For McDonald’s Owner/Operator Rory MacKinnon, working for a global brand is all about local impact.
Keeping families together is a deeply personal and genuine passion for Rory MacKinnon, who has been in the McDonald’s Family for the entirety of his career. He started as a crew member in 1974 and now owns seven restaurants in Angus, Alliston, Caledon Village, Orangeville, and Schomberg.
Working his way up to restaurant manager and then eventually to McDonald’s corporate head office – where he filled a variety of roles from training consultant, project management, marketing, and IT – Rory knew that owning his own restaurants was what he really wanted to do. Working in the corporate office, he missed the restaurant environment.
“I love everything about it, most importantly the people. I’ve always admired the role of “Mr. and Mrs. McDonald’s” that so many Owner/Operators play in their communities, and the way they could have such a positive impact. I always wanted to be able to lead my own team and be a part of the community in the same way.”
Rory put his name on the list to be a franchisee in 1994 and ten years later, in 2004, he received the opportunity to purchase his first two restaurants.
Today, he is proud of the deep roots he and his family have established in the communities of Angus, Alliston, Caledon Village, Orangeville and Schomberg.
At the heart of his community work is his involvement with RMHC Toronto. Rory is always looking for new, creative ways to raise funds and awareness about the House and Family Rooms. As he tells his staff, “RMHC Toronto is our local charity because it supports local families.”
At Rory’s restaurants, supporting RMHC Toronto is embedded in the culture. In pre-COVID times, Rory and his team were annual participants in our Home for Dinner program, which he says has been a powerful experience for his staff.
“It changes people, having that opportunity. When we first became Owner/Operators we got involved in fundraising for a young girl with a heart condition. When we did our first Home for Dinner, she was back at the House, just out of the hospital. Her mom came over and said that she wanted to come down and thank us. We had to mask up to talk to her because she was immunocompromised. It was so powerful for my team to see firsthand who they were working to support.”
For Rory and his wife, supporting RMHC Toronto has a meaning that touches close to home. Their first daughter, Carly, had a congenital lung disease, and they spent a lot of time in the oncology ward at SickKids. The majority of the families they met there were staying at RMHC Toronto. When they found out Rory worked for McDonald’s – in the corporate office at the time – they often expressed their gratitude to him. He says, “families were just so grateful for what RMHC Toronto was doing for them.”
Sadly, Carly passed away. One of the ways that Rory and his wife honour her memory is to sponsor a room at the House in her name. Carly’s Room has been a refuge for thousands of families with a seriously ill child since our McCaul St. House opened in 2011.
In his staff orientations, Rory inspires his new hires by sharing his passion for giving back. “I promise the same kind of experience that I had – that you will be treated with dignity and respect, and you will receive good training. I tell them, your job here has purpose. Your job here has meaning. Happy Meals, RMHC Cookies, Round Up for RMHC… it all goes to the charity. If this is your first job, then you’ll learn the importance of giving back. You’re working for an organization that does exactly that. We may be a global organization but we exist within our local community and give back to our local community.”
Our thanks goes out to Rory and his team for their ongoing commitment to keeping families with seriously ill children together. Find out more about the incredible support of our Owner/Operator community.