Thirty years ago, four individuals began their jobs as crew members of McDonald’s Brunei and they were among the first intake to grow with the popular fast-food eatery.
Hartini binti Haji Husin, Nor Zainah binti Awang, Hajah Sharifah and Megawati binti Haji Abu Bakar were among the recruits who joined back in 1993.
The McDonald’s Brunei has since grown to boasting some 260 staff today, all of whom locals. The 100-per-cent localisation aspiration was achieved in 2018 and has remained so until today.
Recently, the eatery celebrated its 30th anniversary in a ceremony at its premises in Gadong, and the Weekend Bulletin had an opportunity to interview these long-serving members.
Hartini binti Husin shared that she started working with the franchise when she was 18 years old.
Several years later, she was trained as a floor manager and attended courses in Malaysia, aimed to ensure that McDonald’s Brunei operations were at par with McDonald’s Global.
Two years after working as a floor manager, she was appointed as an assistant manager. A couple years later, she climbed the ladder again to become the main assistant manager. Her star continued to shine and she became a store manager, a position she shouldered for 15 years before being entrusted with her current position as operations consultant.
“McDonald’s Brunei really prioritises its staff by making sure we continue to acquire knowledge, particularly from McDonald’s Global,” she shared.
“We often attend courses abroad and participate in McDonald’s conventions in Hong Kong, China, Indonesia and the United States.
“Looking back there have been bittersweet memories and our journey is what makes us who we are today. We treasure all the opportunities and benefits that have been given to us,” she added.
Meanwhile, Megawati binti Haji Abu Bakar told the Weekend Bulletin that while waiting for her BGCE ‘O’ Level examination results in 1992, she applied for a job at McDonald’s Brunei. She began her duty from a crew member, crew trainer, assistant manager to department manager.
Just like Hartini, Megawati was given the opportunity to develop her career by attending courses in Malaysia.
She advised those who are still job-hunting or just starting out to stay determined and keep a strong will.
“If they are waiting for examination results, maybe they can apply for a part-time job and earn some income and use the money for education purposes. What’s the most important is that they obtain work experience,” Megawati said.
Meanwhile, Nor Zainah binti Awang, who started her career at McDonald’s Brunei in December 1995, said working at the eatery is fun and interesting, and said all the staff, whom she regards as family, give their best at work and care about each other whenever they need a shoulder to lean on.
Asked on the differences between the early years of McDonald’s Brunei and how far it has come, Nor Zainah said, “Before, all the orders needed to be jotted down, then we prepared the orders before delivering them to our customers.
“Today, we have the help of technology. Customers can go to the kiosks and choose their own meals and be given the option to pay at the counter or use a debit or credit card at the kiosk itself.”
Nor Zainah also shared that she often get posted overseas, such as to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, to gain experience and knowledge.
She enjoys most of her work scope as a ‘Star’ – handling and managing children’s birthday parties, as well as doing outdoor activities, and outings.
In 2012, she was promoted to floor manager, before becoming a department manager in 2014, and eventually appointed to be an assistant restaurant general manager in July 2021.
McDonald’s Brunei also had a role in Nor Zainah’s personal life as it is where she met her husband, who was also a staff member at the eatery.