Job Description

Company Description:

McDonald's is the largest family restaurant in the world, serving approximately 69 million customers across 36,000 restaurants a day: in more than 100 countries. The UK & Ireland market is one of the most successful entities across the wider business, serving on average 4 million people a day. It has operated in UK since 1974 and the business is growing continuously with more than 1,400 restaurants and over 154,000 employees.

McDonald’s UK & Ireland has a proven track record of investing in the development of its employees and offering flexibility as part of its dedication to being a modern and progressive company. Every year, it invests over £40 million in developing people, giving every one of its employees the opportunity to take part in structured training.

McDonald’s buys ingredients from over 17,500 British and Irish farmers and spends over £1.1billion annually on its food and packaging requirements. McDonald’s is committed to supporting British and Irish farmers to ensure it can continue to source many of its ingredients from the UK and Ireland.

McDonald’s is a market leader in its field, striving for the highest standard of quality, speed and restaurant experience. Re-generation of our restaurant infrastructure, covering digital ordering, re-imaging and dual-point service make working at McDonald’s more exciting than ever!

We are dedicated to using our scale for good: good for people, our industry and the planet. From bold recycling initiatives and sustainable sourcing efforts to our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities, we see every day as a chance to have a genuine impact on our customers, our people and our partners.

We're a people business just as much as we are a restaurant business. We strive to be the most inclusive brand in the world by building diverse teams who create delicious, feel-good moments that are easy for everyone to enjoy. Joining McDonald's means thinking big every day and preparing for a career that can have impact around the world.

Company Vision and Culture

Our Global vision is to build a better McDonald’s and, in the UK, and Ireland we are working hard to be the UK & Irelands best-loved restaurant company.

McDonald’s is defined by its culture. Our culture shapes and informs everything we think and everything we do. Our culture influences the way we interact with each other, and how we interact with customers, franchisees and suppliers. Our culture motivates and inspires us to attract and retain great talent, creating positive, energising, exceptional working environment for us all.

Our values drive our culture and shape our beliefs, our priorities and our actions. They influence the decisions we make, how we treat one another and how we show up as a brand to the world.

Serve: We put our customers and our people first

Inclusion: We open our doors to everyone

Integrity: We do the right thing

Community: We are good neighbours

Family: We get better together

Job Description:

The Opportunity 
Development continues to be one of the most critical strategic pillars for McDonald’s to achieve its ambitious growth targets and market share within the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Business Lead of Acquisitions, Construction and Real Estate Management will be responsible for leading the Development agenda in one of the largest real estate opportunities across the UK & Ireland; we also have ambitions to add 400 restaurants into our estate over the next 4 years, as well as to continue with large reinvestment into our existing estate. This role sits on the market’s Senior Leadership Team and is a key leader contributing to an £8bn business.

The role has accountability to provide hands-on leadership and direction to the regional restaurant development teams and will work closely with Owner/Operators and regional staff. This includes developing and implementing a comprehensive development strategy to meet store-opening objectives and encompassing market and site evaluations, business case developments, financial and demographic analyses, construction and redevelopments, and design for all restaurants.


Strategic Planning/Business Results

  • Participate in long-range planning and development of business cases for the growth of the corporation as it relates to the development, design, and construction of restaurants and ensuring that restaurant development supports the long-term growth strategies and brand building image, aligned with the McDonalds global Accelerating the Arches strategy.  This includes incorporating and aligning regional and corporate strategies.
  • Proactively engage in horizon scanning on real estate assets, maintaining an outward looking perspective.
  • Ensure that construction procedures and standards reflect acceptable project management, construction, estimating, and value engineering principles.
  • Provide leadership to the corporation to produce effective and innovative solutions that optimize/maximize volume capacities and development opportunities while balancing menu variations and restaurant operations and drives collaboration between Restaurant Development and critical partners/key customers.  This also includes proposing areas for continual improvement and incorporating more sustainable building materials to align to McDonald’s sustainability and impact commitments, where possible.
  • Stay abreast of industry trends, innovations, methods, and processes related to development, design, construction, and management and incorporate trends to best address customer needs.
  • Work collaboratively with Global counterparts and represents United Kingdom and Ireland market interests with various Global stakeholders.

