By Joseph Pratt
“Well, you fill one side of the Scrub N Go with soapy water and the other side of it sucks the water back up,” McDonald’s Lobby Manager Kris Shaw said, as she explained how her favorite tool at work functions. “You have to make sure the wet floor signs are up, though. Someone could get hurt if they don’t see it.”
As Kris cleaned the floor of the Portsmouth McDonald’s lobby with a smile on her face, the door swung open and regular customer Jim Wilson walked in, stopping just before the wet streak going down the lobby.
“Watch out for the water, Mr. Wilson,” she warned, pushing the machine forward, collecting the water it had just left behind.
Jim chuckled and patted Shaw on the shoulder, “Thanks, Kris. Keep up the good work.”
Jim Wilson walked around the water and made his way to the counter to grab his black coffee that was already being made for him, before sitting down with his buddies at their usual table.
“See, the floors look a lot better with the Scrub N Go to clean them,” Shaw said, wrapping up the tutorial.
If you’ve eaten inside Portsmouth McDonald’s on a day Kris Shaw works, chances are, you’ve noticed how immaculate the lobby looks. The floor shines, the tables are all clear and cleaned, the service stations look tidy. Shaw has been working at McDonald’s for 24 years, greeting guests with a smile and often telling them what specials McD’s is having, or simply what menu item is good that day.
“She is a nice girl and a great worker. She knows this lobby like nobody else and she is always watching over it. She will even bring us refills on our coffee without being asked,” McDonald’s regular, Jim Wilson, explained. “She makes us feel good, because she is always so happy and dedicated to her job, while trying to make her customers feel comfortable.”
The friendly McDonald’s employee was recently honored for her dedication to the business earlier this month, when she was awarded the title of Female Employee of the Year at the Community Employment Banquet at the Southern Ohio Medical Center’s FRIENDS Center.
“I like my job,” Shaw said. “I really like the people most of all. I like my managers, Ray and Diane and the rest of them, and I like my customers.”
The banquet honored businesses and their employees for their partnership with the Community Employment Program, a program that pairs employers with individuals with developmental disabilities as they transition into the work force.
Shaw has worked many positions at the restaurant, including cashier, grill, and lobby.
Shaw focuses on the lobby nowadays, since she has been named lobby manager. It is a job she takes seriously.
“A clean lobby is important,” Shaw said. “Not all stores have clean lobbies, but it is only right for the customers. It makes the customers happy. A person can enjoy their meal more if they can sit in a nice lobby.”
Portsmouth McDonald’s General Manager Ray Shonkwiler was excited about Shaw’s honor and award.
“She is the first person that customers see when they come in often times, because she works in the lobby,” Shonkwiler said. “She tells them the promotions that we’re running and she’s always so friendly. She’s just an awesome crew person.”
Shonkwiler has worked with Shaw since 1995. Shaw recalls meeting him for the first time in the Rosemount McDonald’s break room. When asked what she remembered about Shonkwiler today, all she could recall was that he used to have color in his hair.
“She’s the best,” Shonkwiler said. “When I moved to Portsmouth, I asked if she could come with me, because I loved working with her. I don’t even think she finished her week there, she just left when I joined Portsmouth.”
Shonkwiler said that if he ever left the Portsmouth store, for whatever reason, he would ask about having her move with him, because she creates an atmosphere that cannot be replicated.
McDonald’s of the Tri-State area is comprised of 93 restaurants in eastern Kentucky, southeastern Ohio and central and southern West Virginia. Ninety-two percent of the restaurants in this area are independently owned and operated by local franchisees.
The Portsmouth location is often involved in community service projects that Shonkwiler organizes. Together, Shonkwiler and his staff members have raised thousands of dollars for cancer patients, people with disabilities, children who are food insecure, and more.
Shaw has been involved in every event in the past 24 years and says that she always looks forward to giving back more while working with her McDonald’s family.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.