‘McDonald’s gives opportunities to the motivated’


Joyce Asistores, the general manager of the McDonald’s Chalan Lau Lau branch. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

As McDonald’s of Saipan celebrates its 30th anniversary on Saipan, both employees and many members of the community alike assuredly have their share of memories of the golden arches.

Joyce Asistores, the general manager of the McDonald’s Chalan Lau Lau branch, certainly has lots of memories to share. As one of the earliest employees of the Saipan franchise, Asistores began working at the store’s Middle Road branch just a year after its opening on Saipan in 1993. She recalled how the drive-thru was such a wonder at that time as it was one of the newest ways of service in a restaurant.

From then until today, McDonald’s has been consistently moving forward and progressing, from the face-to-face drive-thru orders in the ’90s, to the modernized kiosks and technology in these times. “And right now you can see how everything is modernized, all the technology, and they never stop. Each time there’s something new,” Asistores said.

And the franchise not only focuses on developing their restaurant but also the lives of their workers. “The investment in their employees isn’t a joke.” Asistores explained how her boss deeply invested in her, from travelling to get certified, going to McDonald’s Hamburger University, and even at a time when she was still a foreign visa worker. Even with the amount of paperwork it takes to travel, she said her bosses still did it.

Asistores noted that the investment her employer puts into the workers does translate to the employees having a sense of loyalty. Asistores certainly can attest to that, as she has been working with the company going on 29 years.

Asistores also noted from experience that the quality of training under McDonald’s is some of the best—teaching lessons that can be applied to life and isn’t limited to customers and happy meals. Some of the things she had learned and passes on when training other individuals include people skills, how to approach certain situations, discipline, and proper time management.

“Each day you gain more experience dealing with different personalities, different behaviors, of not just the external customer but also the internal customers, which are your coworkers,” she said. “If you work at McDonald’s you learn the discipline, the work ethic. You’ve got to be on time; that’s important. Looking your best for a customer, ’cause you want to be professional to them. Presentable [and] professional, because your appearance will also give a first impression.”

She said if customers notice how presentable you are, they will also be assured that the food being served is also taken cared of.

Asistores said she has learned so much and is still learning, this time from a leadership perspective. She enjoys learning the everyday challenges and is still learning new ways to work through a situation and have the right mindset. “Really, some people might think McDonald’s is all about…making the food, making the burgers, and everything, but it’s not. …With all the trainings from the very beginning, you will learn a lot.”

Aside from learning these skills, there’s also food knowledge, such as food safety. She noted that McDonald’s likes to keep their facilities clean and has several outside organizations check them, in addition to their own clean checks.

“So I’m very proud that all managers of McDonald’s are all Serve Safe-certified. So they’re really on top of it when it comes to food safety, cleanliness, and everything.”

Asistores said that she would recommend working at McDonald’s. “We encourage them… and show them the importance of being motivated, committed, and dedicated. At McDonald’s you never run out of new things; we learn everyday.” She said each day they may face new struggles, new challenges, and but also new achievements in the end. “So the learning never stops and, when you learn, you keep on improving and getting better.” As a leader she too learns leadership behavior everyday. “…I can attest to all of that because I started as a crew and now I’m already here…and I’m very thankful to my employers, my bosses for all the opportunity they gave to me, giving me the opportunity to lead the restaurant here on Saipan. It’s really something that they gave me their trust.”

“So yes I’d encourage them [to join McDonald’s] because…McDonald’s believes in developing people. It’s not like you come first as a crew and you’ll be forever a crew. No, once they see the potential in you, they will start developing you and a lot of opportunities will open up. So it doesn’t matter if you’ve been here for just three months, if you have the commitment, dedication, and you’re motivated, they will develop you…and you can kind of climb the ladder going up to the management.”

Asistores is the first general manager in Guam and Saipan to win the Ray Kroc award in 2019. The award is given to only 1% of all McDonald’s general managers in the United States.

Chrystal Marino | Correspondents | Correspondents
A correspondent for Saipan Tribune, Chrystal Marino enjoys travelling, writing and meeting new people. When she is not writing, she finds ways to be involved in the community. She currently covers community beats. For any community news stories reach out to her at chrystal_marino@saipantribune.com.
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