Our employees are amazing and each employee newsletter we feature a few of them. Enjoy getting a glimpse into our wonderful team!
Most of you reading this probably already know who Jennifer Hartman is, because she has worked at so many different McDonald’s locations over the last 12 years.
If you do know her, you also know that she is a go-getter that started working at McDonald’s when she was 15, when you couldn’t go near the kitchen and your hours were limited. She worked at McDonald’s for years, but decided to take a brief hiatus from McDonald’s.
She quickly realized that McDonald’s was the right t for her, so she talked to Alexis, her General Manager, and she got her job back. Working her way back up the ranks, she made it back on the floor as a first assistant. It was then that she got some news.
“They broke the news that Alexis was going to be a supervisor and Irene was taking over K42 and they were going to move me to Seneca,” Jennifer said. “I spent almost three years there, then went to Ridge.”
While at the Ridge Road McDonald’s, she got more news. Tammy Glaze, the General Manager at Kellogg and Dugan, was leaving and they wanted her to take it over. She was surprised and excited.
“They had been nudging me and pushing me harder to get into the state of mind of a general manager,” Jennifer said. “In my mind, I’m a brand-new GM that is taking over a busy store – it was intimidating. I didn’t think I would be here, I figured they would put someone else in this position, but it worked out differently... it worked out better.”
Three months in, and things are going well.
“It’s intense – every day is a new challenge,” she said. “I love coming in and seeing all my customers and employees, they are really growing on me.”
As a new General Manager, Jennifer knows she still has a lot to learn, but she has found that what she needs to be successful is already inside her, she only needs to use it to her advantage.
“Before I started as the new General Manager, I actually took some time off so I could gather my thoughts and really spent time on me, because it is a big transition going from someone’s backup, to being the one in charge,” she said.
It was the support of those around her that enabled her to make this transition.
“All of the General Managers that I have worked under have always tried to build me up, and for me now, it’s passing my knowledge on to them,” Jennifer said. “That’s kind of where I had to change my thinking.”
Now that Jennifer has found her roots, what’s next?
“I’m seeing everything going up from here,” Jennifer said. “I know that I am going to make mistakes, and I really try hard to not let them get to me personally, but I know it is my responsibility to help gain trust and develop relationships with my team so we can do our jobs — serving our customers — successfully.”
One of our newest General Managers, Victoria Ramirez, is knee-deep in a remodel at our 21st and Ridge McDonald’s. After transferring from K42 a mere two months ago, Victoria was just settling in to her new restaurant when the construction crews rolled in, but she couldn’t be more excited about it.
“I’ve gone through a rebuild, but I’ve never actually worked during construction,” Victoria said. It’s kind of cool to see the process of it. They work so fast! Every guy has his own purpose and we’re working well with them. I can’t wait to see it when it’s all done.”
Victoria isn’t new to McDonald’s though, she followed in her mother’s footsteps and has dedicated 18 years of her career to it. Sixteen years of it was spent at 47th and Broadway, but she decided pursued opportunities after the owner/operator sold two stores to the Lane’s and eliminated her position. Although she misses
her family at 47th street, she is growing to love Lane Enterprises and all that they over.
“There is more that a larger organization can do, so right o the top the benefits are great, the structure is good,” Victoria said.” “It was hard for me to leave, because they were like a family to me, but looking towards my future I knew I had to make the move.”
Beyond the scaffolding and construction, Victoria says she is enjoying her time at Ridge and is looking forward to seeing the store completed.
“I am really excited to open and see all this new stuff — the digital menu boards, the kiosks. I want the business to grow,” Victoria said. “When we open, I want to keep building a relationship with our customers and our community by showing them our new store. I want people to trust that they can come in, be served quickly and have a pleasant experience.”
McDonald’s can take a job and make into a career, and that’s exactly what Victoria has done. She knows it’s not an easy job, but she loves building relationships with her customers and employees, which combined with job satisfaction, is what makes her love McDonald’s.
“Working for McDonald’s is convenient and flexible. There’s not a lot of places you can work at and where your employer understands that you are a person and you have a life,” Victoria said. “In addition to that, I love working with people and being a part of their development by helping nurture and encourage them. I love McDonald’s, and I would like to keep growing with Lane Enterprises.”
