Elaine is an Owner Operator of two McDonald's stores, one in Dundalk and the other in Monaghan. She went to Grange Community College in Donaghmede, and followed this with an Art and Design course in Colaiste Dhulaigh. She decided against an art and design career and instead chose to work in McDonald's full time. With that experience, she decided to become a Franchisee - a risky decision that allowed her to be her own boss and follow her own directions.
Franchisee Elaine Steiro
Ask me your
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
- Choosing to become a Manager and be full time in McDonald's - this was a biggy as it was a definite decision to not continue studying Art & Design and to stay in McDonald's full time, no going back!!
- Deciding to be a Franchisee. This was difficult as I was making the leap to become my own boss and to live on my own earnings as opposed to the security of regular salaried payments. Would I like the extra pressure?
- I had learned very early on to take leaps of faith and with the right ethos & positive thinking to do well, you will succeed.
- My team sports and academic projects (debating etc..) taught me to be brave and prepared and that will set you apart ...
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
I would say the teachers that I have had all along were excellent .
Even in primary school they paid attention to me and helped me. Even when I didn't realise it at the time, that I could achieve things & do things well .
My senior managers in my early days of McDonald's, helped me to know what to do and why I should make certain decisions. I still use skills learned from them in my working day today.
How did you go about getting your current job?
Describe a typical day?
A normal day would include:
- Visiting one of the two restaurants.
- Have a schedule of tasks to do & some to check with the restaurant/ senior manager .
- Reviewing the previous days results & follow up on any issues if needed .
- I make phone calls and respond to e-mails.
- Work on the floor to see how operations standards were being maintained.
- Follow up on any work requested previously.
- Ensure that I record any tasks that I must complete or have promised Managers to send them information etc.
- Go to the other restaurant and cover a similar agenda .
Business pressures are daily & we must follow up and adjust our plans to ensure that we stay on target. Results are looked at daily and weekly and monthly. It is very easy to see how things are going.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
I am the owner operator. It is my responsibility to see that the business is successful and growing. I must ensure that all McDonald's systems are in place and meeting standards, whilst meeting my own targets and goals for the employees and business. I set up all systems in the store and ensure that my business plan is being achieved.
What are the main challenges?
I believe that when you are dealing with the public you are most challenged by knowing what will attract your customers to you.
In a harsh economic climate, a visit to McDonald's is seen as a luxury / treat for most people. I need to keep relevant and think of different ways to encourage people to come to me. There are always extra costs appearing, especially costs that you don't receive any goods for and cannot control ie. taxes, rates, etc... these can be difficult to manage in your business.
Most things are expected - labour costs , food costs, utilities and you can plan for those . It's a balancing act and you must keep changing to succeed.
It's cool to do something I love everyday and that I get to travel the country for meetings experiencing different business opinions.
I also have the whole world as a research lab, with the back up of a global brand and many franchisees who share our business. It's very cool to speak with a counterpart from the other side of the world and share ideas and connect very easily.
What's not so cool?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I am the person who manages our budgets and our people.
I am the planner, so I make out our budgets in advance which guides our business plans.
Personally, I like being organised, prepared and my methodical approach to most things is well suited to budgets and planning. I like interacting with people and seeing them grow.
I am a very positive person, and I like to encourage people to achieve things.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I took Art, Spanish, Business Studies & Home Economics.
I would say that they really didn't influence my career path, however, I did learn from my extra curricular activities that I liked working in groups and I could see how hard work paid off and was very fulfilling.
I would say that I would have liked more guidance and should have asked for more direction from people who could have pointed out my strengths to me earlier...
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
I have been recognised as a restaurant manager for sales & target records. I am the chairperson of the national Marketing group for the Operators in Ireland, where I can help to steer the company through the marketing plan with McDonald's Ireland .
I am one of 4 female operators out of 28. I am involved in the decision making/ planning process for McDonald's, not just my own restaurants. I find this very fulfilling.
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
At the beginning, I worked a schedule.
However, now I have a workload and at this stage I have the flexibility to be able to attend school functions, family functions , arrange my holiday time, and many other lifestyle choices whilst still undertaking my career responsibilities. It's a great balance.
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
If you are considering starting in the food/ catering or hospitality sectors, you should consider whether you like working shift work and you should like working in a pressured environment .
It is a very fulfilling and rewarding sector to work in though and every day is different with new skills being added to your skillset all of the time . If you are considering moving into the management side of things, then you should be able to co ordinate tasks and people to achieve results and you should like an ever changing work environment.
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
What is your favourite music?
What is your favourite film?
What is your pet hate at work?
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?
- Career Development?
- Current Job?
- Education and Training?
- Personal Qualities?
- Advice for Others?