How One McDonald's Franchisee Is Investing In The Future of Our Planet

December 02, 2021

Located less than 2 miles east of Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre – where world leaders gathered for COP26 last month – there’s a McDonald’s that’s making its own strides in sustainability. Andy Gibson, the Franchisee behind the restaurant, has invested in remodeling the restaurant with sleek and sustainable design touches, including art crafted from recycled cups and ceiling tiles that can be returned to the manufacturer at end-of-life to be reimagined into a new product.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski recently stopped by the McDonald’s on Sauchiehall Street to meet with Andy, see the impressive space and hear about the investment he’s made in creating a more sustainable future. Listen in on their conversation below to find out how Andy is blazing a new trail. 

Chris: It’s great to be here, Andy. Thank you for having me. To start, I'd love to hear about your journey as a Franchisee and your organization. How did you get into McDonald's?

Andy: I'm into my 40th year, so that was some time ago. I graduated from the University of Glasgow, and my first job was at a McDonald’s in London. That’s where I learned all the basics, including how to cook Big Macs and how to serve customers. I did 12 years in London before I was asked to return to Scotland and lead the development of the Scottish, Northern Ireland McDonald’s market. And then in 2002, I had the opportunity to become a Franchisee, which has been great. I started with three restaurants in the east end of Glasgow, where I grew up, and now I've got 26.

Chris: That's awesome. Looking around the restaurant, this is a newly remodeled space. Tell me about how all of this came about.

Andy: I think sustainability is the next step on our journey – it’s the right thing to invest in at this time. We believe we all need to help protect the planet for future generations. It's amazing that we’ve got recycled materials in the walls and recycled materials in the seats. I’m very pleased with it, and I think it looks great. 

Chris: It looks fantastic. With your 26 restaurants, how do you think about your investment – what is the right pace? And how do you understand customer feedback?

Andy: Over the past 15 years, we’ve made really big investments in our restaurants. It’s not just in the physical restaurants – it’s also in our people – and that’s really enhanced the customer experience and driven business. There's no doubt that investing is the right thing to do and that sustainability is the next step in that. We’ve grown the business significantly over the past few years, and part of what we need to do is make it more convenient to serve the different channels. We now operate with home delivery, dine-in customers and with our drive-thru.

Chris: How does the crew respond when they hear about the investments and sustainability and all the kind of cool new features here?

Andy: I think they love it. They love the new look – there’s no doubt about it. They love the attention that it gets and all of these visits from yourself and others. In particular, a lot of young people resonate with the sustainability and recycling elements. That interest is only going to increase.

Chris: When you reflect on your time at McDonald’s, what are you most proud of? 

Andy: It’s been a big journey. I think the most satisfying part of it is working with and growing my team. When I was in London, I remember thinking that there was great potential in the business. I still think there’s great potential now. It’s been exciting, and there’s more to come. 

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