Michelle Gremsperger has been serving McDonald’s customers for 22 years in Richmond, her hometown, and this year she was recognized for her efforts with the Ray Kroc Award, given for operational excellence.
Gremsperger manages the oldest McDonald’s in Canada – at No. 3 Road off Granville Avenue – and the award she received only goes to one per cent of managers.
Gremsperger said she was “in shock” when she found out she won the award for her work as a restaurant manager, something she thoroughly enjoys doing.
“I love working here – it’s different every day,” Gremsperger said, adding it’s her “second home.”
After graduating from Richmond Secondary, Gremsperger started working at McDonald’s on No. 3 Road and then at the one located at Ironwood – serving as its manager as well.
She started at the front counter and worked her way up the ladder. She has been the manager at the No. 3 Road location since 2016.
Gremsperger’s 17-year-old daughter has worked with her at the No. 3 Road McDonald’s for the past three years as well.
McDonald’s reopened for in-house dining in June after only doing drive-through and delivery service during the first couple months of the pandemic. Some tables are taped off to ensure physical distancing and customers have to enter one door and exit through another to keep the flow moving and people from getting too close to one another.
During the pandemic, delivery orders have risen about 75 per cent and now they account for up to 20 per cent of daily purchases, Gremsperger said.
“McDonald’s is used to challenges and obstacles and things thrown our way,” said Gremsperger, so they were able to figure out how to manage during the pandemic.
A lot of that meant having good communication with staff and customers, she added.
Joe Guzzo, who owns the No. 3 Road McDonald’s franchise along with several others, said Gremsperger’s success comes from creating a fun work environment for the staff.
“Michelle has really stepped up to ensure all safety measures are adhered to during COVID-19, and I am personally very proud of her for this well-deserved award,” he added.
The Ray Kroc Awards are given out every two years to McDonald’s restaurant managers.