Acquisitions, Real Estate Development and Construction Management

  • Direct the Company’s new restaurant opening programme for the UK and Ireland.
  • Lead the continual review and development of McDonald’s UKI’s Real Estate portfolio as it relates to owned real estate, leasing, construction, divestitures, and renovations / relocations.
  • Manage all Real Estate assets including re-acquisitions, value of leases, development projects, condemnations, excess property, etc.
  • Create and manage departmental budget including working with budget and project management tools and keep project teams and third-party vendors accountable to timeline and budgetary commitments.
  • Protect the brand and assets of the portfolio, developing a strategic approach to all renewals and owned real estate and supporting the system for property management issues.
  • Strengthen working relationships with all third-party vendors including leasing firms, general contractors, municipalities, landlords / tenants, etc.
  • Integrate the goals and priorities of the Real Estate and Construction teams to ensure the optimization of the site development processes, construction speed, capacity, and costs.
  • Ensures quality control standards for Real Estate and Construction transactions (cost, time, location, economics, market needs, and deal quality, etc.).
  • Create, manage, and execute the Development Plan to meet portfolio returns with the Development Team.
  • Continually understand and implement McDonalds corporate design guidelines and specifications.
  • Ensure Development Audit protocols are adhered to and updated in line with industry requirements.
  • Work with the Impact team to ensure proactive local government conversations.
  • Ensure legal requirements are adhered to from terms of contracts / head leases / purchases and general contract and supplier agreements.


  • Lead the Development leadership team which includes the Head of Acquisitions, Head of Construction, Head of Estates and oversee a large team of ~70 indirect reports.
  • Own the vision and culture of the Development department that meets the needs of key customers today and into the future and keep the team accountable to achieve corporate growth targets.
  • Set high standards for living the McDonald’s Values, enhancing commitment, communication morale, and team spirit. including strengthening business partnership and communication with franchisees.
  • Play a key leadership role in fostering talent development and succession planning within the Development team and overall organization.
  • Effectively supervise, review, and facilitate individual development plans for the Development department.
  • Manage and adjust to maintain a balanced workload among staff members while still meeting department and regional goals.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in real estate, business, law, management, and/or a comprehensive understanding of the real estate industry and its various property types with a strong emphasis on Commercial Real Estate. Design and Construction Background is a plus.
  • Chartered surveyor, MCRIS.
  • Extensive senior leadership experience in real estate, commercial business development, construction. 

Knowledge & Experience

  • Direct QSR experience an asset, franchise environment preferred.
  • Experience in developing both short-term and long-range real estate strategies.
  • Proficient in financial and demographic site analysis. Ability to work with financial concepts to assess financial feasibility and ensure returns expectations.
  • Experience in new store design and creating outstanding customer experiences.
  • Knowledge of current and changing restaurant trends and ability to revise and communicate strategies to optimize growth opportunities.
  • Dealmaker's sensibility of Development Projects deployment and skills to proactively identify new projects.
  • Excellent project management, organizational and leadership skills. Lead teams of contractors and external consultants, and to effectively solve problems on a variety of issues that may occur during the real estate development process.


  • Superior client service.  Strong ability to collaborate and communicate effectively at all levels, cross functionally and across a system.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead effectively in a complex, multi-functional business environment supporting a variety of initiatives.
  • Works well across an organization and builds high performance teams through ongoing coaching and development. Excellent management and leadership skills who is committed to working within a fast-paced environment.
  • Experience in facilitation, conflict negotiation, team building and group dynamics.
  • Analytically and strategically minded. Skilled ability to be proactive and capable of resolving complex problems expeditiously.
  • Extremely organized and detail oriented.
  • Outstanding communication, public speaking skills and stakeholder management.
Additional Information:

At McDonald’s we are People from all Walks of Life... 

People are at the heart of everything we do, and they make the McDonald’s experience. We embrace diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive culture that means people can be their best authentic self in our restaurants and offices, which helps us to better serve our customers. We have a strong heritage of diversity and representation within our communities, which we are proud of. The diversity of our people, customers, Franchisees and suppliers gives us strength.

We do not tolerate inequality, injustice or discrimination of any kind.  These are hugely important issues and a brand with our reach and relevance means we have a very meaningful role to play.

We also recognise our responsibility as a large employer to continue being active in our communities, helping to develop skills and drive aspirations that will help people to be more aware of the world of work and more successful within it, whether with McDonald’s or elsewhere."


Application Instructions

Please click on the link below to apply for this position. A new window will open and direct you to apply at our corporate careers page. We look forward to hearing from you!

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