Ray Kroc, founder of the McDonald’s system had the idea to create the world’s first corporate university. He was very aware of the importance of establishing a center where he could train all of the new employees in the operational standards of his new business, while also being able to spread the company’s knowledge and culture, strengthening the McDonald’s brand and the restaurant operation.
This enterprise’s absolute success proved Ray Kroc right.
Since its creation, the McDonald’s University has already
expanded to Germany, Japan, England, China, Australia and
Brazil, becoming an international benchmark in professional
training and developing company leaders.
Like its sisters around the world, the Brazilian unit - which
is managed by Arcos Dorados, the company responsible
for McDonald’s in Latin America - offers courses and
training programs to employees, franchisees and
suppliers. As the only unit in Latin America, the university
trains and qualifies people from 20 different countries.
Over 52,000 students have already attended the
classrooms in the Alphaville facilities, located in the city
of Barueri, right outside São Paulo.
A university is a living being, a cultural and intellectual
melting pot. It is crucial that such entities remain under
constant evolution, redesigning its values and features
according to different market demands and trends. And
it is precisely for this reason that the Brazilian branch of
McDonald’s University has changed.
The first change was a dramatic restructuring process
in the university’s curriculum. Based on a global program,
McDonald’s University is now organized into 3 fields of
study: the School of Operational Excellence, Business
School and Leadership School.
The first offers a wide array of contents and tools directed
towards achieving excellence in restaurant-chain operations.
The second is based on business administration activities,
and the latter focuses on behavior.
All of these fundamental courses are strengthened by
partnerships established with renowned educational
institutions throughout the country, such as Fundação
Getúlio Vargas (FGV), Fundação Instituto de Administração
(FIA) and Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Comercial
(SENAC), where employees can additionally take
extension and graduate courses, as well as MBAs,
supported by scholarships or considerable discounts.
McDonaldś University also has a partnership with Harvard
ManageMentor, offering on line professional development
courses and resources for fostering management skills.
Through this new program we will enhance the learner’s
understanding of writing skills, negotiating, meeting
management and time management.
The second change, equally important, involved a complete
renovation of the building and implementing sustainability
measures. In addition to becoming a global reference in
training and leadership development, we aim to establish
a new benchmark in sustainability as well. For such, Arcos
Dorados has spared no expense.
The University was renovated based on LEED
(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
standards, a certification granted by the US Green
Building Council to ventures in compliance with very
rigorous sustainability criteria related to architectural
design and construction project.
Important structural changes to the building’s operation
were made, including in the usage of water and electricity.
The facilities’ offices, bathrooms, and reception areas now
use only heavy metal-free paint. Its toilets are equipped
with separate valves for liquid and solid waste, and faucets
that use up to 55% less water. All areas have included light
sensitive sensors, LED lighting systems, and benefit from
the improved use of natural light. All of the wood used in
furniture production is certified and many construction
and decoration materials are recycled.
The facility is located on a 3,500-square meter area, and
can hold over 300 students simultaneously. The building
is also equipped with an auditorium for 160 people,
classrooms and meeting rooms with interpretation booths,
a Nutrition Center, a room containing an extensive collection
of books, videos, CDs, magazines and training material, and
a living room with wireless internet access. The university
also provides leisure areas, including a sports court,
barbecue grill, and even a gym.
This is the new McDonald’s University. Modern, active,
highly qualified, precisely how Ray Kroc imagined it.
And now a building that will not only home strategic and
technical classes on McDonald’s future, to employees
from all over Latin America, but will also be a concrete
representation of the Company’s leadership into this very
future of innovation and respect for our planet.