Burger-flipper to international traveller
When Jeffery Bennett started at McDonald’s, he didn’t expect to be eating squid-ink buns in Hong Kong someday.
But, even as a teenager, he knew he wanted to climb to the top.
Restaurant manager was the burger-flipper’s goal.
‘‘I wanted to be the boss,’’ Bennett said.
‘‘I was determined to get there, and there wasn’t any opportunity to move up the ladder back then.’’
In the 1990s though, the fastfood restaurant didn’t have a clear succession plan for staff, so Bennet quit and, joined Taupo’s Georgie Pie.
Two years later, Bennett became the manager of Burger King in Turangi.
In 2010, 15 years later, Bennett returned to McDonald’s Taupo, this time as the restaurant manager, with 100 staff to lead and motivate.
Taupo is home to the busiest and highest-grossing McDonald’s in New Zealand over the summer months.
Bennett said stressmanagement was a key skill in the role.
‘‘You need to be able to deal with a lot of pressure, not only the franchisees but the McDonald’s community as well,’’ he said.
‘‘If you can take those pressures and deal with them well, you can go as far as you want.’’
Bennett’s success in the role has seen him travel to conventions in Florida, Australia and most recently, to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong McDonald’s are a little different, he said.
‘‘They’ve got a squid-ink bun, which is delicious.
‘‘They’ve stopped selling the Quarter-Pounder over there because there’s no demand for it. But they haven’t told the USA headquarters yet, I don’t think.’’
‘‘They do home-delivery... if you live within an 8-minute radius.’’
While home-delivery was a long way off, table-delivery is set to start at McDonald’s Taupo in June, Bennett said.
‘‘When the customer uses the kiosk to order, the food will get delivered straight to their table.’’
Twenty-three years after making his first Big Mac, Bennett won the 2016 national McDonald’s Restaurant Manager of the Year award.
‘‘When I’m doing interviews, I let potential employees know who far they can go. If they express interest, we will definitely help them get there.’’