Recipe for success at McDonald’s

Brett Cross, Host at McDonalds Lakehaven, NSW

Brett Cross, Host at McDonalds Lakehaven, NSW

Working at McDonald’s is a great first job for anyone. And in Lakehaven, NSW, Brett Cross is one such individual getting a shot at the working world.

Brett has had an acquired brain injury since the age of seven, with limited use of one of his arms. Brett believes that the procedures followed by McDonald's are world class, and effective because they cater to staff of all ability.

“Managers are very well trained in working with staff who have a range of barriers. They are happy to give us a go, and the franchise owners are always supportive.

“I’m not good with cash, especially when it’s busy, but they’ve trained me on registers so that I can jump in and help out where required. I like when they give me a go,” explains Brett.

McDonald's employees are encouraged to utilise JobAccess, the Australian Government’s national hub for disability employment information and advice.

A “day in the office” for Brett varies. His role includes ensuring that the restaurant is spick and span at all times, the restrooms are fully stocked and customers are greeted and provided with everything they need.

“I am also responsible for monitoring the self serve queue, so that customers can order as fast as possible.

“This is a great initiative as McDonald’s has actually created jobs for people such as myself who struggle with cash. I am now also training some of the younger staff, as I can interact with all age groups and this is seen as an important skill.” says Brett.

Nine years ago, Ash MacKinnon was hired as a Workplace Support Trainer at Job Centre Australia, specifically to work with people with disability employed by McDonald’s. Ash and Brett have worked together for 5 years, and Ash could not speak more highly of him.

“Brett has really embraced the opportunity. We’ve made some adjustments to technical aspects like mopping and sweeping to make sure he can do it, and in terms of personality he’s just great,” says Ash.

Induction is an important part of hiring anyone, including people with disability. Induction for people with disability is usually the same as with anyone else, but if employers do need advice or reassurance, there is plenty of support available. The Induction and Training module on the JobAccess Employer Toolkit is a great place to get started.

Ash explains that being able to adapt McDonald’s procedures to suit Brett’s needs has made him a valuable team member.

“Having people with unique abilities in the workplace opens doors for all business, while allowing staff with disability to plan better for the future, who really thrive given the chance to learn and train. Whether they’re working the front counter, or in the kitchen, or accepting deliveries out the back - there’s a place and a role for everyone,” explains Ash.

“The Franchise Owners of McDonald’s Lakehaven were nominated recently as runners up in the National Disability Training Awards, which is a really important step for disability employment amongst big brands,” he finishes.

Brett believes that disability employment gives staff members a chance to interact with people they may not normally get the opportunity to.

“My colleagues see me doing jobs that they may have thought I was not capable of doing, and now understand that I can adapt in the workplace. Most of the staff actually get involved with my progress as it’s something different for them to do. I love this, as my role becomes more and more visible and even customers enquire about my job.

“I am lucky that McDonald’s has such well respected and thought out procedures as this makes it easier for me. The equipment helps as well. But they love my uniqueness, which cannot be taught,” says Brett.

Employers who want to see the benefits themselves can access the Employer Toolkit to find out everything they need to know about disability employment, and the great things it does for the workplace.

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