Training and Developing People


From crew members to managers, McDonald's offers career paths and training to help people progress. Much of our training focuses on the functional operations skills required for on-the-job performance in the restaurant.

In addition, fundamental workplace skills such as time management, teamwork, communications, customer service and work ethic are emphasized. Employees often begin at the crew member level. After completing required training and mastering certain skills, they can obtain many of the qualifications needed to advance to the next level, into restaurant management positions.


Hamburger University - McDonald’s Center of Training Excellence

Like nothing else, McDonald’s Hamburger University (HU) embodies our commitment to training and development. Since first opening in 1961, HU has grown to seven campuses around the world. and provides training for McDonald’s Franchisees, managers and employees. Contrary to its name, HU is about a whole lot more than cooking burgers. Students are trained in restaurant procedures, quality, food safety, service, cleanliness and other restaurant and business management topics. In some areas, students are even eligible to receive college credits for their HU courses.


World-Class Leadership Development

The Leadership Institute provides development to Company leaders. In 2015, nearly 800 people enrolled in programs through the Institute, and 18 director and officer leadership development programs were delivered around the world. Through our Accelerated Development Program, 52 high potential leaders were given 21 days of development spread out over seven months and a global in-market experience. To support the U.S. business transformation, for our U.S. General Managers and QSCVPs, we launched a three day session on Building Business Leadership which included a market quest and a focus on business acumen. In addition, more than 119 leaders participated in a "Leading in Challenging Times" development series and more than 358 in the "Student of the Business" series.


Opening the Door to Education


At McDonald’s, we are committed to helping people further their education and achieve their dreams. To help eligible McDonald's employees and the eligible empmloyees of participating independed franchisees, we created Archways to Opportunity, a comprehensive education strategy with multiple programs that gives people an opportunity to grow and learn– no matter where they are on their journey.


The Archways to Opportunity education framework includes five areas:

  1. Higher Education Partnerships
    Collaborations with higher-education institutions that provide cost-effective learning options.

  2. Accreditation
    McDonald’s management training curriculum translates to university credit recommendations.

  3. Internships
    Hands-on learning opportunities that help students gain job experience in the field they are studying in school.

  4. Scholarships
    Financial support for eligible individuals who are pursuing education.

  5. Life Skills Programs
    Practical skills that lead to career opportunities at McDonald’s, with our Franchisees or beyond.


China Education Partnerships

McDonald’s China began developing partnerships with colleges and universities in 2014.  Students are hired into a 12 month internship program, which includes the following experiences 1) Restaurant training 2) Life skills modules (time management, career planning, communication skills and professional appearance) 3) Brand experience (leadership forum, office and recruiting center visits) and 4) Graduation.  As of July 2016, more than 1,600 students from over 100 vocational colleges and universities across China have participated in the program through both McDonald's-owned and independently licensed restaurants.


Making Progress in the United States

Our hope when we launched Archways to Opportunity in the U.S. in 2015 was that by creating a more tailored program, one designed around the aspirations of not just some of the people working in McDonald's restaurants, but all of them, they would see the value and participate. One year later, we are proud to say that more than 5,000 people have taken the important step to succeed and enrolled in Archways to Opportunity.

In the U.S., Archways to Opportunity provides educational resources to eligible McDonald's employees of participating Franchisees. The program includes:

  • English Under the Arches - A program that teaches crew and managers the English language skills they need to communicate effectively with colleagues and customers, and in their daily life.

  • High School Completion - The nationally-accredited Career Online High School program that is offered to eligible restaurant crew and managers to obtain a high school diploma at no cost.

  • College Access & Completion

    • Tuition Assistance - We provide upfront tuition assistance for college courses at all higher education institutions accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • ACE - McDonald’s management training curriculum carries American Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations which can be transferred to many two- and four-year colleges.
    • College Credit Connection Program - To provide greater choice, McDonald’s has partnered with six colleges that map out credit recommendations into specific courses and offer discounted tuition.
  • Advising Services - to help students identify the best educational and career route, McDonald's offers comprehensive advising services to achieve their goals.

  • Learn more.