freezer

The temperature in the freezer is so low that water vapor starts condensing with every breathe we take! 

I had fun exhaling in the chiller although it was only for a short while!

Next, we gatecrashed their resting area where some of the crew were having their break.

From staff promotions to company outings, here is where they keep themselves in the loop with the latest internal news here.

I feel so sorry for them as they were suddenly cornered by a mob of camera-wielding bloggers who blocked their one and only escape route, leaving them with nowhere to run! Haha!

Much to their relief, we soon took our leave and proceeded to the kitchen where all the action is taking place!

Ling/Ting sharing with us how the Assembly Line works

Did you know that McDonald's has adopted the "Made For You" system whereby burgers are made only after you order?

Gone are the days of pre-made burgers!

I can now request for more pickles and more sauce! Yay!

How it works:

When you place an order with the counter, your order immediately gets transfered from the computer to the Kitchen Video System (KVS).

In the kitchen, a team of three is standing by the Assembly Line to make your order.

The first person in the line is the Initiator, who, upon receiving your order via the KVS, will toast the appropriate buns in the Vertical Rapid Toaster.

When that is done, the toasted buns will be whisked over to the Assembler who will add in the ingredients and puts your burger together.

Once your burger is ready, the Runner will collect your burger and other food items and place them on your tray.

With this system, you can now enjoy an order that arrives fresher, hotter and tastier!

The Assembly Line

Different buns for different burgers

Here is where all the cooked patties are kept warm

Once the lights turned off, it means the shelf life is over and the patties should not be served anymore.

The various sauces dispenser at the assembly line

The many boxes for the many burgers

The grilling station where grilled patties were made

Sequence for the breakfast burgers

 This equipment is a frozen fries dispenser

At the press of a button, a measured amount of frozen fries will drop into the basket waiting below and straight to the fryer it goes!

The world's most famous fries in the making

I am surprised to know that they have dedicated fryers for the fries, nuggets and even pies as each have different oil temperature requirements!

You might be interested to know that McDonald's uses 100% vegetable oil with no transfat!

A separate fryer for the nuggets

 One of the many fryer with pre-programmed oil temperature control

Do you know what this fryer is for?

Apple Pies freshly out of the fryer!

McDonald's adhere strictly to the most stringent hygiene and cleanliness standards: the crew washed their hands regulary; different colored disposable gloves were used when handling raw and cooked food; they even had specific colored tongs for handling different kinds of meat!

Towards the end of the tour, I have a better understanding of how my burger was made before it reaches me.

Also, I have always thought that the kitchen is only as big as what my eyes can see but little do I know that there are secret passageways which leads to the storeroom and freezer!

This was indeed an eye-opening experience for me!

I guess it is a good marketing approach for McDonald's to open up their kitchens and allow customers in to see for themselves how the food preparation and cooking process is like, as well as how the daily operations is beyond the kitchen.

If you would like to invade the forbidden kitchen and learn all about their secrets, do sign up for the McDonald's Open Doors kitchen tour at any of their 25 participating outlets beginning from 18 September 2011 to 19 February 2012.

This is a special preview session for bloggers.

The kitchen tour for the public begins officially next week.

To find out more about the dates, timings and the nearest participating outlet near you, do check online at [].

Thanks for the warm reception, McDonald's!

I'm Lovin' It!


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