McDonald’s owner pays employees during construction (Colleen McNicholas)

An Owasso McDonald’s owner does something unheard of in this economy while his store is under construction.

He paid his 70 employees out of his own pocket while the 30-year old store was under construction for three months. The catch? They had to volunteer their time during those three months to local non-profit organizations.

Construction started on July 28th and the store will re-open Friday at midnight.

It takes the right coffee and the right amount of cream but most importantly the right kind of employee- all blended to make the perfect McCafe Latte.

“There is nothing more important than our people, and my wife and I prayed about it,” says Owasso’s McDonald’s owner, Tim Rich.

Rich wanted to give this happy place a facelift but that meant his employees would be forced to find other work. Tim refused to lose them.

“Thought how are we going to keep our people employed and not lose the good people that got us to this point,” says Rich.

Not only did he spend $1,800 on a new smoothie maker and thousands more on a conveyer belt soda machine but he put $120,000 of his own money aside to pay his employees to volunteer instead laying them off.

“It was very emotional because like I said not a lot of bosses would do that,” says Nancy Vue, an employee with Rich. “They would just kick you and be like go find a second job because we’re closing for reconstruction.”

Vue started working for Rich when she was 15. She’s 18 now and she won’t leave him.  “I don’t ever think anybody else around here would have the heart to give this opportunity to the employees,” says Vue.

She spent six hours a week volunteering at the Owasso Community Center. She’ll miss it but plans to bring the smiles she gave there back here.

“It’s very awesome of him,” says Vue.

“The money we invested was small compared to the blessings we received,” says Rich.

He has faith his debt will be repaid and he’s lovin’ it.

“It is faith that money will there, faith that our customers will and help us pay off this debt and faith in the Lord,” says Rich.

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About internalmarket

This blog and its accompanying Twitter account have been established as social media learning tools for the Internal Communications and Employee Engagement class at Columbia College Chicago. Through this blog, we will share our observations about current events, change management and employee communications theory, and the application of social media in shaping employee engagement.
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