Stroud McDonald's franchisee Paul Booth marks 30 years with fast-food chain
Stroud McDonald's franchisee Paul Booth has just entered his 30th year working for the world renowned fast food restaurant. Kate Wilson met with him to find out the inner workings of the super sized company and why he has remained loyal to them for so long.
MCDONALD'S fans in Romania have Paul Booth to thank every time they go in to their local restaurant and enjoy a Big Mac meal and fries.
Today it would be unthinkable, but before 1994 there was not a single McDonald's restaurant in Romania. lt was Paul, alongside Romanian national Marrian Alecu, who introduced Romanian's to the supersized meal and supersaver menu.
The father of four became managing director of Romania in 1994 and his five years there is still a time he looks back on with fondness.
"One of my greatest loves is travel so when I discovered I could work for McDonald's around the world I jumped at the opportunity to work in a different country.
"It was an amazing achievement to have started off with just two guys and one store, and then to have left the country only five years later with 29 stores hundreds of employees and an office staff of 40."
The 51-year-old began his career with McDonald's in 1983 as a trainee manager in the Northampton branch.
"I actually found out about the job through the Jobcentre and decided to apply. I had never really heard of MsDonald's before but a trainee manager of a restaurant seemed a lot more interesting than an accounting clerk which is what I was doing at the time", he says.
"I worked my way up through the business and eventually became the restaurant manager of a McDonald's in Lowestoft, and then a regional consultant in the Midlands before I went to Romania."
Paul worked for McDonald's in Budapest and Ireland before settling back in England.
As a Franchisee Paul actually owns the McDonald's in Merrywalks Stroud as well as seven other restaurants across the Gloucestershire and Swindon region including the McDonald's in Cricklade Road, Cirencester.
"I worked with a Franchisee when I spent three years as country manager of Ireland and I was inspired by their willingness to put their savings and life into the business."
Paul, who lives in Swindon with his partner and two younger sons, was employed by McDonald's for 18 years before he became a Franchisee ten years ago and believes his investment into the company is a testament to how well they have looked after him.
"McDonald's is a company that people are very quick to critisise and yet they fail to acknowledge the way in which the company has developed. I have seen it first hand. But more importantly they have taken care of me for the past 30 years and given me the opportunity to do something I really enjoy."
Today paul has 600 people working for him across his eight restaurants.
"When I took over the Stroud branch on July 17 last year there were about 55 people working there, now we have 77 employees."
Paul has invested £270,000 into the Stroud restaurant. "Last year I had the dining area and the staff room completely refurbished", says Paul. "In my eyes it's just as important to make your staff feel valued as well as the customers."
For people who work at McDonald's the question they must get asked the most is - do they eat the food?
"Whenever there is a new promotion coming out I have to taste all the new burgers," says Paul. "I text my older boys Lewis, 25, and Jack, 24, and we arrange a date and a time to have a taster session."