Drive-Thru League

Golden Award for Excellence 2019

Internal Communication

McDonald’s & Graffiti PR


In an industry with high employee turnover, McDonald’s wanted to give its crew a confidence boost. Teamwork and good spirit are business drivers in hospitality business, so we sat down with the Operational and HR teams to design a program that would drive employee collaboration and also help increase sales.

We knew our target well: our crew employees and the restaurant managers, the ones that keep the restaurants running as smoothly as possible. They are highly competitive, striking for perfection people, always comparing how they performed in a day to how they did the day before. So they would join our efforts to design a special competition for  them!

We then looked at all figures we measure daily in each of the 80 McDonald’s restaurants in Romania. Average receipt values, number of guests during all important times of days, overall customer satisfaction. These weren’t numbers that our employees could influence that much. We needed KPIs they could have control over. And we found them in our drive-thru operations. Being a customer-centric company that wants to serve good food fast, McDonald’s measures everything from when a car pulls into its drive-thru until it leaves with a full bag of its iconic products. And here is where we found our hook!

We designed a championship for our drive-thru restaurants, one that would appeal our employees’ competitive spirit. We called it The McDonald’s Drive-Thru League and we went all in! We made it fun – employees received sportswear, hats and specially designed vests, and football-inspired invitation to the competition. And we also made it serious – the winning team received a bonus and a special experience. We gave it a business objective – the teams fought to increase the number of cars they served during the peak hour. And of course, we made it fair – we compared each

restaurant’s results with the numbers they registered on the same day of the previous month. And then we wrapped it up in a sports-like competition, so that smaller cities would have their real chance to win.

To make sure every team had the same chance of winning, we spread the contest over 35 days. Each day every restaurant would compete with itself, comparing the daily KPIs to last month’s reached KPIs. We set specific objectives for our campaign and then let the games begin.

To make all employees feel like a real team, we dressed up each employee participating in the Drive-Thru different than the other members of the restaurant crew. We gave them team hats and sports vests that made them feel they were part of a professional sports team. We designed a special visual and logo for the competition and asked each manager of a drive-thru restaurant to explain the rules of the competition and encourage them like a professional sports coach would do. We used all channels available to give employees regular updates: internal newsletters, posters placed in restaurants, direct communication from managers to encourage them to give competitors to give their best in the competition.

The results were impressive, and employees in all Drive-Thru restaurants joining in. The campaign’s business results were higher than set in the beginning, and the collaboration between employees increased as well.

Our employees took the competition much more seriously than expected, each of them doing their best to help their team win. It was not only a fun month at McDonald’s, but also a productive one!



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