‘McDonald’s is both a career and family’


McDonald’s of Saipan general manager for Garapan Ruthzel Perez. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Ruthzel L. Perez, who is the general manager of the Garapan branch of McDonald’s, sincerely believes that she was destined to join the McDonald’s of Saipan family.

Perez and her husband had just relocated to Saipan from Palau in 2009 and she soon joined the McDonald’s of Saipan just about three months later.

“I’ll never forget the person that interviewed me was Mr. Ayuyu”—referring to Jose “Joe” Ayuyu Sr., the owner/operator and president of McDonald’s Guam and Saipan—”at the office located on Middle Road, and I was kind of nervous at the time ‘cause I was still new on the island—like, I’ve only been on island for three months.” She felt more at ease after the interview and was offered the job soon after.

Although she was never a part of the McDonald’s team when she was still in the Philippines and going to college, Perez said it was my dream even then. That was because McDonald’s was known to cater to and help students in need of work whilse studying. She explained that she had never gotten the job there, but when she came here, she thought, “Why not?”

Perez said she started working for the company in 2010 as a crew member, and from there worked her way up. After two years, Perez was awarded perfect attendance and was recognized as the Employee of the Year. Her bosses saw potential in her and began working with her, and she soon progressed up to management.

“Of course they motivate us [and] they also provide us the training we need because at McDonald’s, we always put people first. Who I am today is because of the support of McDonald’s, and our boss’s investment in us to learn,” she said.

One of the most memorable time she had while working in the franchise was when she got the opportunity to go to the McDonald’s Hamburger University in 2021, and their General Managers Summit right after. This would be the prelude to her becoming a general manager herself.

“I’m very grateful thankful to the company, of course, and the Ayuyu organization for trusting my leadership, and investing in me by sending me off island to go to Hamburger University, and to learn the different areas of how to run a great restaurant.” She said the experience was one she would never forget.

Perez also noted that working at McDonald’s has helped her continually develop as an individual and a leader, especially in the area of people skills. “McDonald’s helped me to improve the behavior that I have, because I thought I was OK, but learning all these from the McDonald’s training, all the classes we attended, working with different people in the restaurant, understanding their personality, it helps me kind of improve…,” she said.

She said she has learned to really come out of her shell and be a more open. These times, when having new employees, especially those who are shy, she helps motivate them and encourage them to be open.

Perez said she would fully encourage others to work at McDonald’s, since there are so many great work traits and ethics that are taught and practiced. “It’s not just fastfood. You have a career at McDonald’s. And again it’s really on you, how you will step up. There’s a career at McDonald’s , and at McDonald’s we put people first. We promote a positive work environment, that’s also family-oriented. We are like your second family, we take you as our family when at the restaurant, we give you the best training, we have. …The people that have been here and work here know the experience—there’s no place like McDonald’s.”

“I really salute this organization, especially [McDonald’s of Guam and Saipan vice president and owner/slash operator Marcia Ayuyu],” said Perez. “She’s really on top when it comes to community, she’s really giving back everything to the community…and I’m very happy that McDonald’s is always there for the community, So in the restaurant we always support them. They’re putting people first and also at the same time giving back to the community.”

She believes their staff are also motivated and happy to be a part of the community, and it gives her great pride to be part of it as well.

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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