WITH more than 15 years of memories, the licensee of McDonalds in Airlie Beach, Cannonvale and Bowen, Mike Muller found it tough to pick just a few highlights of his journey with the franchise.
“The opening day of each store probably stands out the most for me - Airlie Beach in 1998, 11 years later in Bowen in 2009 and Cannonvale 12 and a half months later in 2010,” he said.
“Opening days are an enormous challenge and the challenge it brings to myself and the team is a great test. If all the preparation is done correctly then opening the doors is a smooth operation.”
Technology is another area that sticks out for him and he said the store had come a long way from selling five types of burgers to today offering a massive range of products, including McCafe. They also use technology to benchmark and measure the service of every single customer.
Mr Muller was heavily involved with overseeing every aspect of all three stores openings from finding an appropriate site, organising the building of the restuarant and hiring and training staff.
“At one stage my wife Jane and I had to work as bus drivers, driving our staff to stores right across Queensland so they could be trained properly and be ready for opening day,” he recalled with a laugh.
Hundreds of Whitsunday residents have found employment at McDonald’s over the past 15 years and Mr Muller said he was thrilled at being able to provide jobs to people from all walks of life.
“The best part of the last 15 years as a franchisee is employing young people and seeing them transform from a shy 16year-old to a senior manager who is a major part of our organisation,” he said.
“That’s the biggest reward for me. Seeing people grow and thrive in our organisation.”
FIRST THROUGH THE DOOR: The Camm family Lawson, James and Sophie (back) and Mitchell, Charlie and Liam (front) from Mt Julian with owner Jane Muller (right), were among the first customers at Cannonvale McDonald’s.
15 YEARS: Local McDonald's franchisee Mike Muller and Ronald McDonald hold Mr Muller's trophy for 15 years as a franchisee.