Kailee shares what a first job at Macca’s can lead to


“It started as a gateway to the workforce and eventually became my gateway to Canberra,” says 27-year-old McDonald’s Dickson restaurant manager Kailee Murdoch.

Kailee was 15 when she decided to apply to her buddies at Wodonga Macca’s® on the Victorian side of the NSW border.

“When I was 15, it was just a way to save up for Animal Crossing and Pokemon,” she smiles.

While the local Macca’s was unavailable, the restaurant in the neighboring town offered her a job on the service crew.

“I said yes and started doing chips at Albury restaurant in April 2011.

“I didn’t speak at all at the time, to the point where I was too scared to ask my manager if I could get more fries from the freezer.

“Now I’m constantly in conversation – with customers, my team and my crew. It built up my knowledge of human nature.”

When Kailee moved to Canberra to attend university, Macca’s became a means of landing on her feet.

“I had to start working straight away to pay the rent here so I spoke to my restaurant manager in Albury and he said just do it, do an interview in one of the shops in Canberra.

“They told me I could start working at Braddon McDonald’s the second I moved into my apartment in Canberra,” says Kailee.

While there, she befriended fellow colleague (and future wife) Claire and bonded over their shared experiences at work.

“I never really finished my studies and instead followed the path of McDonald’s.

“The first year I lived in Canberra, I worked full-time and studied full-time.

“Although I liked what I was learning, I didn’t enjoy the course that much.

Kailee says that working at Macca’s has enhanced her people skills and managerial skills.

Kailee put more hours and effort into her career at Macca’s and began learning the systems.

“Then I was sent to the Sydney headquarters for a course – and I loved what I did.

“When I got the opportunity to run a restaurant in 2018, I absolutely said yes.”

The first restaurant Kailee would manage was at Westfield Belconnen Food Court.

“During the lockdown, the owner of McDonald’s Dickson called and said he wanted me to come and reopen a fully renovated restaurant with a new large playground to give back to the Dickson community.

“He thought I was the right person because I was excited about the position, interested and wanted to be here.

“All you need to work at Macca’s is a good attitude and that factor that cares about the people and the food.”

Every day at Maccas is different; Every day you learn, grow and teach. Leading a team and seeing it succeed is a special life for a Maccas restaurant manager.

“At the moment I have nine trainees in retail, four of whom will be deregistered for Certificate III in November. And that’s what you get by working with us, you don’t have to pay for any of it.

“The people aspect is definitely the best part of my job,” says Kailee.

“One of my managers, I hired her at Belconnen Food Court when she was 14. I could see her thrive, going through the Cert program and using those points to finish 12th grade early.

“It’s a great entry point into the world of work,” she says.

“Children at 14, 15, 16 don’t yet know what they want to do. Either we teach them the skills they need while they are still at school, so that they can finish school here and start their professional lives.

McDonald's Dickson
Kailee has been invited to headline McDonald’s Dickson following the restaurant’s recent $2.25 million renovation.

“Or if they’ve finished school and don’t know what they want to do by the time they’re 17, they can stay here a little longer; Begin learning management paths that, stay or go, are a win-win.”

She explains that McDonald’s is also a place for international students to work, who “may not be their first time working in Australia”.

“Often they come to us because they are familiar with it. They come here and McDonald’s will be one of the first places they know, so apply.”

Kailee, who became a restaurant manager when she was 21, says her situation is not unusual, as Macca employees can often start in their early teens and become managers in their early 20s by following the pipeline.

“By that point, they already have a really solid understanding of how the business works and they can fill those roles.”

As a full-time restaurant manager, both she and her wife Claire were able to save up for a house they bought in 2019 and fund Claire’s new photography business.

“Although she still does a few shifts for us when it gets busy,” Kailee smiles.

Kailee, on the other hand, isn’t sure yet which door in Macca’s pipeline she will choose next, whether management, training, or straight into headquarters.

“I haven’t decided yet, but I’m sure it will be another call to say ‘yes’ to,” she smiles.

To learn more about career opportunities at McDonald’s, visit careers.mcdonalds.com.au

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