Toowoomba's Mr Big Mac and his McDonald's empire
TOOWOOMBA'S Mark Ward is celebrating 25 years since he first started working at McDonald's as a crew member.
Since becoming a licensee in 1999, Mr Ward has grown a network of McDonald's as the owner of Toowoomba, Toowoomba South, Toowoomba East, Grand Central and Highfields restaurants.
These restaurants now employ more than 400 people.
"It is a dream come true to be the owner of five McDonald's restaurants in my hometown of Toowoomba," he said.
"Every restaurant has presented a new and exciting challenge, providing me with opportunities to progress in my career. To be acknowledged for my capabilities as a local licensee has been a humbling experience."
Mr Ward said his proudest achievement was becoming the owner of McDonald's Toowoomba in 1999 when he first started his career as a licensee.
"The most rewarding aspect of being a licensee is helping our crew members to start their working lives and recognise the abilities and talents that they all possess as they grow in their careers," he said.
"McDonald's offers a great foundation for young people, with outstanding training recognised in many industries and workplaces.
"I try to incorporate lessons learnt from my own experiences into the things that are passed on to our crew as they progress in the business. I still enjoy working with new faces and meeting customers from all areas of the globe."
Mr Ward sponsors many sporting and cultural activities around town and said it was always important to give back to the community that had supported McDonald's over the years.
"I want to extend a sincere thank you to the local community for their valued support over the years. I wouldn't be here without the support of my wonderful family, restaurant teams and most of all, our amazing customers," he said.