Growing a Service Culture

Christina Ong
McDonald’s® Restaurant General Manager

Service is hard work but it can be just as rewarding. There are those like McDonald’s® Restaurant General Manager, Christina Ong, who is truly passionate about her role and works tirelessly with her team to serve customers at the Resorts World Sentosa outlet, which she currently manages.

After graduating with exceptional results, she followed her heart and chose to pursue a career in McDonald’s, proving that passion is the secret to a successful career in the service industry. In 2012, Christina received the Super Star Award at the Excellent Service Award (EXSA) organised by the Restaurant Association of Singapore.

Determined to uphold the distinctive service qualities and community spirit that sets McDonald’s apart, Christina shares her thoughts on what good service means to her and what it takes to develop a strong service culture within her team.

Q. What would you define as good service?

To me, service is a genuine gesture of assistance that comes from the heart and it is something that cannot be forced.

At McDonald’s and at our restaurant in particular, good service means engaging with each customer or even knowing their names if they are regulars. In fact, any restaurant that has a positive service culture would naturally attract repeat customers, who become a part of our community.

For me, it is really important to see every customer walk out of the restaurant with a smile on his or her face because that is the result of good service and a good dining experience.

Q. Why is service important? Isn’t it enough to serve good food that satisfies your customers?

When it comes to offering customers a great dining experience, food as well as service are equally important.

As a customer myself, I would not be satisfied if the service at a restaurant was not up to standard, even if the food tasted good. I would, however, revisit a restaurant with great service and would want to recognise their effort in person.

Q. How do you encourage and grow a strong service culture among your team?

It is important to lead by example and serve as a positive influence to my team through my own behaviour. Through consistent efforts and open communication among the team, my goal is to create an environment with a strong service culture and one in which staff encourage and inspire one another to deliver great service every day.

On a broader level, McDonald’s also offers opportunities for professional development through service classes and videos. The Service Champion pledge is both a reminder and a source of motivation for us to keep striving to serve our customers better. Going one step further, employees are also recognised for their efforts through service compliments and applications for external awards like EXSA.

Q. Do you have any memorable service-related experience to share?

There was a customer who had left her retainer on the tray wrap with a paper napkin, which was accidentally thrown into the bin. I had previously worn a retainer myself, so I knew how important it was to the customer. We then proceeded to search the bin centre for the lost item and eventually managed to find it after an hour of searching.

Being able to help her successfully gave us a great deal of satisfaction and incidents like these keep us motivated to continue going the extra mile for each and every one of our customers.

Read on to learn more about the McDonald’s Experience and more stories from our growing McFamily!