‘I started out serving at my local McDonald’s – now I own 16 of them’

Whether you’re nipping out for breakfast, or devouring a Big Mac after a heavy night out, everyone has a favorite Maccie’s go-to.

But have you ever wondered what it takes to run a McDonald’s?

Dave Shaw, 60, manages 16 McDonald’s restaurants across Greater Manchester and Cheshire – including Bolton’s Astley Bridge branch.


He started his career almost 40 years ago with an entry-level position at his local McDonald’s.

He worked his way up before finally opening his first franchise after 18 years.

Dave Shaw has worked at McDonald’s for 38 years

Dave told the Manchester Evening News : “I was ready for something new and challenging and becoming a franchisee manager seemed like the best place to start.

“I was able to run my own business but still stay close to the brand I know and love, which is the best of both worlds for me.”

The majority of McDonald’s branches across the world are owned by franchisees a model which has been key to its growth since the 1950s.

These people, from all walks of life, make an upfront investment in a restaurant.

An existing branch may come with staff, equipment, and regular customers, but the franchisee is responsible for growing and maintaining the business, and reaps the returns, less fees. New branches are normally brought to the market by more experienced franchisees, who can handle the task of building a restaurant up from scratch.

Once Dave had the capital ready and experience necessary to manage a franchise, he underwent an extensive training programme.

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McDonald’s has launched a new Rewards scheme

He says he was supported with all the means to manage a successful team – including an ‘incredible supply chain’ and ‘all the marketing and branding needed’ to begin the journey.

“You are never alone as a franchisee manager, as you have access to a consultant with over 20 years’ experience within McDonald’s who is on hand to offer support and guidance,” he says.

Not two days are the same for Dave, who describes his job as ‘corporate but also very hands-on.’

His responsibilities include managing staff, operational excellence, financial growth, sales and marketing.

He adds: “We lead from the front and are trained in every aspect of the business.

“So, on a daily basis I’ll manage these functions, as well as visit my branches to provide support to staff.

“We see ourselves as a local business within a global brand, building a relationship with our community.”

A Big Mac, Double Sausage and Egg McMuffin, Large Crispy Chicken Salad, six Chicken McNuggets or McChicken Sandwich can be redeemed with 4,000 points via MyMcDonald’sRewards

Dave says the most rewarding part of running a Maccies is the opportunities he can create for his local community – as well as working with and mentoring ‘great people every day’.

But it isn’t all fun and games – running a 24/7 business comes with its challenges too.

It requires ‘quick decision-making’ but it’s something that also makes Dave excited to go to work.

“I get to work with a great team of people who are full of enthusiasm, which I love, and serve a community that loves the brand as much as I do.”

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Dave’s Astley Bridge branch is one of a number taking part in the MyMcDonald’s Rewards scheme.

It allows McDonald’s fans in selected restaurants to collect points and redeem them against menu items or make a charity donation – simply by ordering their usual meals.

The new rewards scheme is available in 58 restaurants in the north west, with a national roll out in the works later this year.

Customers will earn 100 points for every £1 they spend, with every penny spent equaling 1 point.

Redeem a Vegetable Deluxe, Bacon Mayo Chicken, Cheesy Bacon Flatbread, medium Fries or Double Cheeseburger for 2,500 points

For 1,500 points, customers can redeem a portion of small Fries or a regular McCafé coffee. With 2,500 points, you can bag yourself a double cheeseburger or vegetable deluxe.

And finally, with 4,000 points, choose between menu favorites like 6x Chicken McNuggets or a Big Mac.

See the full list of redeemable items here.

There is also an option to donate the cash equivalent of points to BBC Children in Need. Points are converted to a cash donation, with 1,500 points translating to £1.50, and so on.

Points can be redeemed while ordering online, or in store from the front counter, the kiosk or the drive through, all via the app.

Dave said of the Rewards roll-out: “It is a massive opportunity and people in our local area are very excited about it all.

“The fact that customers can collect points just by ordering their favorites has been a real driving factor and we’ve even seen some new faces come in just to test out the rewards scheme, which is great to see.

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“I think the fact that customers can put their points towards a charity donation to BBC Children in Need is also an added incentive and a great touch.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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