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Much more than burger-flipping

McDonald's is boosting its efforts to find full-time staff in Gisborne, says franchise owner Pooja Goel.

Mrs Goel said they had a good number of part-time staff but it was hard to find full-time workers, and they're hoping to change people's mindset towards employment opportunities offered at McDonald's.

“People don't realise we are a business that offers great career development and growth.

“In my opinion, many people feel like Macca's is a young person's first job — and that there's nothing to it other than burger flipping.

“We actually hire people of all ages and levels of work experience. While McDonald's is a massive multinational company, as the local franchisee, we live in the community in which we operate and can offer some great opportunities for local people.”

Mrs Goel said McDonald's had a strengthening relationship with the Gisborne community.

“Whangara Farms was the first farm outside of Europe to be added to McDonald's Flagship Farmers programme, for their world-class sustainable beef farming practices.

“Since 2016 we have offered the McDonald's Gisborne-Wairoa scholarship for students of Maori descent to study at AUT University. This is an extension of the Te Tai Tokerau Scholarship, which has run for nearly 30 years. It was introduced through the work of Kitea Tipuna, who worked at AUT for a number of years and then moved back to his hometown of Wairoa.”

Mrs Goel said McDonald's had a good training pathway.

“People generally join as crew, and through our ongoing training can get their Crew Certificate of Operations. From there they become trainers, and the ladder goes up to shift supervisors, shift manager, department manager and then restaurant manager.

“The last three McDonald's New Zealand managing directors started off as crew, as did a number of head office staff and franchisees.”

Mrs Goel's husband PJ applied to become a franchisee in 2012 and was taken through the training process to learn everything about the way a McDonald's restaurant works — from cleaning to cooking to serving and then to managing.

“He worked his way up from a team member to the restaurant manager with more than a year's rigorous training. He then attended a course over in Australia to become a registered applicant.

“Finally, after getting a green light from the head office, we bought our first restaurant in Auckland in 2015.”

The couple bought the Gisborne McDonald's branch in March 2020.

Mrs Goel said they offered time-flexible employment.

“We are a 24/7 restaurant. We can offer jobs to people even if they have only three hours in a day to work, or want to work only two days a week.

“Parents whose kids are at school, they can only work during school hours and we can work with them to have their schedule arranged to meet the availability.

“You don't need to commit yourself to a 9-5 working day. Also, if people don't have time available during the day, they can choose to work the night shifts.

“With the change to Alert Level 2, we have started our hiring campaign again and are inviting applications.”

• To apply, visit: https://careers.mcdonalds.com/new-zealand/jobs?keywords=gisborne

MCDONALDS FRANCHISEES: McDonald's Gisborne franchise owners Pooja and PJ Goel bought the local branch in March last year, after having owned an Auckland branch since 2015 — three years after PJ first applied to be a franchisee. Mrs Goel says many people don't realise that McDonald's businesses offer a range of jobs and career development opportunities. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell