Many of us don’t need an excuse to indulge in a burger every now and then, but if you’re looking for one, the time has come: Tuesday 28th of May is International Burger Day. Fire up the barbecue, toast those buns, and prepare your toppings. We had a chat with one of our agents who is a bit of an expert on this topic.




We all know that hamburgers are now a popular food across the entire world, but if asked where they originally come from, most people would probably give you one answer: America. Food historians have been tracing burgers back through the ages, and some of the earliest mentions of similar recipes date as far back as the ancient Romans and the armies of Genghis Khan. Fast forward to the early 1900s, and meat patties between bread or buns are now becoming widely popular in the US, with early fast food chains starting to put their signature on this yummy food. Then comes a pivotal moment in the history of the hamburger (and fast food in general), in 1940, the first McDonald’s restaurant is opened.

The rest, as they say, is history.

As the world’s largest fast food restaurant chain, McDonald’s has a lot of customers (roughly 69 million daily) and many of those customers choose to get in touch to ask questions, share feedback, or simply engage with each other. In 2016, McDonald’s Netherlands was looking for a partner to help them with the communication with their customers. Someone that could operate all year round, with generous opening hours to match those of the restaurants. Enter RIFF! Following a successful partnership of 7 years, McDonald’s Belgium also began working with RIFF, and now our team offers support 365 days a year, on social channels like Facebook and Instagram, but also via email.

To celebrate this partnership on International Burger Day, let’s take a moment to get to know one of our McDonald’s team engagement specialists, and hear some insights into what it’s like behind the scenes.


Hi! How long have you worked for the McDonald’s team?
Hi, my name is Merel, and I been working at team McDonald’s for almost two years already!


What’s your favourite thing about working with McDonald’s?
I work closely with McDonald’s and enjoy having two companies I work for. It allows me to get to know more and more people, and my work becomes more varied as I take on more. We also have an incredibly fun team.


What sort of questions do McDonald’s customers usually contact the team with?
The questions really go in all directions, whether a guest’s happy four-legged friend is welcome in the restaurant, or why the McFlurry’s are not fuller. We have a whole army of amazing McFans, but not everyone is an all-time fan, we don’t understand that…


Your team is famous throughout RIFF for the fun engagements and witty responses you all come up with. Where do you find the inspiration for those kinds of fun replies? Or are you all just natural comedians?
We are indeed comedians, but as a team. We take time to brainstorm about the cases we can respond to creatively. There are days that you don’t feel that creative, but if we brainstorm about it with each other, we always come up with suitable responses. In the end, fun ideas always roll out and we can laugh about them together.


Besides the fun interactions, have you worked on any particularly difficult cases? How do you make sure that you handle those professionally?
Many questions are things that we receive every day, but we do indeed get cases that are a bit trickier from time to time. There are also cases we cannot solve by ourselves, but we work closely with McDonald’s and ask them for help. These can be serious complaints, such as someone getting hurt in a restaurant, but also simpler things like an app that doesn’t work.


Have there been any instances in which the team has received feedback from customers, been able to relay that back to McDonald’s, and then seen the feedback put into action?
I think the best example is littering. Unfortunately, guests often throw their waste on the streets, and we do receive complaints about this. We then send the complaint to the restaurant, and you notice that they try their best to do something about it. McDonald’s already has a policy to combat littering, but sometimes they go the extra mile.


What top tips would you give to somebody who’s just starting out at RIFF as an engagement specialist?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You will learn the fastest if you just ask. Often, your team just enjoys helping. Besides, you deal with quite a bit of negativity, so it’s nice to have a good relationship with your team. That way you can discuss everything and hopefully laugh about it in the end.


What’s your favourite McDonald’s menu item?
For me, it’s simple because I have a gluten allergy, I always eat a Quarter Pounder menu. What is important though is both Dutch Frites sauce and Barbecue sauce with it. I like that combination best. I get hungry just writing about it!


In honour of International Burger Day (and the beginning of BBQ season), what’s your go-to burger topping? Do you keep it simple, or are you a ‘more is more’ kind of person?
I am definitely a more is more person, with everything in life. My motto is: never enjoy in moderation! (In Dutch, it sounds better: Geniet nooit met mate!) As I just said, I have less choice, but I make it fun with extra Barbecue sauce to dip my burger in!