Ambition meets opportunity:Our Investment in People

Every year, millions of people come to work at a McDonald’s restaurant to learn valuable work skills for life, continue their education and take steps on a path to their promising future. McDonald’s is committed to helping people reach their potential.



Why it matters

At McDonald’s, people are the face of our brand and critical to our success. Our ambition is to leverage our scale, training and education programs to build a path forward for people that supports their goals no matter where they are in their lives.

For those who choose to build a career with McDonald’s, training, education and leadership development programs can take them to the highest levels in our organization or with our Franchisees. And for those who decide to move on, they will take with them valuable work-readiness skills like teamwork, interpersonal communication and a strong work ethic to help them succeed in their next role.


On this page:

Our approach | Our actions


McDonald’s is evolving how it supports the development of those joining – or rejoining – the workforce to reach their full potential. We’re on a journey, along with our Franchisees, to prepare people for the workplace and develop skills for life, and we can’t wait to show you what’s next.

Our approach


Regardless of where someone starts at McDonald’s, everyone has an opportunity to grow and progress through their career. On-the-job training focuses on building the functional skills needed every day in McDonald’s restaurants. Working in a McDonald’s restaurant also teaches individuals more transferable skills like teamwork, communication, hospitality and work ethic that will enable them to progress beyond their roles. We’re proud that in the U.S., nearly 90% of all Company-owned restaurant positions above entry level were filled by promoting in 2016.

We also understand McDonald’s employees are on their own journey and we can provide tools and opportunities to help them reach their potential. That’s why we invest in education, apprenticeship and advancement opportunities to help employees continue advancing on their path forward.

Hamburger University

McDonald’s Hamburger University embodies our commitment to training and development. Since first opening in 1961, it has grown to seven campuses around the world and provides training for Company-owned restaurant employees, as well as Franchisees and eligible employees from their organizations. Contrary to its name, the university is about a whole lot more than cooking burgers. Over the past few years, thousands of people have learned management and leadership skills that enable them to become the best that they can be, for themselves, their restaurant, and the customers they serve across the globe. In some areas, students are even eligible to receive college credits for their courses.

Archways to Opportunity education program

We believe opportunity starts with education. That’s why we invest in Archways to Opportunity, a comprehensive global education program that offers eligible employees from Company-owned restaurants and participating Franchisee restaurants the opportunity to graduate from college, earn a high school diploma, learn English as a second language, complete an apprenticeship and gain access to advising services. Across the globe, the Company and its Franchisees offer education opportunities to restaurant employees in 25 countries and counting.


“The progress McDonald’s has made with Archways to Opportunity will have a profound impact on the lives of so many of their employees. By providing free high school completion courses, assistance with college tuition, and academic advising, McDonald’s is ensuring its workers have the tools to succeed throughout their careers and that in turn makes our entire economy stronger.”

Warren E. Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

Our actions


Below are examples of how the Archways to Opportunity program comes to life around the globe.



“Creating Your Future” is an Archways to Opportunity program supported by the Ministry of Education in Argentina that provides opportunities for skills development for employees of Arcos Dorados, McDonald’s Franchisee in Latin America. This initiative was implemented with Kuepa – an organization dedicated to providing professional and soft skills training in Latin America – and the Global Fairness Initiative – an international nonprofit organization focused on economic development. Since its launch in September 2016, more than 110 employees have participated in the program, and of those, more than 60 have already graduated. This is a two to three-month program that combines online and classroom education in four main areas: guidance for work; technical skills in either hospitality, customer service or computers; personal finances; and math and Spanish.

United States

In the U.S., Archways to Opportunity is designed to help Company-owned and participating Franchisee restaurant employees at their point of need – whether that’s learning English-language skills, getting a high school diploma or moving on to an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. It also includes academic advising services to help answer the many questions involved in pursuing educational goals. As of December 2017, we have increased access to education for more than 20,400 Company-owned and participating Franchisee restaurant employees, including 6,100 graduates from our English under the Arches program and over 260 graduates from our high school completion program. In addition, we have provided more than $19 million in tuition assistance in less than three years.


Since 2006, more than 80,000 qualifications have been gained by Company-owned restaurant and participating Franchisee restaurant employees across the U.K. business, and more than 18,500 qualified apprentices have come through the year-long training program. Programs like Skills for Life provide employees with free training to receive qualifications in math and English. So far, more than 22,000 employees have gained math and English qualifications, and 169 managers have gained a foundation degree. It’s because of these opportunities and the fun, sociable work environment that McDonald’s is regularly recognized as one of the best companies to work for in the U.K.


Working with people from all nationalities is a big part of McDonald’s culture. In Germany, new employees have access to a tool called McDeutsch, an online language training tool (available by computer or cell phone) for all levels to help employees improve their German language skills. You can choose between different periods when purchasing a license. The tool can be used as an app at any time and from anywhere. This helps integrate new members into their teams and supports them to most effectively run the restaurant and communicate with guests. It also gives them language skills they can use to progress their careers within McDonald’s or elsewhere.


Since 2015, we have awarded scholarships to more than ______ employees of Company-owned restaurants and independent Franchisee restaurants in Russia. Our scholarship program supports the development and education of participating employees, who demonstrate excellence in their studies and work, through financial support toward their university studies. It also enables employees to continue learning soft skills in restaurants and gain work experience while continuing their studies.


Together with our Franchisees, we are thrilled to partner with select colleges and universities in Canada to offer educational opportunities to employees of both Company-owned and participating Franchisee restaurants who are interested in pursuing post-secondary education in business programs. Each participating college or university offers course credit into business diploma or business degree programs for individuals who have completed the required McDonald’s management training courses, saving them valuable time and money. This program establishes a new path for restaurant management to earn academic credit through paid work experience and to broaden their career options.


McDonald’s Australia is a registered training organization (RTO) providing nationally accredited training to its employees in the areas of retail, business, barista skills and food safety. As of 2017, we have had nearly 9,200 employees participate in accredited training and more than 4,300 qualifications issued. McDonald’s has been recognized in several states as finalists in the Australian Training Awards, including the title of Large Employer of the Year 2017 in Western Australia. This recognizes us as one of the top three employers nationally.



Franchisees are the exclusive employer of their employees, and as such are solely responsible for all employment-related matters in their restaurants. The benefits referenced may not be available at all McDonald’s restaurants. The Company and its Franchisees are equal opportunity employers committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce.