How one mainstream restaurant is helping women become the boss

Women own 133 McDonald’s in Michigan

Boss Lady - McDonalds owner-operators on Live in the D
Boss Lady - McDonalds owner-operators on Live in the D

Monday is International Women’s Day, and March is Women’s History Month, so all month long we are celebrating women’s achievements, as well as places that make it possible for women to excel and become what some may call a “boss lady.”

The popular fast-food chain McDonald’s is one such company that offers opportunities for women to excel at all levels, even ownership.

Host Jason Carr was joined on “Live in the D” by three women who all own and operate McDonald’s franchises in the Metro Detroit Area: Joni Thrower-Davis, Monique Vann-Brown and Erika Schulz-Rogers.

Thrower-Davis comes from a family of McDonald’s owners, with her parents purchasing their first restaurant at Mack and I-75 in Detroit in 1989.

She and her siblings grew up in the restaurant, learning how to take pride in their work. Today, there are seven owner-operators in her family.

In fact, about 22% of McDonald’s owner-operators in Michigan are women. Those women own a combined 133 restaurants, which accounts for 29% of the locally-owned McDonald’s restaurants in Michigan.

Work-life balance is important to a lot of people, so how does McDonald’s stack up?

According to Schulz-Rogers, McDonald’s is very flexible and has been a good career for her to have while also being a mother. While some days are harder than others, she said her job has offered structure and routine to her days, and helped her focus on time management. She also said McDonald’s offers a lot of opportunities for moms, mature workers, and even students.

Schulz-Rogers’ family has owned and operated McDonald’s for four generations, and owning her own restaurant was always a career goal for Schulz-Rogers. One of the things she likes best is the family-style atmosphere at McDonald’s, saying she has watched a lot of people grow and blossom in their careers through the company.

On a similar note, Vann-Brown added that many of McDonald’s upper management started as crew members, so there is a lot of upward mobility in the company. It was a climb she made herself, going from crew member to the owner-operator of several restaurants. In fact, 70% of Vann-Brown’s general managers are women, as are 66% of her area supervisors.

“The opportunities are limitless,” said Vann-Brown.

If you are interested in the job opportunities at McDonald’s click or tap here, or text “APPLY” to 36453.


About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a Multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.