Culture Fast Food Restaurants

Popular UK Restaurant Chain Trains Its Baristas In Martial Arts

Photo Courtesy: LEON

You may have heard that popular UK resultant chain Leon is coming to the United States soon. Known as “The Future of Fast Food,” the restaurant follows a unique model where they offer cuisines from around the world at a more affordable price point, but manages to maintain quality ingredients.

Even though Leon is taking strides to cement themselves in the future, we discovered that the restaurant chain draws tutelage from the past as well: Baristas at Leon are schooled in the ancient martial art of Wing Tsun, also referred to as Wing Chun, as a free elective during off hours.

It looks a little something like this.

The idea behind Leon offering their baristas courses in Wing Tsun is to help promote well-being among employees. Leon holds Wing Tsun sessions for restaurant managers and often begins meetings practicing the exercises.

Shīfu Julian Hitch, Leon’s Director of Wellness and Wing Tsun Master explains the core philosophies the Leon team learns during these lessons.

“Wing Tsun is focused on improving the quality of your life,” Hitch says. “It gives both practical tools for physically improving your everyday movements and guidance for personal development. Importantly for us, it is also grounded in well-being, helping us all to achieve physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual harmony.”

He adds that the training also provides a platform for his employees to connect socially.

Everyone at Leon is taught specific breathing techniques to enhance personal calmness and increase their ability to handle stress.

“In the classes and the manuals, we teach how movements such as the Wing Tsun punch help us look after our body and increase the speed and efficiency of how we move,” Hitch says. “In particular this involves the use of low elbow positions for stability and strength, reducing the strain on the shoulders.”

The aspects of Wing Tsun taught to baristas include:

  • Relaxation: the ability to find personal calm despite whatever is going on around us.
  • Flow: the ability to create ‘effortless focus’.
  • Mastery: the ability to constantly improve on everything we do.

Three physical principles Hitch teaches his students are:

  • Posture: the ability to stand upright and minimize the stresses on the body
  • Natural body movements: the ability to move our body in the most natural way
  • Shortest Line: the ability to move in the shortest line between different objects
  • Mini-Max: the ability to always look for the minimum effort for maximum results when moving.
Photo Courtesy of Leon

With those physical foundations instilled, Hitch mentions that productivity has noticeably grown among the baristas.

“In one notable example, we evaluated our baristas in three areas: number of coffee made in six minutes, their heart rate, and the overall quality of the coffee,” Hitch says. “After studying Wing Tsun, Leon baristas were reevaluated, and we found that they had significantly improved in all three areas: They increased their average speed by 30 seconds, thus making more coffee in the six-minute time span.”

The positive results weren’t just noticeble on the professional side, but also the personal.

“Their average heart rate went down by 18 beats per minute (the highest was 40 bpm), and the quality of coffee improved,” Hitch continues. “The baristas felt far more relaxed after the training – feeling it set them up for the week ahead. There was hugely positive feedback from both the managers and the baristas in the personal and professional changes that had happened.”

With this success, Leon plans to apply Wing Tsun to other areas of the restaurant including the kitchen staff.

Fast Food News

How Starbucks’ New Open-Door Policy Affects You As A Customer

It became widely publicized that Starbucks spaces, whether it be a bathroom, dining room or patio,were now open to all, even without making a purchase.

Thoughts of Armageddon surfaced, as the feeling was that it would be open season on baristas, and customers were going to take advantage of the lax new rule, causing havoc in stores.

While it took a few days, Starbucks made it clear to its baristas that they will not be left hanging out to dry, and customers will not have room to act unruly in their spaces.

If you went to Starbucks Tuesday, May 29, trying to get your usual dose of morning coffee, you probably sat at a drive-thru for 3 minutes before realizing they were closed, or forcefully jiggled the front door, wondering why the hell the baristas were all just sitting inside the store, not making you coffee.

That’s because every single one of Starbucks’ 8,000 U.S. locations locked its doors, taking the day to learn about not just racial sensitivity, but how to handle its updated “The Third Place” rules, which state that people no longer have to actually buy anything to hang out in a Starbucks store.

Every employee plopped down inside their home stores, watching culturally-mindful videos through iPads that were mailed to each store from Starbucks corporate.

If you’re wondering why this all-day training even took place, it can be attributed to a recent incident in a Philadelphia store where two black men were arrested for sitting it the Starbucks without buying anything.

Starbucks took a pretty good beating in the media, and felt they needed to do something drastic to address the backlash.

The coffee chain’s precedent-setting response to the incident was closing down for a day to remind every one of its 17,000-plus employees how to be decent human beings.

Maybe just as important in these meetings, was establishing that employees still have the power to dismiss potentially troublesome patrons.

Baristas have to deal with lots of different personalities, to say the least.

Starbucks laid out guidelines to protect its employees, pointing out that customers should still act “legally and ethically, communicating respectfully, being considerate of others, and using the spaces as ended.”

So if you think you can just walk in to Starbucks, charge your phone and tell everyone to go fuck themselves, that last part can still get you kicked out.

The training manual also said, “This is going to require true leadership from our store managers and our district managers,” further showing that employees have the power to defuse potentially difficult situations that come with everyday life at a public venue.


It seemed like Starbucks was aware that this training wasn’t going to put a Band-Aid over all its problems, so it will be hosting a leadership conference for store managers that will cover “ongoing operations, education and development” over the next 12 months.

Although a number of baristas expressed how corny the four-hour training was, at least there is a clearer picture about “The Third Place” rules.

