Gavin Doran, business manager of McDonald’s McKinstry Road restaurant in Belfast, was awarded the McDonald’s Global Ray Kroc Award in recognition of his passion for excellent customer experience, focus on running an outstanding restaurant and pride in leading a high-performing team.
Gavin was one of 380 winners from across 74 markets recognised in the 2022 award.
Gavin joined McDonald’s in Lurgan in 2007 as a part-time crew member whilst studying for his A-levels and, over the past 15 years, has held several positions within the business, rising to be appointed business manager.
“When it came to leaving school, I knew that university wasn’t for me,” he explained. “I had already worked in McDonald’s in Lurgan for a few months and really loved it, so I applied for a full-time maintenance role in the same restaurant. From there, I had opportunities to undertake professional development and management training and was appointed Shift Running Manager in 2011.”
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Gavin’s management development journey continued, seeing him appointed assistant manager of McDonald’s Boucher Road and then business manager of the Victoria Square, Portadown and Sprucefield restaurants in 2016-2020.
In October 2020 McDonald’s opened its newest restaurant at McKinstry Road in Belfast.
Franchisee John McCollum explained: “Gavin has a remarkable ability to forge strong relationships within neighbouring residents’ and community groups and organisations such as grassroots football clubs – something which would be crucial for a restaurant like McKinstry Road that sits at the very heart of the local community.
“His wealth of experience in operations and leading and developing teams were also important, particularly since we were opening the restaurant in the middle of the global pandemic. He navigated the restaurant’s operations exceptionally well throughout the various Covid-19 restrictions, prioritising customer and Crew safety at all times, developing a new team of managers and successfully training over 70 staff.”
Mr McCollum, a McDonald’s franchisee for over 28 years with seven restaurants in NI, said that Gavin “exemplifies all that is good about McDonald’s”.
“Gavin lives and breathes the values of McDonald’s as a global brand that is dedicated to feeding and fostering local communities,” he continued. “He has quickly established McKinstry Road as a thriving restaurant and, every day, inspires his Crew with his energy, positivity and his passion for nurturing talent. There is no one more deserving of this global recognition.”
Gavin was shocked when he heard he was to receive the Ray Kroc Award in Florida.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he added. “It’s such an incredible honour to be recognised in this way for simply doing a job that I love. It is genuinely a pleasure to go to work every day in a business where I feel valued and respected, and supported in everything I do. I am indebted to John McCollum, my franchisee supervisor Gareth Moore and the wider McDonald’s team for everything they do to encourage me in my career.
“McDonald’s is a fantastic business to work for. It’s a business that puts people and communities at the heart of everything it does, and the opportunities are endless for anyone who is ambitious and willing to work hard.”