Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, always said that he wanted to hire people with “ketchup in their veins.”
Two Surry County McDonald’s general managers proved that they had more than enough to ensure their long-term success with this iconic restaurant brand for many years to come.
Ashley Foster, general manager at the Atkins Street McDonald’s in Dobson, and Michael Utt, at the North Andy Griffith Parkway location across from Mayberry Mall, have been named 2015 Ray Kroc Award winners.
Both Foster and Utt, who were two out of the 340 restaurant managers recognized worldwide, were surprised with a visit from their Triad area McDonald’s owner/operator, McDonald’s corporate award committee and Ronald McDonald himself.
During this visit, these two prestigious Triad area managers were not only recognized as the top one percent of McDonald’s managers in the world, but were also rewarded with $2,500 each as well as an all-expense-paid trip to the McDonald’s worldwide conference, in Orlando, Florida, in April.
“I am really honored to be recognized as a Ray Kroc Award winner,” said Foster. “This is a dream come true. Although I have worked hard for this opportunity, when I started on the front counter nine years ago, I never even imagined that I would be standing here today as an award-winning manager.”
Local owner/operator of the Dobson restaurant, Bob Miller, said, “Ashley is a true partner in running our business. Her commitment to our crew, customers and our entire community is the foundation for her success.”
Utt, who began his career with McDonald’s 15 years ago, also started at the front counter as a teenager.
“I thought this would just be a part-time job when I started with McDonald’s at the age of 16, but coming to work for my local owner/operator Karen Gainey was the best decision that I ever made and I am honored to receive this award,” said Utt.
There are 91 McDonald’s restaurants in the Triad, including Alamance, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Montgomery, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. The restaurants are owned and operated by 25 local entrepreneurs.