In 2015, Justin Wilson was looking to change his life. He never imagined it would be as easy as applying for a job at McDonald’s. Only three months as a crew member at Central and Hillside, Justin was promoted to General Manager for the 53rd Street restaurant.
Justin held a variety of jobs over the years, but never truly found his passion until McDonald’s came along. In fact, McDonald’s is more than just a job for him, it’s a career.
“You could say that McDonald’s and God saved my life,” Justin said. “It provided me with a foundation and kept me busy and motivated.”
Since joining on March 9, 2015, and from talking with him, it won’t be his last. His philosophy on being a good manager is to treat others as they would want to be treated, but the drive to be a great manager is something that comes from inside you.
“You’ve got to see the big picture of why you are doing it and what impact it has,” Justin said. “To be a great manager, you have to be a good listener, a coach, a counselor, have passion, and be decisive but kind.”
While Justin loves his current role at I-135 and Hydraulic, he knows his career won’t stop there.
“I’m happy where I am at, but I will never settle. I want to be more. I would love to be a supervisor and have the kind of impact I’ve had so far on multiple restaurants, Justin said. “One day, I could be a director of operations or even own my own McDonald’s – but within Lane Enterprises of course, because I love being a part of this organization.”
When you work for one of the busiest McDonald’s in the U.S., you might think moving to the Wichita, KS market would be slower paced, but you’d be wrong.
Richard Barela is living proof that working in the heartland is just as challenging as it was serving customers in Barstow, CA, who were driving between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
“I was a shy person, but I had a manager take me under his wing,” Richard said. “It was one of the busiest stores, with 16 registers and 200 employees. It took me 14 years to become a store manager.”
In 1996, Richard received a call from a job recruiter who told him about an owner/operator in Kansas who was looking for a General Manager. Knowing that his wife’s relatives were in Missouri, a closer commute than California, he interviewed and accepted the job on June 10, 1996. Twenty-one years later, Richard has worked at several restaurants within the Lane organization and has been in El Dorado since 2011.
To talk to Richard amongst his colleagues and supervisors, you can still see the shy 16-year-old that started his career at McDonald’s, but you can also see his love for his job and the people around him.
“I love the people I work for and my coworkers. Making friendships, taking care of business and providing quality, accurate service is the key to success,” Barela said. “And El Dorado has that.”
But the passion Barela has for McDonald’s, that starts in his heart. He believes that if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.
“I met Ray Kroc in 1985, and he told my general manager he wanted to talk to me. He said something to me that I’ll never forget. He said I could have a long career in McDonald’s if I stuck to it. To learn from different people and inspiration from them like I have in Robert Lane and Supervisor Sherry Darnell, that will help mold you as a manager and that’s what keeps me going.”
Despite how much we plan, we often don’t know where life will take us. at is certainly true for Robin Moore, who 12 years ago was a stay at home mom of four children. She didn’t realize that her journey would lead her and three of her children, to McDonald’s.
“I needed a part time job after my husband passed away, that’s when it became serious,” Robin said. “That’s what I had to do to raise my kids.”
She started part-time for another owner/ operator in Park City, and joined the Lane’s in 2006. Robin has been a General Manager for two years, and this is her first Outstanding Store Manager award. She says it’s a combination of her great staff, supervisor support, and having the Lane’s as owners that makes her job great and her restaurant successful.
“The Lane’s care about their employees,” Robin said. “They give you just as much as you give them, if not more.”
As for her staff, Robin says “they know I pay attention to the numbers and I want to do well.” Making a store successful means more than an eight-hour day, though.
“Even people who work here don’t understand how demanding it is. It’s not an eight hour, ve day a week job. You’re on call seven days a week,” Robin said. “I’m on the phone o and on from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. I do it because I love it and it’s my passion now.”
Irma Tetro has quietly worked in the kitchen at the 21st and Maize Road McDonald’s for the last four years. Three of her children have also worked there, Mireya, Daniel and (Monica – who currently works at the restaurant.)
