Recap of the McDonald’s Blogger Breakfast in Wilmington

Last Thursday I was invited to bring my children along for a blogger breakfast at McDonald’s on Concord Pike in Wilmington.  Since visiting McDonald’s is always a treat for my kids, they happily obliged to come along for the event.

My kids and I were immediately impressed with the decor of this particular location.  Upon entering the establishment, there was a large community table with bar height stools and positioned just above it was a cool flat screen TV.  It immediately reminded me of some of the Mom and Pop restaurants I frequented when I lived in South  Philadelphia where everyone sat right down and got lost in conversation with members of the community.  I could easily see groups of kids coming after school and gathering at the table to chat and enjoy a snack or meal or Moms gathering in the morning after school drop off to sip on coffee and tea and chat the morning away.  I really wish we had something like this at our local McDonalds!

While at the event, we had the opportunity to meet and converse with two second and third generation McDonalds owners who were eager to speak to us about McDonalds and to hear our opinions on various topics.  I was amazed to learn about just how hands on these owners are in their businesses.  They not only are an integral part of their own franchises, but they also volunteer their time in many other facets of the business.  In addition, the Dukart family, who own the Wilmington location, were also instrumental in opening the Delaware Ronald McDonald house.  Though extremely busy, both owners were down to earth, extremely personable and showed such energy and enthusiasm for everything they are doing.  They truly care about the customers and customer satisfaction – and it shows – radiates even.

As a Mom and someone who is constantly watching my weight and pushing for healthy food choices, I was thrilled to hear about the many healthier options now a regular part of McDonald’s menu.  We had a chance to sample the limited time Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal.  At just 290 calories per serving, this makes for a hearty meal; and to save approximately 40 calories, you have the option of eliminating the walnuts, which are packaged separately from the oatmeal.  Warm and hearty, containing fresh and sweet local blueberries, it reminded me of delicious banana bread – but heartier.  They also have a fruit and maple option, weighing in again at 290 calories, which has the option to be ordered without the brown sugar for those watching their intake.  Again topped with fresh chopped apples and raisins, this oatmeal got thumbs up from me and my kids.  My son is quite picky so I was happy to see that he enjoyed this variety.  Oatmeal is served daily and available any time of day, making it a convenient meal or snack option.  McDonalds uses fresh fruit in several other menu options such as the fruit and yogurt parfait, fresh fruit in their smoothies from the McCafe and in their Fruit and Walnut Salad.  In addition, all Happy Meals now come with a serving of apples and mini french fries which are much smaller and portion controlled than the old small fries option.  It is nice to know that fast food does not always have to be fat food.  If you check out the menu, there are healthy and delicious options for your choosing.

Nonetheless, traditional menu items remain a favorite by most customers.  Some new items that are appearing in local McDonald’s restaurants include Spicy Chicken McBites served with a cool ranch dip. (We were lucky enough to sample these while visiting and my son declared them his new favorite snack.)  These tiny bites are crispy with a kick of spice and go perfectly with the ranch dip.  Fun for an occasional treat, they are sure to please those of you who enjoy the spicier foods in life.  Also new to the menu – Smores Pies and Rolo McFlurry.  Can you say sinfully delicious?  YUM!

I must say, our visit was as informative for my kids as it was for me.  They chatted all the way home about our behind the counter tour, how great they thought it was that McDonald’s wants to know what Moms and kids think about their foods and they even raved about how much they enjoyed the oatmeal!  I am looking forward to planning a playdate with some friends at our local McDonald’s this summer – where we can chat with the Moms and kids about all of the fun new stuff we learned at our McDonald’s Blogger event.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend a blogger event at McDonald’s in Wilmington with my kids.  We received complimentary food, a gift card and Happy Meal coupons for attending.  All expressed opinions are my own. 

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