Greg Solomon, CEO of McDonald’s South Africa, joined McDonald’s in 1996 as a Project Manager in the construction department. He was appointed Managing Director of McDonald’s South Africa on 1 January 2009 and his leadership has resulted in sales growth, increased guest counts, improved customer service and increased operating income year on year. With Greg at the helm, McDonald’s South Africa has won Deloitte’s Best Company To Work For for three consecutive years. In addition, he was named the Institute of People Management CEO of the Year in 2011, as well as being nominated as a finalist in the Boss of the Year Award 2011.
CEO Greg Solomon, who has worked at the restaurant chain in different positions over the past 20 years, said he had a vision to make McDonald’s a modern and contemporary burger business that could grow in SA, despite competition from an array of brands. “Globally McDonald’s used to reinvent the brand every 20 years. We now want to re-invent ourselves every seven years. The original vision was to roll out many high quality McDonald’s outlets quickly, as we looked to be a brand that could feed the nation. Now, we must be a modern American-style burger business,” he said.
Solomon started his career as a civil engineer and joined McDonald’s in 1996 as a project manager in the firm’s construction department. He was involved in the building of many of the early McDonald’s restaurants across SA. He then worked in operations and was appointed MD of McDonald’s SA in January 2009. Under his leadership, sales have grown, guest counts increased, customer service improved and operating income has risen year on year.
Mcdonald’s prefers to build restaurants on open stands, as this enables it to offer drive-through, which is a significant portion of its business, and it will continue its steady pace of adding 15 to 20 new restaurants a year.
The focus on meeting the changing needs of customers has also boosted the company’s performance, he says, noting that 11.5% of the company’s revenues are derived from breakfast sales, while 5% are from 24-hour sales, and 74% of McDonald’s restaurants in South Africa provide 24-hour service.
The layout of the restaurants can be changed to provide appropriate seating, such as more tables during breakfast, and tables with more seating thereafter, he adds.
The interior design and decor, as well as services, such as WiFi connectivity, are designed to fit the lifestyle choices of our customers.