Community is top of McDonald's franchise owner's menu

Gary Adams has been sharing the fruits of his success as a franchise owner with Ronald McDonald House Charities and projects within his community

Since becoming a McDonald’s franchise owner in 2010, Gary Adams has built up his business portfolio to include 21 restaurants, while raising more than £250,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

From organising community based fundraising initiatives, to donating a percentage of his restaurants’ profits, Gary has engaged every aspect of his business to support the McDonald’s charity of choice. Ronald McDonald House Charities, an independently funded charity, provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families whose children are being treated in hospital. With 14 houses spread across the UK, many leading children’s hospitals have a Ronald McDonald House just a stone’s throw away from the relevant wards.

“I’ve supported Ronald McDonald House Charities since taking on my first restaurant 11 years ago, but not just because it’s the McDonald’s charity of choice,” Gary explains. “As a parent, I hope I am never in the position where my child is hospitalised through illness but it’s exactly because I’ve got my own family that I understand the importance of the charity. I think that’s why our customers support our fundraising initiatives because the majority of them are families too.”

Gary has been instrumental in educating his staff about what the charity does which, in turn, has a cascade effect within the teams.

“Taking staff members to a Ronald McDonald House makes an incredible difference to how they engage with the charity and how successful they are in informing customers about the charity who then frequently give generously,” says Gary. “We’ve taken our restaurant managers and customer service assistants to a Ronald McDonald House in Brighton, where they’ve had an opportunity to talk to some of the families who have used the accommodation. Listening to those very emotional stories just spurs us all on to wanting to do more for the charity and that filters through the teams.”

Doing more is exactly what Gary and his staff have done, creating an ongoing calendar of events ranging from family fun days, car washes, staff in fancy dress, corporate golf days and raffle prizes at company parties. As a permanent fixture, all of Gary’s restaurants have collection boxes at the till points, money spinners, wall chart totalisers and leaflets for customers to find out more about the Ronald McDonald House Charity.

“Many of our stores have a regular and very supportive customer base and so when we do a specific fundraising push in the restaurants, the customers tend to lend their support,” adds Gary. “Of course it’s a two-way street because McDonald’s depends on the community for its customers and staff. Whatever we can do to build that community helps us too.”

As well as his commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities, Gary is also a long time supporter of youth football and has put thousands of pounds into the grassroots of local clubs, which has resulted in some great success stories.

From donating kits, refreshments and equipment, through to funding 30 places – including for five of his staff – on the FA level 1 coaching programme, Gary has really put his money where his mouth is when it comes to giving something back to the community.

Written by Fraser McKay