Chef Chad Schafer

“Keep it simple, cook happy, and respect everything that goes into the food.”

How did you get started as a chef?
My first paying restaurant job was a grill cook at Applebee’s.

What was your culinary education and experience before coming to McDonald’s?
I graduated top of my class from The Culinary Institute of America. Then I spent 10 years as a corporate Chef for Schreiber, Givaudan Flavors and Fragrances, and Cargill. But I spent the previous 10 in the independent restaurant world learning from the mop to the top.

What is your food philosophy?
Keep it simple, cook happy, and respect everything that goes into the food.

Finish these sentences:
1. I love being a chef because… of the people I get to work with.

2. Being a chef at McDonald’s… is a privilege. We can make a difference in how the globe looks at food and the people that create it.

3. If I wasn’t a chef, I would probably be… still looking for my purpose in life.

What is a day-in-the-life of a chef at McDonald’s?
It’s like the day in the life of a chef in any restaurant only the decisions have a larger impact. At the end of every day, it’s the best day.

McDonald’s is making changes to the menu. What are you most excited about?
The quality and the focus on what our customers want.

What is the most common question you’re asked when people find out you are a chef at McDonald’s?
What happened to my favorite menu item?

What would surprise a lot of people to know about McDonald’s culinary team?
The fact that we have one, and the diversity of thought on the team.

What's your long-term goal for the McDonald's menu?
To always be making the experience better by evolving the menu and improving our food.

What is your favorite McDonald’s menu item?
The one we are creating.

What do you enjoy cooking for your family and friends?
Food that makes them smile silently and nod in agreement.

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