McDon­ald’s fran­chisees win pres­ti­gious hon­our

Edmonton Journal - - FRONT PAGE - DUSTIN COOK dus­cook@post­media.com twit­ter.com/dustin_­cook3

Ed­mon­ton and Sher­wood Park McDon­ald’s fran­chise own­ers were awarded the com­pany ’s high­est hon­our for their phil­an­thropic work and un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to Ed­mon­ton’s Ron­ald McDon­ald House.

Hanif and Kris­ten Ada­tia, own­ers for nine years, re­ceived the Fred L. Turner Golden Arch Award in April — a bian­nual hon­our pre­sented to only 37 fran­chisees world­wide this year.

“It’s a tremen­dous hon­our,” Hanif Ada­tia said of the pres­ti­gious recog­ni­tion. “It’s a life­time achieve­ment type of hon­our ... and we re­ceived it in nine years. That’s where it’s very, very hum­bling for us.”

“It’s just a big wow,” Kris­ten Ada­tia said.

The cou­ple owns 10 McDon­ald’s restau­rants, start­ing with five in Sher­wood Park in 2009 be­fore ex­pand­ing to the east end of Ed­mon­ton in 2015, where they now own five more.

A main rea­son for dou­bling their own­er­ship, Hanif Ada­tia ex­plained, was to help their em­ploy­ees grow and take on other po­si­tions within the busi­ness.

“One of the big­gest things that made our de­ci­sion was that a lot of peo­ple that we hired from the be­gin­ning are still with us and it was a tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity for them to grow,” he said.

The Golden Arch Award is touted as the com­pany’s high­est hon­our, pre­sented to less than one per cent of the com­pany’s fran­chise own­ers of about 37,000 lo­ca­tions. It rec­og­nizes ded­i­ca­tion to guests, em­ploy­ees and com­mu­ni­ties.

“Hanif and Kris­ten are ex­em­plary fran­chisees who con­sis­tently lead by ex­am­ple,” McDon­ald’s Western Canada vice-pres­i­dent Shelly Hunt said in an email. “They care deeply for the peo­ple they em­ploy and the com­mu­ni­ties in which they op­er­ate.”

The Ada­tias work with sev­eral or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the Strath­cona Food Bank, Strath­cona RCMP and Strath­cona fire­fight­ers. In De­cem­ber, dur­ing the county’s Christ­mas drive, they en­sured all Food Bank and Christ­mas Bureau vol­un­teers were fu­elled through­out the day, giv­ing them $10 McDon­ald’s gift cards.

The duo also cre­ated a work ex­pe­ri­ence pro­gram with lo­cal high schools, pro­vid­ing jobs for stu­dents who would also re­ceive course credit.

“Run­ning a busi­ness is not just about mak­ing money,” Hanif Ada­tia said. “It’s also about giv­ing some­thing back, and this is a tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity to give some­thing back to the peo­ple that you in­ter­act with on a daily ba­sis.”

Above all, the cou­ple said their mis­sion was to raise as much money as pos­si­ble for the Ron­ald McDon­ald House in Ed­mon­ton.

McHappy Day, at the be­gin­ning of May, is the ma­jor fundraiser each year for the ini­tia­tive. This year, their restau­rants raised $25,000 for the house through Big Mac sales, as well as other fundrais­ing ideas.

Just for their staff, Kris­ten Ada­tia said they held a raffle to win Sha­nia Twain concert tick­ets. In turn, many em­ploy­ees ran bake sales and other fundrais­ers to in­crease funds for the im­por­tant cause.

“It comes back down to our guests,” Hanif Ada­tia said of the char­ity’s im­por­tance to their fran­chises. “We’ve got­ten the op­por­tu­nity to meet peo­ple who use (Ron­ald McDon­ald House) and it’s very touch­ing and it’s very re­ward­ing to see that a char­ity like that can have that kind of an im­pact.”

SHAUGHN BUTTS

McDon­ald’s fran­chise own­ers Hanif and Kris­ten Ada­tia, own­ers of five fran­chises in Sher­wood Park and an­other five in east Ed­mon­ton, were awarded the com­pany’s Fred L. Turner Golden Arch Award in April for their char­ity work, com­mu­nity out­reach, and the way they treat em­ploy­ees.

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