Robert Cataraso was 16 years old when he noticed a “Now Hiring” sign while driving by his local McDonald’s with his father. He walked in the restaurant, owned and operated by Sandy Chapman, and was given an interview on the spot. However soon after Cataraso was hired, his father passed away.
In the 20 years since, Cataraso has turned his first job into a lifelong career and gained a second family through the Golden Arches. He met his wife at the restaurant and also relied on Chapman as a father figure, mentor and friend.
“Sandy has always had my back and believed in me, which I’m incredibly grateful for,” said Cataraso. “My place at McDonald’s has taught me teamwork – how to work with people, through people and build a team. It has taught me many things even within raising my own family.”
Cataraso, now 36 years old, is a supervisor overseeing three restaurants in Union and Woodbridge, New Jersey. Cataraso was also recently named a recipient of the 2016 Ray Kroc Award, a prestigious honor that recognizes the top 1% of restaurant managers at independently-owned and operates franchisee restaurants and McDonald’s corporately-owned restaurants around the world.
“It’s been a pleasure to watch Rob grow and develop as a person and leader through the years,” said Chapman, who owns several McDonald’s restaurants throughout New Jersey. “He sets a great example for his team and we couldn’t be happier for him to be recognized for his achievements.”
When asked why he has chosen to stay with the company for so many years, Cataraso shared the following, “There is an unlimited amount of opportunities for you to grow and to be a part of a team destined for success. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”