The Olympics and Paralympics may be over, but the successes will be hard to forget. Jez Langhorn, vice-president of people at McDonald's, reflects on a summer of achievements in London.
At the close of the Olympic Games, Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), described the London 2012 Games as "happy and glorious". A few weeks later, Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) chairman, declared London 2012 "the greatest Paralympic Games ever".
What fantastic recognition for our achievements. As a nation, I think we collectively surprised ourselves at quite how successful the Games were and, in particular, at the warmth and sincerity of the welcome the UK gave to the world.
McDonald's: official restaurant of the Games
From a personal perspective, I'm incredibly proud of the role McDonald's played in helping to make London 2012 such a success. For the first time, we were involved in two different ways: as the official restaurant of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and as presenting partner for the London 2012 Games Maker programme.
In this latter role, we used our expertise in customer service and people development and our nationwide presence, to help the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) attract, select and train the diverse workforce that helped ensure the summer was a success. Through a two-year sponsorship, we provided trainers, materials and our own training facilities to help select and train the Games Makers.
It was this dual sponsorship that provided us with opportunities to become more closely involved in the delivery of a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games than ever before.
As official restaurant for London 2012, it was our task to serve food to the streams of spectators at the Olympic Park. During the Games, these restaurants were actually between 10 and 12 times busier than an average McDonald's in the UK and were the busiest in the world. On our busiest day during the Olympic Games, we served more than 55,000 customers in our two customer-facing restaurants alone.
The Olympics and Paralympics really