An insightful comparative report
about our kids’ experiences being McDonald’s Kiddie Crew and Jollibee Mini Managers
McDonalds Kiddie Crew Workshop
For three summers, our two girls have joined the McDonald’s Kiddie Crew. It’s a 5-day, 2-hour per session activity for kids ages 4-14. They get to learn some of the basic skills of a McDonald’s regular crew, meet new friends, do some arts and crafts, and practice singing for their closing activity. The fee has been P650 since we started, which comes with a cap, apron, shirt, bag, ID with cord, buttons, and of course, daily snacks. They also offer a P500 gift certificate that can be used as a discount on your child’s McDonalds birthday party. There’s supposed to be a grand culminating day that a celebrity graces but they stopped it here in Bacolod since last year. This is already their 25th year.
Jollibee Mini Managers Camp
Then came Jollibee Mini Managers camp. It is their first year in Bacolod, though I understand they have been holding it for three years now in Manila.
So we signed up for both for this summer, first with McDonalds LaSalle Bacolod. For the past two summers, we were with McDonalds Lacson Bacolod because it was nearest our house. However, since it is a strategic branch, many kids enrol there and we thought that the 20+ enrolees are too crowded for us. But this time, we were happy, as there were only 10 students at McDonalds La Salle, so the kids had more room to move around and there was less chances of injury because of the crowd.
When the advertisement for the Jollibee Mini Managers came out, my kumare Pynky and I crossed the street to check out Jollibee La Salle. We thought that maybe, it would be like McDonalds La Salle where there were just a few kids. So we inquired and the following day, we paid the registration. My kumare enrolled her son for the first week while I had my kids registered for the third week because our schedules do not fit. We got the uniforms on the same day and got excited because the kids looks dignified in the blue striped polo shirts and tailored shorts—just like a boss. We were also told that the kids were going to have arts and crafts as well as a chance to serve in the different counters. We thought that it was going to be like McDonalds Kiddie Crew, so great!. We also asked how many students they are going to have and they said 30 is the maximum number for their branch. Though we thought that it was already a big number, we thought well, they have a big function room anyway.
The first week of the Jollibee camp came and my kumare related that there was a total of 57 students because four branches were combined. It’s a ridiculous number because it was like a public school classroom. Another one of my friend’s daughter only attended three sessions because she was bored and felt it was too crowded. The son of my kumare didn’t want to join the activities because he felt that it was too crowded and unruly. Well, we thought maybe things are gonna get better on the third week. I thought that the first week was the guinea pig and you have to give concessions because it’s their first time to do this.
But when our turn came, it was much worse because there were 58 kids in the class! They combined the La Salle, Gatuslao, East, and Mandalagan enrolees. Yes, just like what the crew said, the sessions were orderly. The problem, however, is how they kept order among 58 children. When we got to the venue minutes before the time, the kids were all sitting down glued to the screen. Yes, that’s how they maintained the order—keeping the kids glued to the screen with an animated movie showing.
On the first day, they showed a documentary film about the life and success of Jollibee owner Tony Tan Caktiong. Well, that’s fine with me, at least it’s supposed to be inspiration. And also, it’s understandable that they are proud of their company. But to another mom, she said that it was useless because her kids, ages 8 and 9 years old, didn’t care. They told their Mom that they watched video of the owner of Jollibee named Tony Cojuango. Mwahahaha That was really hilarious! I wondered how my 3-year-old reacted to that, as she never mentioned it. haha So yes, Jollibee, this video is not for kids, so you might want to look into that, too.
For the first 2 days, they only had classroom instruction. It was only on Day 3 that they got to do some work in the restaurant. But since it was big group, they had to do it by batches of 10. There were six batches in all. So the first batch went to work while the rest of the kids stayed inside the function room while…guess what?…watching a movie.
What I also didn’t like about the Mini Managers is that we didn’t have complete freedom in choosing the dates, venue, and time we wanted. As parents, we choose the branch that is nearest our home so that we don’t have to travel far everyday. In this case, those who live far and who are nearer to Gaisano or the East branch or the Mandalagan branch had to converged to the La Salle branch. Also, the advertised dates was May 1-6 for the third week, which I chose because we didn’t have any activity for the week. Eventually, I was informed that out scheduled was moved to May 8-13, which was already in conflict with my second daughter’s summer class. There were three days where she only joined the Mini Managers for an hour and we had to hurry to bring her to school, otherwise, she would be late. Medyo ma hassle.
On the last day, they had an awarding ceremony where they were given a toy, a certificate, and an award. Yep, they have awards, so you can see that they are also trying to level up what McDonalds is doing for a cheaper fee. My eldest got the Most Awesome pin while the second one got Most Creative pin. This is a nice touch. There was also an AVP of what the kids did throughout the week. But guess what, even the opening prayer was through a video. Why do they have to keep using their projector for this? Can’t someone just lead the prayer without video? Anyway, since it was so loud and rowdy already, we just got our food after the ceremony and went home.
McDonalds Kiddie Crew
Duration: 5 days
Inclusive of: Shirt, cap, apron, ID with cord, chef’s hat, bag, journal, certificate, and everyday snacks.
Advantage: More engaging activities and more exposure to work around the store. Every day, they allot time for arts and crafts, singing practice (for closing ceremony), and for giving kids a chance to serve in the store. This year, they also gave kids with special talents the opportunity to perform during the closing ceremony.
Jollibee Mini Managers
Price: P600 if you have Happy Plus Card
Duration: 6 days
Inclusive of: Uniform (top and bottom), art kit, snacks, certificate, nameplate made of sintra board and printout, toy during closing ceremony, and everyday snacks
Advantage: If the uniform still fits your child, the cost of the uniform will be deducted from the camp fee if you will join the following year. They tried to improve on everything that McDonalds is offering, which is good for the kids.
Disadvantage: Too much screen time and very few activities.
Sigrid Says: I am getting the feeling that our experience is unique here and the situation is not the same as in other stores. So I am not generalizing anything. By far, both Jollibee and McDonalds offer the cheapest summer activities for kids. Will we join again next year? We might skip McDonalds next year as we had already been doing this for three years now. As for Jollibee, it depends. We might, as their uniforms can still fit and that means discounted registration fees. I just really hope that Jollibee upper management can look into this and totally eliminate screen time for the whole six days. Or maybe just use it for the AVP on the closing ceremony. We send our kids to summer programs so as to have activities outside the house. Unless of course we enrolled in robotics or programming, then screen time is inevitable. If we wanted them to keep watching videos, we might as well have them stay at home and turn on the TV all day.
All in all, the kids had fun in both events. Our little Shane, however, got bored at Jollibee and it was obvious because everytime somebody goes out to go to the bathroom, she tails behind to come tome. It happened several times during the session every single day.
So how about you? How were your kids experience with Jollibee and McDonalds? What are your thoughts about the video time at Jollibee?
Maria Sigrid D. Lo is a multi-awarded Bacolod lifestyle blogger and social media advocate. It is her desire to make the city known to the world through her online presence. She promotes Bacolod restaurants, food tourism, social media etiquette, breastfeeding, and a greener Bacolod City in her blogs and talks. She loves taking photos, mostly of her children and of food. She is a proud member of the Negrense Blogging Society Inc. (NBSI) or the #NegrosBloggers.