McDonalds’ Ten Commandments

I was pointed in the direction of this glowing reference for a McDonald’s employee in one of their Irish stores recently. The story brought to mind something which I read recently about McDs. In his book “Treasure Hunt – Inside the Mind of the New Consumer“, Michael J. Silverstein recalls Jim Cantalupo‘s bid to turn around MacDonald’s fortunes at the start of this century. Canatalupo’s aim was to refocus on the company’s “ten commandments”, which had been drawn up some fifty years earlier. I’ve listed them below because they are as relevant now as they were back; not alone for MacDonalds, but for all companies.

  1. The customer is the most important person in our business
  2. The customer is not dependent on us – we are dependent on him
  3. The customer is not an interruption of our work – he is the purpose of it
  4. The customer does us an honour when he calls – we are not doing him a favour by serving him
  5. The customer is part of our business, not an outsider – he is our guest
  6. The customer is not a cold statistic – he is flesh and blood – a human with feelings like our own
  7. The customer is not someone to argue with or match wits with
  8. The customer is the one who brings us his wants – it is our job to fill them
  9. The customer is deserving of the most courteous and attentive treatment we can give him
  10. The customer has the right to expect an employee to present a neat, clean appearance. The employee should have trim, clean fingernails, be clean shaven and keep his hair cut

Update: Damien Mulley (who pointed me in the direction of the original compliment) has linked to another example of great customer service in McDonalds. Here’s what the customer had to say:

Just wanted to highlight what I thought to be very good customer service after making a complaint.

Went to my local McDs this morning to get myself some breakfast.

Was served by, without doubt, the rudest employee I have ever had to deal with in a restaurant. Made a balls of my order, barked something at me when I pointed out his mistake and I think if he smiled, his face would have cracked.

I started the day in great form – last working day before the holidays and ended up in such bad form that I emailed McDs head office and told them my tale of woe. Was not expecting any reply as it was sent to the generic info@ mail acount.

Within 2 minutes of sending the email, I had a return reply…A phone call from the area supervisor within 5 minutes and a call from the restaurant manager within 10 minutes. All were very apologetic and thanked me for highlighting the problem.

Well done McDonalds…now if only some of the other companies mention in this section of were so quick to respond to us customers…

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6 Responses to “McDonalds’ Ten Commandments”  

  1. 1 Damien Mulley
  2. 2 Evert Bopp

    It’s funny how a company that gets so much flack from the opinionated masses is actually scoring points all over the place.
    See here also:


  3. 3 Ignacio Duelo

    I read yesterday in an Argentine PR e-zine that GW Bush had met the big US companies and had asked them to help the US Government to improve its image abroad. Apparently they agree on some specific points.

    If you understand Spanish, here is the first paragraph of the article:

    “El gobierno de George Bush entendió el mensaje: la mala imagen de Estados Unidos en el exterior es el verdadero gran problema que debe enfrentar la superpotencia desde el fin de la Guerra Fría, ahora agravado por la guerra contra el terrorismo. Por eso la Secretaria de Estado, Condoleeza Rice, y la encargada de la Diplomacia Pública de Estados Unidos, Karen Hughes, una amiga íntima de George Bush, convocaron la semana pasada en Washington a 150 directores de PR corporativos de empresas con filiales en el exterior y jefes de grandes consultoras a la primera cumbre conjunta de la historia del gobierno norteamericano con el sector privado sobre diplomacia pública, esa disciplina del Departamento de Estado para mejorar la imagen de Estados Unidos en el exterior.”

    Anyway, I wonder how much the US image around the world affects MCDonalds image. Those “ten commandents” are wonderful, but sometimes people resist MCDonalds because of its immediate association to US. I am talking from Argentina, where polls show that US does not have a good reputation. However, sometimes people here say something and do a different thing.

    Regards from Buenos Aires,


  4. 4 gerry fitzpatrick

    I am so disappointed with MC Donald’s. I have always believed that it was the greatest fast food restaurant in the world and that they had great time for people with disabilities until my experience today. Ten commandments my eye . When you try to share a bad experience with them they simply tell you their phone is broken they will get someone to call you back and don’t bother it makes you feel you don’t matter.Well my story is I am a social care worker I use MC Donald’s frequently with my clients because of the service they boast about particularly for those among us with disability . Today I had the pleasure (or not) of going into MC Donald’s Navan Co Meath to give a young 19 year old man with Autism a treat.There were 4 or 5 staff standing and talking behind the counter and no body queuing just putting this in to explain the restaurant wasn’t busy. I gave my order to one of the staff after she asked me could she take my order . My Autistic client has dietary needs(gluten intolerance) so I asked her could she make one burger with a gluten free burger I handed her she became a bit aggressive in the way she spoke to me ,and shuffled about I asked her what the attitude was about and she told me she didn’t have an attitude continuing shuffling frowning and articulating every word she spoke to me (I felt most unwelcome) So I asked her would she prefer if I left and went somewhere else to eat she made no reply .I maintained my manners and politeness throughout my experience but told her I would be reporting my experience back to the HSE,Social Services and other colleagues I work with in Social care as we all use MC Donald’s to treat our clients(but this wasn’t a treat it was more like a nightmare).I spent as little time as possible eating my food as I just wanted to get out I was sorry I went there in the first place don’t think I will again though.
    When I got my client home I rang MC Donald’s customer support only to be told their phone was broken and they couldn’t transfer me to customer care but she would get someone to call me back,I waited over an hour but no contact from MC Donald’s so I rang them back they told me the phone was broken again and they couldn’t transfer me, so I asked them if she had a direct number for customer support,she said no and then asked me what was my complaint,I told her. She said she would email them (even though I had rang the customer support number both times) and she would get them to ring me back this afternoon(that was over 3 hours ago.
    So much for MC Donald’s customer support,their ten commandments,their care for people with disabilities and dietary needs. I intend to send a copy of this to MC Donald’s Global Support in America by post as I don’t have their email address maybe they care about the customer ,disabilities,autism ,and dietary needs.

    Gerry Fitzpatrick

  1. 1 Damien Mulley » Blog Archive » An Irish Customer Care Portal?
  2. 2 The (past, present and) future of brands at Piaras Kelly PR - Public Relations in Ireland

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