McDONALD’S Saipan is celebrating 28 years of quality service and commitment to the community.

Its owner, Jose "Joe" C. Ayuyu Sr., opened Saipan’s first McDonald's on Middle Road in Chalan Laulau, on March 18, 1993, and its success led him to open a branch on Beach Road in Garapan in Dec. 1996.

Over the years, Ayuyu and his family have served customers with quality food while fulfilling the family’s passion which is to give back to the community.

Ayuyu’s wife Marcia served as general manager of McDonald's Middle Road and was soon recognized for her compassion and willingness to help community groups. In 2014, she became owner/operator of McDonald's Corp.

Today, the Ayuyu family operates eight McDonald’s restaurants on Guam and Saipan with Joe Sr. and Marcia’s son, Joe Erra Ayuyu Jr., as vice president of McDonald’s on the two islands.

The past 28 years of providing quality service to the community is a humbling experience for his family and their employees, Joe Jr. said.

“We feel that customers believe in us and it is their loyalty that has kept us in business especially in a small community where our repeat customers are our bread and butter, particularly now that we don’t have our transient customer base of tourists,” Joe Jr. said.

He said “being part of the community means being a good neighbor and providing community assistance.”

He feels that the community trusts McDonald’s particularly when it comes to giving assistance in times of natural disasters.

“We are lucky enough to be a resource when the community needs us most. When typhoons happen, not all businesses can reopen immediately and so we try to open right away because we know our community depends on us,” Joe Jr. said.

“My parents always remind me, that it’s the community that makes our business successful and that is why it’s so important to give back to the community,” he added.

Employees of the year

It has been McDonald’s  tradition to recognize and reward its employees who have performed an exemplary service to the company.

Every year, McDonald’s, through an evaluation conducted by the branch management, chooses the Employees of the Year of the Middle Road and Garapan branches.

Marcia said they recognize employees for their teamwork and commitment to the company. She said they have employees who have been with the company since the opening of the first restaurant 28 years ago.

“Really, I am just so thankful that these people have been with us for many, many years,” she said.

She tips her hat off to the Employee of the Year awardees who, during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, woke up early in the morning to report for work.

 Without these employees, she said, managers cannot operate the restaurant all by themselves. “We depend on them,” she said, referring to the workers.

Marcia also thanks their customers for their continued patronage. “Without them we won’t be here, too. Our success is because of our customers.”

At the Middle Road branch, the Employee of the Year for 2020 is a 23-year-old crew member, Shane Barro. In her more than a year of employment, she has been cross-training and assigned to different stations.

Because she is one of the new employees, Barro said she really did not expect to be the Employee of the Year.

“I am just doing my job. But I am really thankful that they appreciate what I do,” she said.

At first, Barro said, it was hard sometimes  to learn the various aspects, requirements and procedures of her job.

“But I am so thankful  because I have a lot of coworkers who help me do things properly,” she added.

The Employee of the Year at McDonald’s Garapan is Rinie Fiden who has been working there, mostly in the morning, since 2017.

She said she was very glad that she was chosen for the award.

“I try to be a hard-working person and I am glad the manager picked me. I am thankful to my boss and co-workers. I’ve learned a lot of things and I see that the people here, my co-workers and my boss, are so nice,” Fiden said.

McDonald’s Middle Road general manager Jocelyn Asistores said Barro and Fiden are exemplary employees.

“They work hard simply because they know that they must really serve our customers well by showing them that McDonald’s is committed to quality service and food,” Asistores said.

Reporter

A bachelor of arts in journalism graduate, he started his career as a police beat reporter. Loves to cook. Eats death threats for breakfast.

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