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WATCH: Still Lovin’ It After 14 Years

McDonald’s Islip General Manager Finds Opportunity and Empowerment at the Golden Arches

Freeport, NY native Kareem Binns, 28, was only 15 when he walked by his local McDonald’s and noticed a “Now Hiring” sign in the window. A high school student in need of a part-time job, Binns walked in and applied for a crew position. Little did he realize he was taking his first step towards a long and rewarding journey with the Golden Arches that has lasted for over 14 years.

Today, Binns reflects fondly on his time as a crew person and believes the position provided him with the discipline and skills that helped him make the transition from carefree adolescent to mature young adult.

“McDonald’s empowered me and it also empowers the youth because it teaches you how to be responsible,” says Binns.

Binns’ inspiring work ethic is precisely what led to his promotion to General Manager of the McDonald’s in Islip, Long Island when he was just 21. In just six years, he went from cashier duty to overseeing restaurant operations, customer service and a team of 62 crew members.

“Kareem is an outstanding manager and it’s been a privilege to see him grow into the leader he is today,” said Katie Hunt, a McDonald’s franchisee and owner of the Islip restaurant. “He took advantage of all the wonderful opportunities McDonald’s provides its employees and found success.”

Throughout his career, Binns’ hard work and dedication has earned him numerous recognition and accolades. In 2010, he received one of McDonald’s most prestigious honors when he was named a recipient of the Ray Kroc Award. Named after the founder of the Golden Arches, the award recognizes the top-performing employees across the country and is bestowed to only the top 1% of McDonald’s managers. More recently, Binns won the McDonald’s New York Tri-State Outstanding Store Manager Award.

Binns credits a large portion of his success to his longtime supervisor and mentor, Jeff Roth, who taught him the ins and outs of restaurant management.

“Jeff taught me that the best way to run a successful restaurant is to make both the customers and the employees happy,” recalled Binns.

Committed to “paying it forward,” Binns proudly serves as a mentor to his young staff; encouraging them to strive for excellence and reach their fullest potential.

“My advice is, when you start a job at McDonald’s, take it as far as you can,” advise Binns. “There are so many opportunities and positions out there, you never know where it could take you”.

After 14 years with McDonald’s, Binns’ enthusiasm for his job remains as fresh as ever thanks to a dynamic and supportive work environment.

“There’s always something to do, people you could teach and someone willing to learn,” said Binns. “And that’s what I love about the job.”


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  1. pinkoctopus - 3 years ago

    General Manager at 21!! That’s outstanding!! Congrats to Kareem.. what a great story