LEWISTOWN - A first job can stick with a person for a lifetime. For Kim Greenwalt, the new owner of four area McDonald's restaurants, it did more than just stick.
"My first job was at McDonald's as a crew person at the age of 16," she said.
She worked her way up, transferring to locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Chicago. Then 20 years ago, she decided to become an operator and took on locations in the Harrisburg area.
Sentinel photo by KIM?HAYES
Four area McDonald’s restaurants in Lewistown, Mifflintown and Newport have come under the ownership of Kim Greenwalt. Greenwalt bought the locations from retiring Tim Barrett in May.
But the setting of the Juniata Valley appealed to her.
"I'm a country girl," she said.
So, when former owner Tim Barrett decided to retire, she approached him about purchasing the four restaurants he owned. She sold the Harrisburg stores and has operated both Lewistown locations and the restaurants in Mifflintown and Newport since May 5.
"I'm starting to feel at home," she said. "We're starting to develop those relationships within the community ... I couldn't ask for a better place to do business."
Her goals for the restaurants include improving speed, increasing friendliness and taking care of her employees.
Greenwalt has already put more employees on the floor to prevent a backlog of customers, particularly in the drive-through lanes.
"Now it's a matter of making it consistent," she said. The first few weeks were spent focusing on the crew and training them to handle the demands of the fast-food industry. Greenwalt said she wants to train people to do things right, and so far, customers are responding favorably to her efforts, giving constructive feedback.
"I'm really excited," she said. "I think we've got some great people and some great customers, and we just need to take care of them."
Greenwalt will host four "Meet the operator" events this month: 10 a.m., July 15 at McDonald's Lewistown 1 on Electric Avenue; 2 p.m., July 15 at Lewistown 2 in Granville Township; 10 a.m., July 22 at the Mifflintown location; and 2 p.m. on July 22 in Newport.
All four locations are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.