While you can now freely use the bathrooms, hang out in the patio, and get some work done using their WiFi, if you act like an idiot and start being disrespectful, you can still be shown the door.

Fast Food News Now Trending

Starbucks To Close 8,000 Stores For Racial-Bias Training After The Events in Philly

Following the events of last week’s incident at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, Starbucks has announced that they will be closing all of their United States locations on May 29 for racial-bias training.

Last week, two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks because they were waiting for a friend and didn’t order anything. The store, however, was filled with white customers that also hadn’t ordered anything but weren’t arrested.

Philadelphia resident @missdepino posted this video on her Twitter page that quickly went viral:

Starbucks Coffee Company announced today in a statement that it will be closing down more than 8,000 company-owned locations in the US the afternoon of May 29 to hold a racial-bias education workshop designed to prevent discrimination in stores. The training will also be a part of the on-boarding process for new partners, moving forward.

The training is said to address implicit bias, prevent discrimination, promote conscious inclusion, and provide a safe environment for staff and customers.

“The company’s founding values are based on humanity and inclusion,” said executive chairman Howard Schultz. “We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer.

Fast Food Video

KFC’s Virtual Reality Training Experience Is Kind Of Terrifying

To demonstrate how Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Original Recipe fried chicken is made, the fast food chain created a virtual reality training program to give customers a first-hand look.

The Hard Way is a KFC Virtual Reality Training Escape Room. Like real-life escape rooms, this virtual experience leaves fans locked in a KFC training room. As you try to escape, a sinister portrait of Colonel Sanders gives you clues and instructions on how to free yourself.

The experience lasts ten minutes long and covers the five main steps for producing the company’s famous fried chicken. This includes inspecting, rinsing, breading, racking, and pressure frying.

At any rate, it looks like something straight out of the Saw movies, and we’re pretty intrigued. In fact, we kind of wish McDonald’s would do something like this with Ronald.

Check out the creepy, yet awesome, virtual reality trailer:

Hopefully this room isn’t too horrifying. We wouldn’t want to pee in our limited-edition KFC pants.

Celebrity Grub Health Hit-Or-Miss

The World’s Strongest Man Eats Twice As Much As ‘The Rock’ Daily

There’s only one man in the world who can claim to be the strongest, and Brian Shaw is that man. The 2016 World’s Strongest Man was on Super Training Productions and showed what the world’s strongest diet looks like, as he usually chows down on 7 meals a day, totaling over 12,000 calories.

As you can imagine, his diet is different than a normal man’s diet. Hell, it’s leaps and bounds different than The Rock’s diet, and The Rock is a beast in his own right. As has been documented in the past, The Rock’s typical diet will have him consuming about 5,165 calories a day. Shaw literally eats more than twice as much as The Rock.

The 423-pound, 35-year-old, out of Fort Lupton Colorado  has a dietitian who tells him to grub on bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast, and cheesecake before bed. That sounds like a diet we can all get behind, everything he eats in between is a little more health conscious.

While dieters often get specific about what times they eat their meals, Shaw was running behind on this particular day and had to squeeze in all seven meals in 13 hours.

It also seems like Shaw isn’t too worried about being specific about every single calorie, carb or gram of protein, and he just ballpark’s it at times.

If you thought cutting out food for a diet was hard, having to add 10,000 calories of food to the recommended daily intake might be even harder.

Check out the breakdown of Shaw’s day below, as his job is to literally eat all day:

Breakfast: 1st Meal


– Bowl of Cereal- Cinnamon Toast Crunch

– 8 eggs

– Tablespoon of peanut butter

Snack: 2nd Meal


– Protein shake, about 80g of protein

– 2 granola bars

– Tablespoon of peanut butter.

Lunch, 3rd Meal: Spaghetti


– 1 lb Organic, grass-fed beef

– Angel Hair pasta

– Pasta sauce

Snack: 4th Meal


– 80g of protein shake, with 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, cup of blueberries -1tablespoon of peanut butter

Lunch 2.0: 5th Meal


– 1 lb of 93% lean ground turkey

– Uncle Ben’s Jasmine Ready Rice, 8.5 ounces

– 1 bag of Steamfresh brocolli

– Salsa- unmeasured

Dinner, 6th Meal: Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

For dinner, Shaw said he usually eats another pound of beef, potatoes and asparagus, but since he had a big day of training ahead, he changed it up a bit, going with a carb-heavy, pasta meal. Shaw went to an Italian restaurant, and didn’t really go into detail of his meal, but he did say it was a total of about 3,400 calories. From his plates, you can see a huge plate of spaghetti, about four breadsticks, what looks like tortellini, meatballs, and a huge glass of soda.

He doesn’t seem too worried about his macronutrients here, he just knew he had to go heavy on the carbs.

Pre-bed Snack: 7th Meal


– 80g whey protein

– 4 slices of cheesecake

h/t brobible


McDonald’s: Training Employees with Nintendo DS

McDonald’s is now turning toward a more progressive source of training for their fast food employees in Japan. The new program is called “eSmart” and after much development, Nintendo has recently announced that they will be releasing a software for their hand-held DS device, which will be used to train new McDonald’s employees. McDonald’s claims that this will cut training time in half, expediting employee’s into permit positions. This leaves questions open such as will the newly trained employee’s believe that they should cook french fries with the DS stylist (touch pen)? The employees may begin to believe that if the grill breaks you simply take the burner out, blow on it, put it back in and reset the grill? This now creates a whole new market for outsourcing “out-consoling” which in the new world market you will be training to become a police officer on you Xbox 360 account. More pics after the break: (Thx Gio Milan)