business

McDonald's to let parents, kids cook burgers at its stores

50 Comments

McDonald’s Japan on Tuesday will launch a new program aimed at regaining the confidence of consumers, especially mothers with young children.

The Mac Adventure for Kids program will run from June 9 until June 30 at 650 McDonald's restaurants nationwide. Children and their parents will be invited to wear McDonald's staff uniforms and cook Mogumogu Mac burgers in an actual restaurant kitchen, the company said in a press release. Mogumogu Mac is a new burger with a chicken patty, carrot, corn and soybeans.

Participating children must be aged between 3 and 12.

The Mac Adventure for Kids program is part of a new initiative announced by the company last month to restore its reputation which has been battered by a series of scandals.

Over several months there was a near constant stream of stories about foreign objects turning up in produce, capped by the discovery of a human tooth in some french fries sold at an Osaka outlet.

In April, the company announced it would renovate 2,000 of its 3,000 Japanese outlets and shut down another 130, while reducing its headcount in a bid to cut costs.

That came after it said in February it had lost a worse-than-expected 21.8 billion yen for 2014 -- against a year-earlier profit -- recording its first loss in 11 years.

The company is forecast to post a 38 billion yen net loss this year.

© Japan Today/AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


50 Comments
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Over several months there was a near constant stream of stories about foreign objects turning up in produce

With all those kids in McDonald's kitchens, get ready for more stories about "foreign objects turning up" in McDonald's food.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Who is gonna do that? In fact, it is sad to think that some might want to take up this "offer".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How unbelievably pathetic. As if anyone needed proof at how inept and out of touch the people who run this company really are. My family roared with laughter when we heard the news. You just cannot make this stuff up!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I think it's a great idea. The kids will love it.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Heheheh, more cheap labor? (To compensate raising the wages of its employees?)

Or it could be like those cooking classes we used to attend in regular eating establishments that let ya take home what ya cook (like brick-oven pizza parlors).

Obviously for the food establishments, when people know what gets into the food they buy, they feel more confident about it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hopefully these mothers and kids will earn the minimum wage for doing McDonald's work.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

My kids did this last year and they had a blast! They loved dressing up. They got to check out the back and learn how the burgers, fries etc. are made. At the end of the "adventure" they got to make their own cheeseburger sets and eat them. I think this is a great idea.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I've never taken my children to McDonalds and I don't plan on doing so anytime soon. I'd rather feed my girls something that's nutritional.

It helps that my eldest loves homecooked food and she's never asked to go to a McDonalds.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I think it's a great idea. The kids will love it.

@Brainiac

I think nearly anyone who has raised a four-year old child would agree with Brainiac in that "the kids will love it" — they will eat it up (pun intended). But, I don't think it is well-advised, and perhaps not well thought out, either. It could be a disaster in the making.

Even though each child will probably be paired with a parent, many parents lack control of their little ones (we've all seen it), especially when they get excited jostling with the other tykes for a turn at the hot grill. Also, with 600+ stores involved, I'm pretty sure the people running this will not be daycare professionals, but instead McDonald's staff and store managers, some with no experience handling children. Also, given the potential for accidents when grilling burgers, I'm sure that even (especially) seasoned daycare workers would never consider doing this.

Anyway, there is lots of responsibility on the shoulders of the McDonald's employees overseeing these kids. Any burger-flipping accident is sure to make national headlines, and loads of comments from JT readers.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It will be all fun and games until some poor kid/parents get burnt or scolded badly. Lets hope that no one inexperienced gets a chance to work the fries.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wouldn't want to teach my kids to cook such a piece of unhealthy food.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My boy did this last year, and he had a great time. It cost 500, and he got to make his happy meal, then 'sell' it to his mom for the 500 yen at the register.

