On a busy Monday morning at Canada's first McDonald's restaurant, manager Rob Lombaert takes to the floor, helping out wherever possible.
Dressed in a black collared shirt and tie, he stands out from the other uniformed employees, but nevertheless, he takes up the same tasks and strikes up conversations with the customers to help the morning rush.
"I wish I was on the floor more, I really do," said Lombaert at his No. 3 and Granville roads restaurant.
"I like to interact with my guests. I actually spend a lot of time in the lobby, walking around. A lot of our customers have been coming here for 20, 30 years, so I like to get to know them, talk to them a little bit. It's probably my favourite part of the job."
The 13-year employee recently received the 2013 Outstanding Manager of the Year National award for his efforts.
The award is one of McDonald's Canada's top honours and is presented to select managers across the country.
Lombaert has been at the current location for two years, but started his career at the popular fastfood chain working the till in Burnaby, while he was in Grade 12.
His interest in numbers and business allowed him to advance through the system, picking up the odd business course along the way.
He's taught numerous training classes and helped train about 715 employees when they were hired on for the Winter Olympics in 2010.
"My thing is you take care of your people and the people will take care of your guests," he said.
"To be honest with you, I'm not that outstanding, it's the people. It's the people I work with, the customers that come in. It's my boss. And to be recognized nationally, it's pretty special."
Some of the reasons he received the award was for his commitment to building sales, focus on customer satisfaction and development and training of staff and the No. 3 Road location makes about $3.5 million a year, according to Lombaert.
He recently moved over to the owner/operator location two years ago, which allowed him to spread his skills and knowledge to more people.
Yvonne Robertson, Richmond News / Rob Lombaert, manager at McDonald's on No. 3 Road, received the 2013 Outstanding Manager of the Year award.;
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