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Behind the scenes at a Woodbury McDonald’s

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It’s no secret that McDonald’s is one of the world’s most popular restaurant chains. 

The secret is what exactly goes on in the kitchen. 

Not anymore, though. 

Jim Duval of Woodbury and his three sons gave a rare look behind the scenes on Aug. 26 when they offered free public tours at the McDonald’s along Commerce Drive in Woodbury. 

“We wanted to give people the opportunity to see the back workings of how a McDonald’s runs,” Jim said. “A lot of people think it’s simple and it’s no big deal, but when you get back here you see how complicated it is.”

“There’s definitely some stereotypes with quick service about the quality of food,” Tom Duval said. “I think there are still some people who think that everything is pre-done, pre-made and we want to let them know that it’s fresh.” 

Jim and sons Tom, Pat and Andy, own 12 McDonald’s restaurants throughout Minnesota, including the two restaurants in Woodbury. 

“It’s always been a people business to me,” Tom said of owning McDonald’s restaurants. “It’s never slow because it’s something new every day.”

The tour last week began with a look at the cash register and how food is entered. 

Next the tour stopped by the McCafe’ and drive-thru stations. 

One unique element of McDonald’s drive-thru is that the restaurant features an automated drink system, so that as soon as a drink is punched in, it starts pouring. 

The next station on the tour is McDonald’s famous French fries.

Other stops on the tour included the walk-in refrigerator, dry-ingredient storage, the grills, the bun toaster, the chicken and fish deep friers and, of course, the assembling stations. 

“Anytime you go through a quick-service restaurant, it almost becomes so automatic that you forget about the people behind the scenes,” Tom said. “We wanted to give people a peek behind the curtain.” 

McDonald’s grocery list

In 2014 Minnesota McDonald’s spent a total of $246.5 million on food purchases. 

Food ordered by McDonald’s in 2014 include: 

  • beef, 36.9 million pounds;
  • cheese, 33.3 million pounds;
  • eggs, 4.8 million dozen;
  • flour, 33.6 million pounds; 
  • milk, 5.7 million gallons; 
  • pork, 22.8 million pounds; 
  • potatoes, 92.3 million pounds; 
  • soybeans, 60 million pounds; 
  • and wheat, 328.3 pounds. 
Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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