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McDonald's: Case Study

The iconic global restaurant chain brings the superpower of coaching to managers at all levels

Alex Snelling, Director of Talent at McDonald’s, wearing a dark blue jacket with a white shirt.

Coaching at every level

When one of the world’s biggest employers asks you how to roll out coaching, you start with the strategy. McDonald’s wanted to spread one-on-one coaching to leaders at all levels – from mid-level managers to high-flying execs.

Working backwards from where you want to be

First, we sat down with McDonald’s to work out what kind of leadership culture they were looking to build. From there, we were able to design two coaching programs to fit…

  1. Be the Best helped new mid-level managers get up to speed in their first leadership roles. Partly, this was about equipping them with all the right skills and behaviors – delegation, time-keeping, goal-setting. But our coaches also worked with these managers individually to build their profile and define their own personal leadership ladder.

  2. Committed to Lead was specifically about giving online executive coaching to McDonald’s future C-suite – so they’d be ready to hit the ground running when a promotion came their way. These people already had exceptional technical know-how; our coaches just helped them build a leaders’ mindset to support these skills. 

Once these programs were defined, it was time for the rollout: we ran coaching sessions for managers across the US, UK and Canada.

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"We were able to measure a noticeable shift in our managers thinking about how they work at McDonald’s."

Alex Snelling

McDonald’s Senior Director Talent, International Lead Markets

A ripple effect

The leaders we coached felt the change: they were more confident in their development areas after coaching, rating their personal progress at a 4.7 out of 5 on average. 

The business felt the change: McDonald’s saw these leaders now bringing the company’s culture to life in their day-to-day work. 

And wider teams felt the change: McDonald’s also told us they were seeing better results from departments with a manager who’d been coached.

Results and Impact


More than 320 coaching sessions held across both programs


Participants highly rated their coaches 4.8/5 on average


Programs, making leaders bring the culture to life and get better results with their teams

Alex Snelling

McDonald’s Senior Director of Talent, International Lead Markets

EZRA helped us democratize coaching and spread it to a wider group of people.

“I think the most valuable aspect of having EZRA within the McDonald’s system is the way we can deploy very personal support, very tailored-made support and a very individualized coaching experience at scale through the coaching app. It’s a tool that is unique in that it gives us that coaching finesses and individual fine-tuning at the price of what would normally be spent on a mass-market training program.”

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