Smart promotion on McDonalds part.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I have to agree with Sensato on the parenting issue..... I can is in my mind’s eye all the parents standing back and letting their little darlings run about like headless chickens with a majority of parents talking with other parents or just smiling as they expect the staff to take care of their kids. But as soon as a child gets hurt then its "monster parent" gang attack to why the staff didnt stop their little darlings from climbing on the fryers or even sticking their hands in the chip-fryer! Seen it all before at sports days, day-cares, and even just sitting down and trying to eat my own lunch at (fill in blank) restaurant.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That's a great idea! Let a bunch of kids play in a kitchen with big deep fryers and hot grills.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Children and their parents will be invited to wear McDonald’s staff uniforms and cook Mogumogu Mac burgers in an actual restaurant kitchen.

This has disaster written all over it. A clear sign of desparation on management's part, and as DVDexpert says, "pathetic". I can just imagine the "brain-storming session" they had that came out with thsi winner. Reminds me of the line from the movie "Argo" -- "This is the best bad idea we have."

Mogumogu Mac is a new burger with a chicken patty, carrot, corn and soybeans.

Say it isn't so? Ray Kroc must be spinning in his grave.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I quit eating at MCD about 13 years ago. With all the great Udon/Soba, Ramen, and Kaiten Sushi, why go there?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree with most of the posts here the positive and the negative. I believe that McDs is looking to build a personal relationship with the children, or future customers. Once they have an emotional connection with the restaurant they will want to go there regardless of the press or public opinion. This is a transparent attempt at getting kids hooked on their junk food. With that said, I'm guilty of going there for a chicken burger where there is a time or money issue. I hate that they are the only real option for a burger, of any kind in Japan. I would rather pay extra and get the veggies, instead of just nasty meat and bread.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

McDonalds is not good for you, but just like anything, it's absolutely fine in moderation and won't kill you (or your kids).

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I've seen this going on in my local McD's in Osaka for about a year now. Guess they were piloting the scheme. Mother and daughter(s) are dressed up in the uniform, serve customers, work in the back and then get a meal, gift, and photos - Kidzania style. Guided by a genki McD's member of staff. Was wondering what that was all about.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's all fun and games until a beverage gets spilled into one of the deep fryers. I have seen it first hand when a child with a medium sized cup got bumped into by a passing employee and dropped his cup into the french fry deep fryer. All holy hell broke loose and that was only during a tour of the kitchen area. Just imagine the fun when these poor kids get burned by something. I know a lot of 'children' work at Mc D's but they places are NOT child safe back there and someone will be hurt badly. Sadly, this was not well thought out. There's a reason those easy bake ovens for little girls only used a light bulb for cooking and not a real heating element.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I expected that McDonald's was going to let consumers make their own burgers as they wish, which it's not apparently. But, wouldn't that be really nice? I would go there if I can make my own special burger.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sounds like fun for the kids, albeit with the usual health and safety rules thrown out of the window. Interesting to hear that big corporation can openly stick up its middle finger to the licencers. Is this a glimpse at what TPP is going to give us? The hokensho in my prefecture insists that every commercial kitchen has a door (saloon style half door ok) separating it from the cooking area. If you ask them, they'll tell you it's to keep customers out of the kitchen.

The odd stray thing from the factory getting in the McD food might be less of a problem than whatever bacteria and viruses some kids can bring into the kitchen. Some of the gastro viruses that go around Japanese preschools and kindys are well nasty and we all know how thoroughly most kids wash their hands.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It helps that my eldest loves homecooked food and she's never asked to go to a McDonalds.

LOL What a surprise!

"Hey Satchiko, don't tell my mom I ate at Mcdonald's today. She'll freakout and cut my allowance and I won't get anymore burgers-n-fries"

and out of touch the people who run this company really are.

Out of touch? I'd say it's a great marketing campaign. They'll forget about what's in it and where they're processed.

"Look Ma! I'm Cookin it! Do I still get the free toy too?"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I've stuck with McDonalds, but now that they got rid of the McDouble from their menu, I don't have much reason to go there.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

a ok, ur still not gonna make money mcdonalds. time for u to fall apart

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If the kids wait 2-9 years, they can get paid for doing this...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A desperate attempt to no avail, by now everyone knows that the stuff is not good for you!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I sense a flurry of lawsuits in the near future.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's parents' brutality to let kids eat such burgers before they figure what those ingredients will do to their health.

