General Manager Stephanie Bellew, 25, joined McDonald’s in 2005 and is a recipient of the 2014 Ray Kroc Award
In the summer of 2005, Stephanie Bellew’s mom suggested that the 15-year-old high school student find a part-time job as a way to start “learning about the real world.” Following her interview for a crew position at a McDonald’s franchise restaurant, Bellew realized she did not have the money to purchase the mandatory black, non-slip shoes. Empathizing with Bellew’s situation and recognizing her potential, the hiring manager purchased the shoes for her. Today, more than a decade later, Bellew credits that simple act of kindness for shaping her career path.
“If it wasn’t for that manager, maybe I wouldn’t be here today,” recalls Bellew, now 25 and General Manager at the Patchogue McDonald’s, which is owned and operated by franchisee Josh Kaufman. “It empowered me because they took a chance on a 15-year-old kid. My eyes were opened to the caliber of professionalism that the company employs—it’s unlike any other.”
For Bellew, what started as a summer job quickly became the first step towards an award-winning career with the Golden Arches. In her current position, she oversees a team of 60 crew members and serves over 1,200 customers a day. Recently, she was named a recipient of the 2014 Ray Kroc Award, a prestigious honor that recognizes the top 1% of McDonald’s restaurant managers across the United States. Named after McDonald’s legendary founder, the award celebrates employees who achieve success in operational excellence, management leadership and customer satisfaction.
“To accomplish so much at such a young age is just incredible,” says Kaufman. “Stephanie’s story is a terrific example of the lengths we go to identify talent and prepare them for a successful career with our organization. When our people succeed, so does our restaurant.”
Bellew cites her passion for all things McDonald’s and the great rapport she has with her team as the reasons why she continues lovin’ her McJob. “They tell me I have ketchup in my veins,” laughs Bellew. “I always say that in this business, you have to love what you do. It’s a company that I’ve dedicated myself to, but one that has also dedicated itself to me.”