McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland recently announced that its workforce here has reached 5,000 employees across 90 restaurants, including the Roscrea McDonalds on the Dublin roundabout in the town.
Local employee Shannon Wrenn, from the town centre, told us her experience working for McDonalds dispels many of the myths surrounding working in the fast food sector.
The stereotype of low pay and poor conditions simply does not fit her experiences of working for a company which she says offers many opportunities, is flexible to employee's needs, and a clear career path.
“I've been working here three years now,” Shannon told the Tipperary Star. In that time Shannon has progressed up through the ranks from Crew Member, to Crew Trainer, up to Area Leader, and now she is a Shift Manager. “If you show dedication and a good work ethic, you can progress quickly”, says Shannon. “The first time I was here, I was only working part-time because I was in College. But then when I left College, I was here for a couple of months when I was asked to go for Crew Trainer. After that, I progressed fairly quickly.”
Each step up is matched with a pay rise. McDonalds also offer opportunities to students, and working families, and single parents. Shannon, who comes from the Main Street of Roscrea, studied Law in Waterford, but is now pursuing a career through McDonalds.
Shannon says the company is “really good at giving you the time you need” with generous holiday times, and says the company has a lot of lone parents. “They're so flexible, and will design a schedule that will suit your home life. We have a lot of people who need set hours, and we really do accommodate that as well.”
Shannon, who is nearly 21 years old, said the myth of McDonalds employees 'flipping burgers' is not true. “Everybody underestimates how hard it is to work here sometimes. It can be pressurised and fairly busy, and you need to be on the ball all the time. So this thing of 'you only flip burgers' is so annoying. There's so much more to it.”
Roscrea McDonald's is no longer 24 hours a day - it closes at around 1am each night. Fortunately, Shannon says they have never had to cope with anti-social behaviour in the restaurant.
The menu has also moved up, with a selection of healthy salads and wraps. One of the perks of the jobs is a free McDonalds meal with each 45 min break, over an eight-hour shift. McDonalds employs over 40 people in Roscrea.