On her first day at the Revere McDonaldâ€™s on Squire Road, current Store Manager Rosa Love worked the drive-thru – taking orders and collecting money.
Within on hour, she nearly hung up her Golden Arches and headed for the door.
She told her trainer, store owner Sarah Teck, that she couldnâ€™t do the job.
However, Teck told her to hang in there and that the stress and hustle and bustle would get easier after a few weeks.
And thatâ€™s just what Love did, and now 11 years later, the Revere resident has won the most prestigious national honor that the McDonaldâ€™s corporation offers to its employees.
â€œSara was training me in the back booth (of the drive-thru) on my first day, and I remember telling her I could never do this job,â€ said Love. â€œI got the hang of it though and now she says Iâ€™m the queen of it. Iâ€™m the one doing the training now.â€
Now, Love is also the one winning awards for a job well done.
Just this spring she found out that she was one of 141 nationwide winners of the coveted Ray Kroc Award.
Named after McDonaldâ€™s corporate founder Ray Kroc, the award was established eleven years ago in 1999 to honor hardworking restaurant managers – those who make Ray Krocâ€™s vision of excellence come to life in restaurants and for customers each day. It is an annual performance-based award that recognizes the top performing McDonaldâ€™s restaurant managers in the country.
A handful of store managers nationwide are nominated for the award, and only 1 percent of the managers nationwide take home the award.
That follows a rigorous interview process in Chicago that Love said was intense.
â€œThey really look for everything,â€ said Love, who went through the interviews in January. â€œYou prepare intensely, and you just hope you say it right. My interview went really well.â€
Teck said she was proud of her one-time drive-thru trainee.
â€œRosa being honored with the coveted Ray Kroc Award is a true testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence, building our business and taking care of our customersâ€™ needs each and every day,â€ said Teck. â€œWe are truly proud to have Rosa as part of our McDonaldâ€™s family and commend her on this truly amazing accolade.â€
Love said that she truly enjoys her job, and worked her way up from an entry-level position – going from a crew member to a trainer to an assistant manager and finally to the store manager position.
â€œI advanced very rapidly; I was determined,â€ she said.
She has held the store manager position now for nearly six years, graduating with honors from the McDonaldâ€™s Hamburger University in Chicago, and said she enjoys the challenge every day.
â€œItâ€™s a lot of hard work because you have to get the team motivated to make it all run,â€ she said. â€œPlus, itâ€™s also training, communication, orientation, ordering supplies, promotions and marketing. You have to wear 50 million hats. You have to be a jack of all trades.â€
One of those trades that Love has become adept at is making friends with her customers. For the regulars, sometimes she becomes a counselor, and for the new faces, she makes sure they feel welcomed.
Itâ€™s part of the reason she won the award.
â€œMy staff and customers are like my first family because I spend so much time with them,â€ said Love. â€œMy customers make my day. They come in and want to talk or vent. You feel like a counselor sometimes and thatâ€™s good. You meet so many people every day that you donâ€™t know whatâ€™s going to happen on any given day.â€
Incidentally, Love is getting married today, Wednesday, June 26th, to her fiancÃ©e Juan Ruiz. The couple just recently purchased a home on Larkin Street where they will make their home.
Love has three children – Michael, Victor and James – and two young grandchildren.
She was originally hired at the Squire Road McDonaldâ€™s by Teck and Gaston Royal in 1999.