Inspirational leadership, personal accountability, embracing diversity and inclusion - these are just some of the things that you would study in the Hamburger university. No, this isn't located in Hamburg, but is a university founded and run by McDonald's since 1961, the largest fast food restaurant chain globally, in seven countries across the world. Now, a report in Bloomberg suggests that getting a chance to be trained at the Shanghai center of the University may actually be more difficult than going to Harvard.
Hamburger University was set up in realization of the need for development of and investment in human capital. Guided by the motto of learning today, leading tomorrow its primary aim is to train McDonald's employees and enable them to achieve personal and professional standards that would groom them for progress within the Company and the food services industry as a whole. With a primary facility in the 80 acre McDonald's corporate campus in Oak Brook, Illinois, the University has had branches in Sidney, Munich, London, Tokyo and Brazil.
The latest Hamburger University, or HU, was opened in 2010 in the outskirts of Shanghai on one floor of the 28-story building that houses McDonald's China headquarters.
In its first year, HU China trained almost 1000 of the 70,000 employees that McDonald's has in Mainland China. Citing the example of a trainee manager who was among 8 people chosen for further training from a pool of 1000 applicants, Bloomberg says that admissions into a HU Shanghai course is extremely selective with a less than 1% rate of acceptance - which is even lower than Harvard's historical low of 7% reported last year.
McDonald's has 1300 outlets in China and plans to ramp it up to 2,000 by 2013. Overall, it aims to increase its investment in the country by 40% in 2011. Through these years and up to 2014, an estimated 4000 people will be trained at the center in Shanghai to ensure that the pipeline for talent necessitated by the expansion is in place. According to the head of the Center, as quoted in the report, the Shanghai center of HU is different from others in that it also offers senior management training.