Top award for Macca boss
Steven James started at the bottom of the McDonald’s chain and in eight years has managed to scoop up an internationally recognised award.
The Tokoroa McDonald’s store manager was packed off to an allexpenses-paid trip to Singapore and came home with the Ray Kroc award.
Named after the corporate cofounder, it is given to the top 1 per cent of restaurant managers in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region each year.
‘‘It was quite an emotional thing really because it’s knowing you’ve not only been recognised nationally but internationally.’’
Though he’s worked in the industry for several years, it was only last year when he signed on to become the manager in the South Waikato town.
To gain the award he stood out in aspects like staff turnaround, marketing, work in the community and profit. ‘‘You have to be one of the best.’’ And he’s certainly proved that. The former Auckland hotel manager started with the fast food giant as one of the crew in Taupo. He decided to leave the hospitality industry and find cheaper living, which turned out to be one of the best life decisions he’s made.
Yet it was hard work and determination that got him to a managerial position. ‘‘ I didn’t really have a day off for two years.’’
The goal was in sight and he wanted to get there as quickly as possible.
Though he also manages a Taupo store, he spends most of his time in Tokoroa. And he’s fallen in love with the little community he hopes to one day live in.
The amount of time spent out and about getting among it is was what helped him succeed, he said.
‘‘One of the things we wanted to do was to spend more time out here.
‘‘There’s things we can do here that work really well.’’
One of the initiatives started at the store was a hamburger night where part of the profits made from the tasty treats went towards community groups.
It kicked off well and has certainly gained support from customers, according to James.
Now with one of the top awards, James looks towards the future of owning his own franchise.
He’s started the long-winded process and hopes to get there in the next few years.
After only a year of running the Tokoroa McDonald’s store, Steven James proudly holds his Ray Kroc award.