By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — INA — A local McDonald’s restaurant manager has been honored by the internationally-known chain as being one of the top managers in the country.
Rose Akin, who has been the manager of the Ina restaurant for over six years, was presented the Ray Kroc Award on Wednesday. The annual performance-based award recognizes the top performing McDonald’s restaurant managers — only 1 percent — in the country. In addition to receiving a trophy, Akin will be presented with a trophy, $2,500 cash, and a ring at the organization’s banquet in Chicago in March.
“It means a lot, it means
everything,” an emotional Akin said when surprised by the award at the restaurant Wednesday morning. “It’s the best award you get ever get.”
Akin was nominated for the award by owner/operator Tina Short of Mt. Vernon.
“Rose being honored with this 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,” Short said. “We are truly proud to have Rose as part of our McDonald’s family and commend her on this truly amazing accolade.”
Nominations are made on the regional level at Indianapolis, and a committee reviews the applications received. The Indianapolis region covers more than 600 restaurants in Southern Illinois, western Kentucky, southeast Missouri and Indiana, according to Jim Ward, Director of Operations for McDonald’s locations in Mt. Vernon, Centralia, Pinckneyville, Nashville and Ina.
“I don’t think anyone else received the award in Southern Illinois, and maybe southeast Missouri or western Kentucky,” Ward said. “I saw three other names on the list in the 600 store area. It’s pretty special when a store manager gets this award.”
Akin has been with McDonald’s for a total of 26 years.
“My sister started working at McDonald’s. She was a general manager, and got me and another sister involved in it. I’ve been with it ever since,” she said.
Akin said employees at the Ina store have been very cooperative in carrying out the mission of the company.
“We work as a team and have a lot of respect for each other. I’m kind of like their mamma. They ask me for advice and I give it to them. We have a really good relationship. We have a good time and try to make it fun and be respectful to the customers,” she said.
Ward estimates the Ina store has about 2,000 customers per day.
“There’s all kinds of different people that come in and you have to learn to adapt to their attitudes. If they’re having a bad day, you try to make it better for them,” Akin said.
Ward added Akin consistently ranks one or two in customer service by an independent mystery shopper service.
The Ray Kroc Award is based on the founder’s commitment to people and recognizing their contributions to the organization he helped establish. The award was established 15 years ago, according to company officials.