The local manager of a leading restaurant chain has said she’s “over the moon” after winning a much sought-after industry gong…
Nadia Jean, Business Manager at McDonald’s in Wexford, will be presented with a prestigious Global Ray Kroc Award at a special ceremony in Barcelona, Spain, next April.
Winning the accolade puts Nadia, who’s worked at the same branch for 14 years, in the top 1% of all McDonald’s restaurant managers worldwide.
She was recognised for running an outstanding restaurant, leading a high-performing team and her passion for providing an excellent customer experience.
We caught up with Nadia who highlighted her delight with winning the award.
“One of my goals was to win this award. I just didn’t expect to do it so quickly. I’m over the moon!
“It’s not only a win for me though; nothing could be done without my team. I’m so proud of them,” she said.
Nadia (36) now joins an exclusive list of other Global Ray Kroc Award recipients that includes her French other half, Manuel (38), a Franchisee Supervisor and employee of 20 years.
The couple, who met under McDonald’s famous golden arches, are currently the only husband and wife team to have each won a respected Ray Kroc, named after the company’s legendary founder.
“I watched Manuel being presented with his award; now it’s his turn to see me accepting mine,” she said.
Nadia, who works full time while juggling a busy home life and the couple’s two children Evan (9) and Ivy (2), said her Franchisee was a great support.
“John is one of the best bosses I’ve ever had,” she said. We have a good relationship. He is humble and funny and there’s a lot of trust between us.
“He gives me the freedom to run the restaurant and that has paid off.”
Nadia was one of 398 winners from 70 markets honoured in the 2024 awards whereby McDonald’s recognises individuals who lead by example through their actions and behaviour and achieve superior business results.
Originally from Lithuania, Nadia moved to Ireland 14 years ago, securing a job just five days after arriving.
“I only had €200 and a backpack when I came to Wexford,” she said.
“I come from a poor family. When I came to stay with a friend and find a job in September 2009, it was scary.
“I’d worked in McDonald’s in Lithuania for a year when I was a student and I knew my friend was already working in a new restaurant, that had just opened.
“They were still looking for staff, so I applied and got a job as a Crew Member.”
Nadia quickly progressed through the ranks, fand she’s been in her current role for four years.
John, a McDonald’s Franchisee for two-and-a-half years, with three restaurants in Ireland, said it was easy to see why Nadia had won the award.
“Nadia is a fantastic ambassador for the company as well as a superb role model for her team.
She represents everything that is great about McDonald’s,” he said.
“The Wexford restaurant is thriving thanks to her and she inspires her colleagues with her enthusiasm, positivity and work ethic.
“I can’t think of anyone who deserves global recognition more than Nadia.”
Although the role can be “demanding” and “very challenging”, Nadia said she’d work there “even if I didn’t get paid”.
“They look after their people; it’s a place where you get to be the best you can be,” she said.
“I came to Ireland to escape, but McDonald’s changed my life completely.
“Fourteen years later, I have a job, a husband, a house, a car and I can support my family, all because of my job here.”
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