McDonald’s is one of the largest employers in the UK and Ireland with over 1390 company owned and franchised restaurants serving nearly 4 million customers per day. One of our greatest strengths is our diversity; we have 129,000 employees ranging in age from 16 to 91. With 9 out of 10 Business Managers and a third of executive staff starting from crew we have a great retention rate.

Our Company

Working for McDonald’s is more than just a job. We’re a business that aims to have a positive impact in everything we do, ranging from environmental issues to our employees mental health. We offer good value, quality food and a fantastic experience for our customers, but it’s not just about the meals we serve each year. It’s also about the hundreds of communities across the UK and Ireland where you’ll find our restaurants, and the thousands of people who work in those.

Our Culture

Things move fast at McDonald’s, whether we’re serving our customers or helping our people build their futures. In our workplace, we promote flexibility, opportunity, equality and development. McDonald’s employees come from all walks of life, but share a common approach: positivity. We know that happy employees help to make happy customers, so we want our people to enjoy their work.

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The new 9-5

We believe that to attract, retain and motivate talented individuals, employers need to create opportunities that genuinely work for people whatever their age, life stage, or ambition.

So in 2018 we commissioned some research, to map the new ‘9-5’ as we wanted to better understand working lives in the UK today and how this will change in the future – polling people up and down the UK.

We discovered that the way we are working in the UK is in flux, with people looking for a ‘job that works for them’. For example, many of us want to start earlier, finishing earlier.

Opting for longer days and compressed hours in place of the traditional 9-5. It’s all about flexibility and in the UK we’re no longer looking for a job for life. We’re looking for a job for our life.

We also looked specifically at dads and found that only 4% of them work the ‘traditional’ 9-5 – in fact almost a third start work at 7am and finish at 3pm, and a similar number work 8am-4pm – that being said, 74% of dads say they do not have the option of working flexibly in their role.

More flexible. More rewarding. More choice.

flexible working

The benefits of understanding how people want to work today are compelling. For people and for business.

That’s why we will continue to create jobs that suit different lifestyles and life stages, whether it’s a dad looking to fit a job around family commitments or someone looking to stay with us, progress and take advantage of the training we offer.


Did you know?

  • Over 85% of McDonald’s employees tell us that they love the flexibility their job offers them
  • 9 in 10 of our Business Managers started with us as Crew members
  • Each year we invest £40 million in training to develop our people
  • 1/3 of our executive team started their career in one of our restaurants
  • We employee over 110,000 employees in the UK alone

>See also: McDonald’s celebrated for innovation over hourly paid employees

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Championing dads at work

Q&A with Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s UK&I

Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s UK&I


Why is it important to McDonald’s to champion dads at work?

Paul Pomroy: It’s important for us to champion everyone at work – dads, mums, students, carers – everyone has different priorities and different situations at home. It’s important that we offer progression and development opportunities for all, but also flexibility so that work can fit around life – from restaurant to head office. Like many of our employees, I’m a dad of two young boys and being able to be there for bath and bed time is really important to me. My wife is a busy working mum, so having that flexibility is really key for us both.

We’re nothing without our people – they are what make McDonald’s, so listening to them and what they need is essential.

How does McDonald’s promote flexible working and ensuring a work life balance amongst its employees?

PP: We offer our people the choice of a guaranteed hours or flexible contract, giving people the option to choose. We talk to our people to ensure we understand what works for them. We use these conversations to create jobs that suit different ages, lifestyles and life stages – whether it’s parents looking to fit a job around family commitments or a student looking to earn some extra money at the weekend.

Our survey shows many dads are afraid to ask for flexible working for fear of the impact on their career progression. What more needs to change? Do the kind of support mechanisms offered to mums need to be promoted to dads e.g. employee networks?

PP: The ability to work flexibly should never have a negative impact on a person’s career progression. This applies to both mums and dads, as well as non-parents. Flexible working isn’t a ‘parent issue’, it’s a ‘people issue’.

We believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to work more flexibly, but that doesn’t diminish ambition, desire or opportunity to progress. The business case for flexibility is clear, too: if employees are happier, more motivated and more loyal, they tend to be more productive.

You brought in the guaranteed hours contracts. What has been the feedback internally and externally?

PP: We announced in April 2017 that all of our employees would be offered the choice of a flexible or guaranteed hours contract, following a year of trials in selected restaurants. Since then, the majority of our people, around 80%, have chosen to stay on their existing flexible contracts, as they value the ability to work around their other commitments.

We are proud to offer our people the option, so they can choose what works best for them. In fact, Matthew Taylor used us as a case study in his review of Employment Practices in the Modern Economy, highlighting that we offer our 120,000 employees the choice of a flexible or fixed contract.

Why is a multi-generational workforce good for business?

PP: We are one of the largest employers in the UK and we are proud to employ a multigenerational workforce of over 120,000 people, spanning more than seven decades.

In 2016, we carried out research that revealed multigenerational working enhances McDonald’s business performance. Teams that bring together a mix of people of different ages and at different life stages are fundamental to creating a happy and motivated workplace and to delivering a great customer experience.

Our customer base is extremely varied, so having a diverse workforce of people from different ages, backgrounds and experiences is really important to reflect that and ensure we challenge our thinking internally.

How important is it that senior male managers walk the talk on flexible working and work life balance?

PP: It’s really important for everyone to promote flexible working – not just those who are male or senior – but you have to walk the talk and I try and lead from the top. In the office, for example, we don’t have a culture of presenteeism; I leave the office “loudly” at 5.30pm each evening and I say goodnight to everyone; with so many working mums and dads, we don’t want a culture of working late.

Training and Development

Great opportunities at McDonald’s come with training to match. Every year, we invest over £40 million in developing our people. Every one of the 129,000 employees working for McDonald’s has the opportunity to take part in structured training, whether it’s in customer service, team work or financial management. Plus, you can achieve an array of qualifications with us, many of them nationally recognised. It’s about you. Whatever you want to get out of your career – with McDonald’s, you can

Case Study:

Case Study Videos

Sam Lesser, McDonald’s UK Employee

Sam from McDonald’s Restaurants UK on Vimeo.

Steve Stone, McDonald’s UK Employee

Steve from McDonald’s Restaurants UK on Vimeo.

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