NEW PALESTINE — Showing that hard work does pay off, New Palestine McDonald’s manager Rebecca Burrin was awarded the Ray Kroc Award during a special presentation earlier this month at the local restaurant.
Representatives from McDonald’s made a trip to the New Palestine fast food establishment Jan. 4 when Burrin was hard at work during a managerial shift and presented her the award.
“I was pretty surprised,” Burrin said a few days after earning the honor.
Burrin was one of 142 managers chosen throughout the United States to earn the national recognition.
The Ray Kroc Award is an annual performance-based honor that recognizes the top performing McDonald’s managers in the country.
“This means a lot to me because only 1 percent of managers from McDonald’s get recognized,” she said.
Burrin began working for a different McDonald’s when she was just a teenager in high school and through the years worked her way up to the top as a manager, a position she’s held at New Palestine McDonald’s for the past six years. Prior to working at the New Palestine location, Burrin managed numerous other McDonald’s restaurants.
The award is named after McDonald’s Corporation founder Ray Kroc and was established 14 years ago to honor hardworking managers in both corporate and independently owned restaurants.
Burrin says the honor is particularly special to her because of the community she works in and the employees that she works with on a daily basis.
“I love working in a small town,” Burrin said. “You get to know your customers.”
She said the people and the employees are more like friends.
“We call it ‘the Mcfamily,’” Burrin said.
A resident of Plainfield, Burrin said she does not mind making the commute each day because the owners she works for allow her to manage the restaurant in a way that benefits customers and the employees.
“I have an outgoing personality and I like to give back,” she said.
The owners of the New Palestine McDonald’s, George and Marge Szylo, have allowed Burrin to get creative and make the establishment a part of the community.
The restaurant donates 10 percent of all counter and drive through sales between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on specific nights to various Southern Hancock schools and extracurricular organizations in need of funding. She has also helped the restaurant staff and community raise money for the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana.
“With the fundraising we do and the owner’s support that we have, it just makes my job so much better,” Burrin said.
“Rebecca being honored with the coveted Ray Kroc Award is a true testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence, building our business and taking care of our customers’ needs each and every day,” Marge Szydlo said in a press release.
“We are truly proud to have Rebecca as part of our McDonald’s family and commend her on this truly amazing accolade.”
In addition to the award, Burrin was given a cash prize, a ring, a pin and a trip to Chicago for an awards gala in March that will be hosted by McDonald’s USA President Jeff Stratton.