Hooray for Today! A Story of ‘Survival’

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By Mike Del Rosario

My Dearest...

Friday, July 18, 2014

AM I an ideal McDonald’s franchisee?

The answer is a matter of opinion and perspective.

Yesterday, I was assigned by McDonald’s Philippines to speak on behalf of brand McDonald's at the SMX during the Franchise Asia 2014 conference.


Due to typhoon Glenda, the conference and plenary session was moved back by one day. So instead of my scheduled July 17 talk, it was moved to the 18th.

Let me share with you excerpts of my speech:

When I was 14 years old, my aunt brought me to Hong Kong on my first trip abroad. Guess where I had my first picture taken abroad? It was in front of a McDonald's. I looked for a McDonald's, and I found one at Cameron St. , near Nathan road. I had heard and read about McDonald's. I was enamored by the brand. I went inside and experienced McDonald's for the first time. The people dining there were happy. The crew and managers were happy serving customers. The business appeared to be on autopilot.

I was awed by the brand and its dedication and commitment to service.

In 1981, I went down to Manila on the first few days of the opening of the first McDonald's in the Philippines, located along Morayta. There I saw Mr. George Yang talking to customers. The people inside the store looked happy, from the staff to the customers. The business seemed to be on autopilot.

In 1985, SM bought the Old Pines Hotel at the top of Session Road. We felt our days as a grocery were numbered. It was no longer a question of "Will we thrive?" it was, "Will we survive?"

We were on the lookout for other business opportunities.

In 1988, Colonel Ramos, a friend of my late brother, Dennis, mentioned that McDonald's was looking for a franchisee in Baguio. I applied, and underwent OJE.

After I was accepted, I started and I complied with the trainings McDonald's required of a franchisee.

I underwent what I call the "bottoms up" training policy. "Bottoms up" because one has to start from the bottom. I went thru each station in the dining area, the service area and the kichen area. I cleaned all the toilets and emptied the grease trap. I underwent the Management Development Program.

It "culminated" at Hamburger University, in Illinois, USA.

My story as a Franchisee began with a need to survive.

The 5Ps that guided in my journey as a McDonald’s franchisee were:

1) Passion. When deciding which business endeavor to go into, we should all consider what we love to do. What will make us wake up eagerly each day, and make us continue working till late at night. And at the end of each day, what will give us a sense of accomplishment. It should be something we are enthusiastic about. Enthusiasm will explode into passion. And passion fires up our souls and lifts up our spirit. Passion makes you willing to pay the price.

2) Persistence. It is about doing something consistently. Being repetitious. It's about forming good habits. It's about doing things over and over. And I keep saying the same things over and over to my team. I persist until the tasks are done excellently. I have acronyms for almost anything at McDonald's, and I consistently use them: "YYC" for "Yes, You Can", "JDI" for "Just Do It", etc.

3) Perseverance. It is overcoming challenges and obstacles. Obstacles are those little things that crop up when you lose sight of your vision or goals. It's about giving your best in spite of challenges. It's about focusing on the goal.

4) People. They are the most important ingredients in any business. They are specially so, when you are in the food service industry, where your people are in constant contact with customers. They need to be trained and you need to have good people practices. As Ray Kroc, our founder once said, “Others can copy our systems, but they cannot copy our perseverance.”
As a franchisee, one also needs to look behind the brand and behind the company. Who are the people who own the company? Who run the company? Are they people of integrity? Do they keep their word? Are they good leaders? Are they fair and consistent? Are they people who have earned your respect and have built trust? Do they value relationships, personal, as well as business relationships?

5) Prayer. Each day, I start off with a prayer. At noon time, I attend holy mass. And I make all that I do, a form of worship. At McDonald's Baguio and Benguet, our motto has been "For God in all we do, be the best we can be."

Do your best. Pray. And let God do the rest.

Luke 18:27 says, "What is impossible for man, is possible with God." Prayers have seen me thru the most difficult and challenging situations at McDonald's.

My Dearest McDonald’s Managers and Staff,

I thank you for your dedication and commitment to our customers and to brand McDonald’s.

We are part of a global company that prides itself in its people and their talents.

We are guided by our common values of being Customer-Driven, displaying “Malasakit”, exhibiting Integrity, Teamwork and Excellence.

We are the faces of McDonald’s wherever we go. While we are privileged to be associated with a prestigious and powerful brand, there is responsibility that goes with it.

At McDonald’s:

We have the passion to fulfill our common vision .
We have the persistence to develop good habits.
We have the perseverance to overcome challenges.
We adhere and comply with processes and systems.
We are led by people who have earned our respect and have built trust.
We have people who follow us.
Thus, we lead by good example.
At McDonald’s, we pray.
We are guided by common values.
We serve better,
because we work together.
And by God’s grace,
We comply.
We survive. We thrive!
Hooray for today! Hooray for everyday!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 19, 2014.


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