Melissa Cooper’s 25-year career at McDonald’s

Today, there are not many jobs that you can start when you’re a teen and keep well into adulthood.

In Australia, the latest statistics from the year ending February 2022 show us 9.5 percent of employed people (1.3 million) changed jobs, the highest annual job mobility rate since 2012. It also shows us that 2.1 million people left or lost a job.

So, what makes someone stay with the same company for decades in our modern world? And what should Aussies be looking for?

We found the perfect person to gain insight, Mcdonald’s Restaurant Supervisor Melissa Cooper. Melissa started with McDonald’s as a 14-year-old and has worked for the company for 25 years.

“I started when I was in school for some extra pocket money, and then stayed because it was flexible, and I was doing uni full time,” Ms. Cooper said.

“Some customers have known me since I was 14 years old and now know me as an adult.

“I have a good relationship with them. There are not many jobs like that.”

The importance of flexibility in the workplace

When we asked Ms. Cooper about what made her so loyal, she said flexibility, career growth, and exciting opportunities played a role.

“The great thing about McDonald’s is that as I have grown into adulthood, I have been able to flex my work around my life. I have young children now, and I can take the kids to school, go to school assemblies, focus on family life, and still learn, grow, and have a fulfilling career,” Ms. Cooper said.

“It’s positively influenced my life and others in our Restaurants, too.

“We have an employee who is casual with us, and with the flexibility offered, she’s competing in national Javelin and looking at taking part in the Commonwealth Games next year.


“We are proud to see what people can become working here, but at the same time, we also want to support them with flexibility and a job while they’re following their dreams outside McDonald’s.”

A focus on career development and growth is vital.

In Australia, Mcdonald’s invests more than 40 million dollars into training and development initiatives each year, offering nationally recognized retail, food service, and hospitality certifications.

Ms. Cooper said this is one of the reasons people choose a career with McDonald’s and stay with the company for many years.

“Several people who work in the head office started with McDonald’s as a crew person on the restaurant floor,” Ms. Cooper said.

“You can do a school-based traineeship or do them through McDonald’s, where you get time off the floor to complete all the online learning and bookwork required for a certificate two or three in hospitality.

“Essentially, you get a paid qualification that can lead to management into the future. At the same time, it’s good for people to put on their resumes, especially those taking a gap year between school and university, to get an extra qualification.

“My passion is people, human resources, training, and development.”

Ms. Cooper said she went to the McDonald’s Restaurant Manager Convention in Berlin when she was promoted to Restaurant Manager a few years ago.

“I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco, Hawaii, and Dubai for other annual conventions, which allowed me to meet colleagues from around the world and learn different operating methods to apply back home,” she said.

Ms. Cooper reiterated that working with great people is the most beautiful thing about a company.

“At Riverton, we are proud to employ people from 14 to 70 years old,” she told us.

“Margaret (70) has been working with McDonald’s for decades. Customers come to see her.

“She runs our McCafé and talks to the customers in the dining room while she’s making their coffee. We have the entire Cannington police department come to Riverton to visit her because she’s served them coffee for 25 years.

“I think that’s probably the best part about McDonald’s and what keeps people there, it’s the people and the culture.

“It’s always been a fun workplace, or I wouldn’t have stayed for so long.”

If you’re looking for a place to work, whether in high school, studying at university, a parent, or even close to retiring and want a few days of work a week, McDonald’s caters to everyone. You can visit their website for more information.

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.