Find out how McDonald's franchisee Renato Raho cooks up continued success in Woking!
- Give a brief outline of your career to date.
After graduating with a degree in geophysics I worked for PwC as a chartered accountant and consultant. I was an analyst with a trading bank in Canary Wharf for four years after that before undertaking an MBA. With my experience in finance, I carved out a successful career in financial recruitment with Michael Paige, sourcing and placing finance directors and MDs for leading companies before going out on my own in 2004/05 and building that company up to a 30-strong workforce. I scaled the operation back and went solo for a short while before wanting a new challenge so I contacted all the fast food companies about partnership opportunities. McDonald’s was keen so I went through the year-long interview process which includes working every position in the restaurant before I bought my first franchise 3.5 years ago and I am now currently operating two successful restaurants in Woking.
- List 3 main attributes or skills you need for your job.
- With 150 staff across two sites, maintaining a relaxed attitude and a good sense of humour is vital.
- Tenacity and practicality both come in useful when managing multiple businesses in such a fast-paced environment.
- It goes without saying that having a certain level of business acumen is necessary to organise yourself, your workforce and to manage cash flows and systems etc.
- What does a typical day entail?
I arrive early doors for a briefing with both sets of management which is when we discuss plans for the day and whether there are any issues from the day before, whether a sales or customer complaint, training, or operational. The rest of the day then flies in as I spend time walking around each restaurant, talking to the customers and making sure everything is as it should be. This helps our ongoing and on the floor training by being visible and available for staff and customers. Then there’s always the fun stuff such as managing finance, invoicing, and talking to suppliers.
- What are the most challenging aspects of the jobs?
The people. My people are at the heart of my business. I wouldn’t be successful without them, so coupled with the operations of running a restaurant, it is a constant balancing act!
- What are you most proud of (work-wise)?
I have spent £1.4m over the last 15/16 months refurbishing both restaurants including the introduction of self-service kiosks, both inside the restaurant and outside in the food court. I am really pleased and proud of where we are at the moment.
- Is this what you have always wanted to do? If not, what would be your dream job?
I’ve worked and been successful in so many different fields, be it head hunting, finance, or consulting, that I’m not sure I could answer what I would have wanted to do. Yet I can say that my dream job would have been as a professional golfer. If that also wasn’t a possibility, then making more of my interest in property development and renovating houses, which I already enjoy on the side.
- How do you get the best out of the people who work for you?
Respect them. It’s not ground-breaking but if you say please or thank you and speak to them with a smile, it is amazing the difference in response you will receive.
- What piece of advice would you give a 20-year-old you?
Believe in yourself and work hard, arrive on time and take responsibility and enjoy what you do. McDonald’s are very big on training so if you are diligent and committed, and don’t expect success to be handed to you, then the opportunities are fantastic.
- What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Sport, without a doubt. My son is at Wellington College and currently a sub for the England U18 rugby squad as well as playing for London Irish. In my own spare time I enjoy golf, tennis, running with our golden retriever Milo, and darts and we recently enjoyed a family holiday skiing in Austria.
- Describe your ideal day off in Woking.
Having lunch at a nice restaurant with a glass of wine, safe in the knowledge both restaurants are running like clockwork. Should I feel inclined, it would be made more ideal by walking into restaurants full of customers with no queues, no complaints and happy staff.