McDonald’s Owner Pays Workers During Renovations

Despite having to close for renovations, McDonald’s franchise owner Tony Philiou eased his employees’ worries of whether or not they would be paid. 

Philiou, an Ohio-based franchise owner, kept the payroll rolling for the 90 crew members who work at his Mayfield Heights location, which is stationed in the east-side suburb of Cleveland.

The restaurant closed its doors on March 28 — and did not reopen again until July 6. 

“It was not a hard decision for me,” Philiou told Fox Business in a phone interview.”I’ve been in their shoes. I knew what it would be if they didn’t have a check on a weekly basis.”

Philiou, who is 90 years old now, immigrated to the U.S. from Greece as a child. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving as an infantryman during the Korean War.

He began his career at McDonald’s in 1962, at the very same Mayfield Heights location he owns today. Philiou’s starting role was as a part-time fry cook gig. 

He took on the role while he also worked full-time at the TRW Valve Division plant — an automotive and aerospace parts manufacturer in Cleveland. It has since been acquired.

The proud Army veteran stuck with the fast-food company for 15 years. He took ownership of the Mayfield Heights restaurant in 1977.

“I started from the ground level up,” Philiou said. “It’s been a great venture for me and [for] many people that I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from.”

Philiou went on to own and operate a few McDonald’s franchise locations in the area; but after more than four decades, he’s put his focus on one.

He co-owns the Mayfield Heights location with his daughter and son-in-law, Mary and John Powers.

“I’m very proud of the store right now. And people feel very proud working in this beautiful store that we just finished.”

Philiou said he currently has about 94 employees who work various shifts part-time. He’s hoping to grow the team to 105 people.

“Our employees are extremely grateful,” Philiou said. “As for the community here, which I’m blessed to be working with, they’ve been very supportive of us. They also appreciate what we have done to build a brand new store and what we have done as far as for the employees to be paid throughout the process.”

Tiffanie Boyd, senior vice president and chief people officer at McDonald’s USA, told Fox Business that they’re proud to have Philiou on their team.

“I’m so inspired by Tony’s commitment to his employees and all the meaningful ways he’s recognized them over the years — from encouraging team bonding with regular pizza parties, to bigger gestures like offering tuition assistance and paying employees during restaurant renovations,” Boyd explained to Fox Business in an email.

She continued, “It’s stories like his that have inspired us to celebrate even more crew who step up for our customers every day with our ‘Thank You Crew’ initiative, where owners and operators nationwide are finding special ways to thank their crew and managers.”

Source: Fox Business