For Owner/Operator Steve Wilson, McDonald’s is truly a family business.
Steve Wilson’s parents became McDonald’s Owner/Operators in 1975, opening their first restaurant on Ritson Rd in Oshawa. It was only natural that Steve Wilson and his sisters would eventually follow in their footsteps, and now Steve’s two sons are learning the ropes as well. “This is a journey that our family is on,” Steve explains. “McDonald’s is really unique in that way – they encourage the multi-generational approach. McDonald’s is really all about family.”
Now the Owner/Operator of eight locations in Oshawa, Newcastle, and Bowmanville, Steve knows exactly how much hard work every one of his employees put into their work. Part of every Owner/Operator’s training involves working each job in the restaurant to help them understand every aspect of the business. And with his sons grown, Steve is watching the third generation of Wilsons following in his footsteps.
A long-time supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Steve spent many years on the Board of Directors of RMHC Canada, helping to define the charity’s mission and focus. Originally, RMHC served only the families of children undergoing cancer treatment, but during Steve’s time on the Board it became evident that many families could benefit from the same support. Today, RMHC serves a broad spectrum of families with a seriously ill child in hospital.
“We’ve had quite a run in the past 10 to 15 years,” says Steve. “The capacity has grown significantly. George Cohon (founder of McDonald’s in Canada and Russia) brought so much of his spirit to the McDonald’s culture and you can see that in the charity as well. It was a real honour to work on the Board.”
Today, Steve is proud of the impact his work has had on RMHC Toronto’s growth – from the expansion to our current 81-bedroom location on 240 McCaul, to our ability to serve families through our seven in-hospital Family Rooms.
Steve continues to serve RMHC Toronto through his restaurants’ fundraising – particularly on McHappy Day, McDonald’s one-day fundraising event for RMHC and children’s charities. For Steve, McHappy Day is more than a day of fundraising at his restaurants. It’s a joyful time to connect with people from the community that often results in a deeper understanding of RMHC Toronto’s reach.
“You always meet people who have been engaged with the House. And sometimes it’s surprising. I was recently talking to someone I know well, and found out members of his family stayed at the House for his grandson’s treatment. I had never known.”
When people talk about what RMHC Toronto has done for them, you can see and hear in their voice how grateful they are for the support they received.Steve Wilson, McDonald’s Owner/Operator
Our thanks goes out to Steve and his team for their ongoing commitment to keeping families with seriously ill children together. To find out more about the incredible support of our Owner/Operator community, visit Our McDonald’s Relationship.