There aren’t too many places in America busier than a McDonald’s restaurant at noontime. And the one located on West Orleans St. in Stillwater, just a few miles from the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, is certainly no exception.
Alice Kane handles the steady stream of hungry customers with welcoming and friendly efficiency. Whether they are traveling through town or regular diners, busy workers, school athletes after practice, families, or soldiers, Alice and her co-workers are a well-synchronized team serving their guests good food with a lot of pride.
In her close to 30 years with McDonald’s, Alice has done almost every job in the restaurant except cook. Confident and unflappable at the height of the lunch rush, Alice clearly enjoys her work.
“When I first started in May 1989, I never dreamed I would work here so many years,” said Alice. “My job was just keeping the dining area clean. But when my second manager got to know me better, she thought I could do much more than clean so she trained me on all the different jobs.
“And I’ve had to keep learning new things,” Alice added. “The cash register changes, we have new ordering kiosks, the menu changes. I am a hard-worker and I always do my very best.”
Alice’s positive, can-do attitude caught the attention of her managers. They encouraged her to study and take the exam to qualify to be a crew trainer. She passed with flying colors!
Since 2009, Alice has trained most of her co-workers on keeping the dining area and lobby clean, taking food orders, preparing food trays, delivering meals to seated guests, assisting people with the new ordering kiosks, keeping the counter area stocked, and attending the drive-through.
In the past ten years, Alice has trained in scores of new workers. A few of them have even gone on to become McDonald’s store managers.
“Some people have what it takes to work in a busy restaurant and some don’t,” Alice observed. “I have to assess each person in the trainer’s log book,” she added. “It takes about four days to train in a new person before they are on their own. But we always help each other out. We have a lot of really loyal employees who work here.”
“Alice is a big part of our community here at work,” said Store Manager Richard Shade. “Her coworkers and customers look forward to seeing her smiling face everyday.”
Alice has been receiving follow-up support services from ESR, a new subsidiary of Rise, since December 1999. Employment Consultant Denise Gibson meets with her weekly to discuss any work-related issues she may have. They discuss transportation concerns and work together with the McDonald’s team to ensure a great customer experience for all.
Alice, who turns the ‘Big 5-0’ in late December, works Monday through Friday, about 28 hours a week. She takes Metro Mobility as well as an ESR van to and from her foster care provider/sister Linda’s home in Lake Elmo to work.
In her free time, Alice works out twice a week at a fitness center. She is also active with Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Oakdale where she volunteers as an usher and ar special events. Alice enjoys bowling, going to dances and the movies, and is a big sports fan. She wears a Minnesota Twins visor at work and will soon switch to a Minnesota Vikings’ visor when the football season starts.
Being so close to Wisconsin, Alice will no doubt enjoy bantering with many Green Bay Packer fans!!