McDonald's Makes Online Connection With Local Workers And Communities <b></b>

Oak Brook, IL-McDonald's "McState" project,which involves the creation of employee-recruitment andcommunity-relations Web sites with addresses that include thechain's carefully protected "Mc" preface and a statename, launched in August. The first two such sites, and, had softlaunches on August 18 and formal premieres on August 26 thatfeatured point-of-purchase promotional materials, advertisingsupport and a related online contest.

McDonald's 16-state Midwest division is fully behindMcState, because the concept initially was proposed to the chain byKuehl Operations of Hays, Kansas, a four-unit franchisee that hashad success hiring online through its own Web site.

Between August 18 and September 5, the two new sites experiencedalmost 42,000 unique visitor sessions that generated 121,596 pageviews, McDonald's said. Nearly 8,700 of those people came backa second time to pump up gross log-on numbers to 50,300. Duringthat time, McDonald's representatives reported, store-level jobseekers submitted a total of 324 digital employmentapplications.

"We were blown away by the number of job applicants,"said Steve Tompos, McDonald's Corp.'s senior manager ofcommunications for the Midwest division. Tompos added that thechain has to "follow up with the operator community" toanalyze at what rate online applicants were hired and the length oftheir employment "to give us a better business case [to talkabout] going forward."

McState sites feature "Apply Online" areas andrestaurant locators as well as links to the chain's nationalWeb site,; its Spanish-language site,;its Internet play area for kids,; and the benevolentRonald McDonald House Charities, or

If successful in the Midwest, the McState concept is expected tobe adopted by some or all of the chain's four other U.S.divisions. -Nation's Restaurant News

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