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Richmond McDonald’s managers win national award

By Matthew Cheung

Published 2:09 PST, Fri November 18, 2022

Last Updated: 10:36 PST, Mon November 21, 2022

Two Richmond staff members are among the McDonald’s Canada managers who are receiving the 2022 Outstanding Manager of the Year Award. 

Baljit Sokhi from the Lansdowne location and Eilleen Regala from the Russ Baker Way location were recognized recently for their exceptional leadership, hard work, dedication, and commitment to McDonald’s Canada and its customers. The prestigious accolade is awarded to only the top 10 per cent of managers working across 1,400-plus Canadian locations. This is the second award win for both Sokhi and Regala. 

Sokhi began her McDonald’s career as a crew member at a Vancouver location 26 years ago. She was later promoted to manager and first received the Outstanding Manager of the Year Award in 2017. 

“To win this award means the world to me, to be recognized by the organization that I love in my efforts and hard work,” says Sokhi. “My team is truly our backbone and I love being able to see them do well—all my success goes to the team. Together with my crew, every day we’re focused on providing our local and visiting guests with a great dining experience, from hello to goodbye.” 

To other managers across Canada, Sokhi has some advice: “There are going to be ups and downs with working here, but you have to make sure that you make them count. Make sure to have a set goal every day and work with your team.” 

Franchisee Bill Chao says Sokhi successfully delivers a balance of quality, service, cleanliness, and sales growth. 

“These efforts and accomplishments translated to improved customer and employee satisfaction. Our leadership team is proud of Baljit and thrilled that she has been recognized at a national scale for her incredible hard work and dedication,” says Chao. 

Regala has worked for McDonald’s for 13 years, beginning as a crew member at a Vancouver location. She became a manager in 2018 and was recognized as an Outstanding Manager of the Year in 2019. 

“I was very surprised—I did not expect it at all,” says Regala. “My job is all about building relationships, creating memories, and creating a fun environment where people have a sense of belonging. Some of the people I work with have become the most important people in my day-to-day life, and being recognized as an Outstanding Manager of the Year not only means that I have the best team, but it also means that I have done right by them. I’m incredibly grateful for this award.”  

Regala adds that the pandemic helped the growth of her location. 

“We closed (the) dining (area), and mainly focused on serving customers through the drive-thru which made it easier for us. We only needed to focus on the health and safety of our crew, the speed of the drive-thru, and improving operations,” she says. 

Franchisee Giovanni Guzzo says Regala’s passion is second to none. 

“The Russ Baker Way McDonald’s has always been a difficult restaurant to staff, but through the enthusiasm and passion Eilleen was able to create with her team, she was able to get her restaurant fully staffed. This was a big accomplishment, which in turn has allowed her to achieve the results needed to achieve this prestigious award,” says Guzzo. 

Every year, McDonald’s franchisees and members of the regional management team nominate restaurant managers across the country for the Outstanding Manager of the Year Award.

In 1967, the first McDonald’s restaurant in Canada opened in Richmond, near No. 3 Road and Granville Avenue. Today, Canadian McDonald’s locations serve more than one million guests every day. In both franchised and corporate-owned restaurants, nearly 100,000 people are employed nationwide, and more than 90 percent of McDonald’s 1,400 Canadian restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent franchisees. Of the almost $1 billion spent on food, more than 85 per cent is purchased from suppliers in Canada. 

Recognition opportunities like the Outstanding Manager of the Year Award reflect the commitment McDonald’s has to create memorable employment opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. With a focus on employment growth, the company strives to offer its employees the skill and experience they need to progress in their careers, with around 90 per cent of restaurant managers beginning their careers as crew members. 

For more information on McDonald’s Canada, visit mcdonalds.ca

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