McDonald’s – Supported Employment
October 9, 2019
(Narration) McDonald’s in Shannon is a high turnover outlet, catering for drive-through as well as walk in customers. Owner Kieran McDermott was initially reluctant to take on someone with a disability. I suppose I’m no different to any other employer with their own business, that you want your business to be the best, you want it to stand out from the crowd and you want to make money. One of the key aspects in terms of delivering quality service and cleanliness to you customer is obviously your recruitment. And we put a lot of time and thought into what type of people that we wanted to employ. I suppose we were open about 4 months when somebody approached me from the Clare supported employment service and asked to meet with me. Now, anybody that’s just opened a business will remember or understand that it can be crazy, especially 4 months open and especially in a McDonald’s. Everybody wants to meet you for sponsorship, for this, for that, so they said they were looking to place somebody with a disability. To be honest with you it was the last thing that I wanted to entertain. (Narration) Despite his misgivings Kieran agreed to meet with an employment facilitator from Clare supported employment service, he asked her to work at McDonald’s for a day, so that she would fully understand the type of working environment she would be placing somebody in. At the end of it we sat down and I was expecting her to say, not really for me, we won’t be placing a person here, but quite to the contrary, she then spend the next hour interviewing me and I was blown away by the level of detail that she went into about our business. I was seeing if her supported employment service was a fit for me, but far more importantly she was making sure that my place of employment was a fit for her candidate. I hadn’t seen it that way before. Helen came to meet with Joe our store manager and myself about a week later and the rest I presume is history, because Helen has been with us for two and a half years, she arrives every Saturday and every Sunday and works on our lobby area. And she’s a dream to be with. As a result of our experience with Helen, we now have Barry, who started with us 8 months ago, Barry is king of the chicken station. Barry works chicken on a Friday, he arrives about 12 every Friday and straightaway there is a new buzz in the kitchen area. What I would say to other employer’s is, maybe try and open your eyes to looking at ability rather than disability. 2 Years on we are now in the top 5 McDonald’s in the country in terms of quality, service and cleanliness. And Barry and Helen have played no small part in delivering that for me and with me.