Without mentioning it to any of her co-workers, Irma started studying to become a U.S. resident. In May, she passed the 100-question test and participated in the Naturalization ceremony at Century II Convention Center.
“This was something very important to me,” Irma said. “This gives me the right to vote and after living here for so many years as a Permanent Citizen, to now be a U.S. Citizen is a great accomplishment and something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now.”
Irma was especially excited about her co-workers reaction to her news.
“It meant a lot to me that they were so supportive,” Irma said. “I want everyone to know that if I can do it, then they can do it. It wasn’t that hard, even though my English isn’t that great.”
Irma is currently studying to learn English and would like to continue growing and developing her career with the Lane McDonald’s family.
Rose Wenzlick: “Just call me Rose”
Lilia “Rose” Wenzlick has been joking around with customers for more than 26 years. The Hutchinson crew member says customers are her number one priority.
“I really like my customers. They are nice people and we give each other a hard time,” Rose said. “When I take a day off, they tell me later ‘Rose, you can’t take a day off . It’s not McDonald’s without you.’”
Even her 12 grandchildren love McDonald’s, even convincing her to take them back to the restaurant after she has finished working. Rose started at the 11th street McDonald’s in Hutchinson after her three children went to school, and although she is on Main street in South Hutchinson and her kids are grown, she still loves coming to work every day. Rose has filled every position in the store from cashier to drive thru
– except the staff joke that she is too generous with the sauces in the kitchen.
“Rose is a very personable employee. She greets all of our customers with a smile and treats the children as if they were her own grandchildren,” said Charyl Bale, General Manager at the South Hutchinson store. “She interacts with all the crew with a great outlook and is always ready to go out of her way for any employee or guest.”
Rose even goes the extra mile to help employees get to work, or cover their shifts when others call in.
“She is always on time and never calls in,” Charyl said. “She will always be there if I need her for anything and will even stay as long as I need her if someone calls in.”
Named by her grandmother, Lilia (pronounced LILY-A like the flower, with an ‘a’ at the end), too many people mispronounced it so she changed her nametag to her middle name, Rose.
“Just call me Rose,” she says. “If I am ever quiet, customers ask if I’m ok, cause ‘you’re Rose, and it’s not you if you’re being quiet.’”
Amanda McMurtry: McDonald’s Makes Careers
Amanda McMurtry is proof that careers are made at McDonald’s. It was four years ago that she started working for Lane Enterprises. Originally working at Harry and Webb and then Kellogg and Greenwich for another owner, Amanda started her time with the Lanes at the Harry and Rock store in 2013.
“The Lanes are by far the best owners I have worked for,” McMurty said. “They don’t just throw you in, they actually train you. If you have the ambition, then they will get you through.”
Amanda, an Assistant Manager, started taking classes through Hamburger University in February and plans on completing her classwork and getting ready to attend HU in the spring. ese classes will help her prepare for a General Manager position in the future, although she already has great people skills.
“I’m a hands-on manager,” Amanda said. “I can’t watch someone struggle. I have to step in because it’s the customer that takes the hit.”
Like most managers, Amanda knows her customers by name and what they order. For Amanda, it’s the group of older men that talk about the weather and drink three pots of coffee that she considers friends. She also considers her coworkers her friends.
“I like the community here. We are a tight group of people at this store. We try and help each other out,” Amanda noted. “I love everyone who works here.”
Supervisors and General Managers play a vital role in the development of their employees and that is true for Amanda, who was motivated to move up in her career. One particular employee is Training Manager Ashley Hagan, who helped Amanda advance her career.
“I know Amanda has what it takes to be a General Manager, and I wanted to encourage her to take that leap,” Hagan said. “When your employees are successful, the entire organization is successful, and that makes everyone enjoy their jobs more and provides them with a sense of security.”
Amanda agrees, and attributes the comradery to the Lanes and their commitment to helping individuals nd the career path that’s right for them.
“McDonald’s makes careers. You can move up with the Lane organization. You’re not just stuck,” she said. “Six months ago I never would have thought I would be here, but because of Ashley and the Lanes’ it’s happening. ey are behind you. If you want it and you have the motivation, you can do it.”