Exploitation comes with addiction.

People should learn more about health.

Less carbos, meat, but more vegetables!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mac should offer healthier choices like in the states. I would go there for the wraps and salads. It was good and cheap. Why do they cater to only kids? That's their downfall! Too many burgers joints in Japan.

http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/full_menu/full_menu_explorer.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Can people here read or did you just read the title with "McDonald's" in it and decided to tear into it?

This is a cooking class for kids. Nowhere does it say that the kids are going to cook for customers. Just like when you go to the Instant Ramen Museum for example and they teach you to make ramen and/or make your own cup. Oh and just because a kids is going to go to a class to make hamburgers, it doesn't mean the kids are going on a McDonald's diet and dying of a heart attack the following week.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

McDonald's just doesn't get do they? Instead of spending more of the poor franchisees money with marketing stunts like this, they should just focus providing on tasty food without all the proven chemicals in it!

That will certainly help stop the poor franchisees from going broke - not McDonald's as another fact is that they ONLY make money from real estate not by the food... (if you can call it that)

Maccas should take a leaf out of their Australian food outlets - Offering 'McCafe' healthy type food and healthier burgers!

Wake up to yourself McDonald's!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Instead of spending more of the poor franchisees money with marketing stunts like this, they should just focus providing on tasty food without all the proven chemicals in it!

Why does it have to be one or the other?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strangerland - "Why does it have to be one or the other?"

Ummm., hello! How much does the "FORCED" franchisee have to spend in set up for "Lemon" of an idea? A LOT!

Wake up to yourself...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I personally have never taken my children to a fast food joint, especially this one. No.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ummm., hello! How much does the "FORCED" franchisee have to spend in set up for "Lemon" of an idea? A LOT!

1) I don't know how much they have to spend. Please let us know, since you seem to.

2) That's part of being a franchise. If franchisees don't like it, they shouldn't be franchisees

3) You think it's a lemon of an idea. That doesn't mean it actually is. I think it's a good idea. Only time will tell which it actually is.

4) You didn't answer the question: Why does it have to be one or the other?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Please McDonalds stop your pathetic experiments of trying to improve your damaged and negative image. It's makes it all just worse. You should appeal to the real image of your food: that's it's designed for craving but of course it very unhealthy. That's what people want sometimes. At least people with common sense know that it's bad and feel a little guilt when they eat at McDonalds but they take that into consideration because every now and then they want some 'craving food'. On the other hand people who mindlessly frequent your stores aren't being worth cared about anyway.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Anyone try the Mogumogu Mac yet?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

if there's one thing i won't teach my kids, it's how to cook the junkiest of all junk-foods in the whole wide world: McCrap

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's really hard to compete as a Fast Food restaurant in a country that promotes healthy eating and an emphasize on not going over board on grease.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This will be an excellent opportunity for the younger generation to prepare themselves for a lucrative career in the fast food industry! Sounds like a very good way to instill work ethic and pride from a young age!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Step one, drop into fryer.

Step two, wait.

Step three, take out of fryer.

Step four, put into bread and wrap in paper.

Step five, eat.

Step six, run to the bathroom.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And will you get a discount on the food as you've cooked it? I can't see this sily scheme ending well.

That new burger looks singularly unappetising.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It seems nobody here has tried the Mogumogu Mac yet...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A thinly veiled attempt at hooking youngsters to the most famous junk food in the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mc D's is really taking a beating. I really don't care for their burgers. The fries (on the other hand) RULE, as long as their aren't any teeth in them. The classic Egg Mc Muffin, Sausage-egg muffin and/or Hot Cakes beat anything Lotteria or MOS Burger have to offer in the morning.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sounds like this would actually put kids off McDonald's!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

McDonald's to let parents, kids cook burgers at its stores

--Just don't eat the godawful things!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Parents will have chance to spy how nails end up in burgers....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

At least the parents won't have to worry about norovirus. A virus which has plagued more children & schools (in japan) far more than any Mc D's incident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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