McDonald’s has a long history of being an official sponsor of the Olympic Games, beginning since the 1976 Montreal Olympics. This year’s 2012 London Olympics will be no exception, and marks the 9th Games where McDonald’s has been the official restaurant. As such, it is the only (branded) restaurant that will be feeding athletes – which is not to say it’s the only food they will be eating.
Unlike previous Games though, this time they’re taking it to a whole new level.
McDonald’s will be opening its largest restaurant to date at Olympic Park with a massive 3,000 square meter, two-story floor plan with 1,500 seats that is said will span about half the size of an American football field. One of four McDonald’s restaurants being opened for the Games, McDonald’s has also said the restaurant will be built from recyclable materials. The current record-holder is a McDonald’s in Orlando, Florida.
The world’s biggest McDonald’s will only be open for six weeks though, set to coincide with the London Olympic Games. It is scheduled to be ready to open its doors in time for the Olympics and Paralympics on July 27th, and will only remain open until September 9th.
During that time they estimate that the restaurant will serve 50,000 Big Macs, 30,000 milkshakes, and 180,000 portions of fries. They claim that one out of five meals purchased during the Olympics will be from McDonald’s. The ingredients used by the four restaurants will come from 17,500 British and Irish farms.
The largest McDonald’s location alone will employ 470 staff, but a total of 2,000 crew members will be chosen to work across all of the outlets for the duration of the Games – 1,000 during the Olympic Games, and 1,000 for the Paralympics.
About 12,000 people have already applied to work in the restaurants, including 6,000 existing McDonald’s employees that have been competing to work at the Olympic Park. 50 existing managers will also be selected from the talent pool to lead the crews during the Games, as well as another 150 crew from around the world. The selection process of auditions and interviews being run across the UK has already narrowed down the list to 4,000 potential candidates that are currently undergoing a boot camp in London designed to improve their skills before the final selection. Employees who are chosen to work at the restaurants in the Olympic Park, including the world’s largest McDonald’s, will be selected based on factors such as politeness and french fries frying skills, among other things.
“Our crew members have been put through their paces to compete for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve visitors and athletes,” said UK chief executive Jill McDonald,” Their performance will need to be world-class in order to meet the challenge of the Games.”
Employees chosen to work at the Games will stay at a four-star London hotel and be treated to various social activities and entertainment while not at work.
Additionally, McDonald’s has also assisted the London 2012 officials by training 5,000 people to interview candidates for 70,000 volunteer positions for the Games.
While many have pointed out the irony of creating the largest fast food restaurant in the world on the site of an event meant to celebrate athletics and fitness, one thing remains clear, when McDonald’s supersizes something, they go all out!