McDonald's aims to cut staff turnover

JAMIE SMALL
Last updated 05:00 03/09/2014

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Kiwis don't think McDonald's is a good place to work, a view the company is trying to turn around.

The fast food giant is running a campaign throughout the country to improve its corporate image and attract quality staff.

"Through research we've identified that many New Zealanders don't view McDonald's as an appealing place to work," said McDonald's New Zealand head of communications Simon Kenny.

"We also know that many parents don't see McDonald's as a place they'd want their children to work."

The perception and reality of what it was like to work for the company didn't match up, he said.

"As such we can struggle to recruit staff, whether it's at the entry level or in restaurant management roles."

The publicity campaign, called "Think Again", is used internally by the company to raise awareness of opportunities, using examples of real employees.

Kenny said the campaign deliberately made use of negative phrases that were associated with working at McDonald's, like "just flipping burgers" and "dead end job".

For example, one advert, using the image of franchise owner Dan Pitchforth, says: "Dan started working behind the counter.

"Now he owns the business. And you thought it wouldn't pay to stay at McDonald's."

The issue was felt wider than at McDonald's as the hospitality industry - and fast food in particular - had a particularly high rate of staff turnover.

"We're hopeful this will have the effect of reducing turnover in an industry where people will often move on within 12 months to a new job," said Kenny. The target was to reduce overall staff turnover by 15 to 20 per cent.

Externally, the campaign is being used to change the public perception and attract new people to apply for jobs at McDonald's.

Kenny said around a third of McDonald's New Zealand's franchisees started off as crew, and 60 per cent of head office staff moved up from working in the restaurants.

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- The Dominion Post

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