Local manager named to McDonald’s elite

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 9, 2003

[6/7/03]Customer satisfaction is one of the big reasons Larry Chambliss is among the top 1 percent of managers of McDonald’s stores in the nation.

Chambliss, a native of Fayette, is one of the 129 managers of McDonald’s stores who were honored May 28 with Ray Kroc Awards. He is the manager of the Vicksburg McDonald’s on Iowa Avenue.

The awards are named after the founder of McDonald’s because of his commitment to people and recognizing their contributions to the organization he helped establish. This year’s awards are the fourth presented by McDonald’s USA.

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In addition to a trip to Naples, Fla., for the presentation, winners received a cash award and a Ray Kroc trophy and pin. Nominations were sought from 2,800 McDonald’s owner/operators and staff members.

“Larry always keeps his customers as his number one priority,” said Melanie Roach, who owns the three McDonald’s in Vicksburg with her husband, Michael. “He always focuses on fast and friendly service.”

Michael Roach said sales at Chambliss’s restaurant was another factor in the choice he and his wife made to nominate him for the Kroc award.

“It would be very, very hard to replace him,” Michael Roach said after commenting he would like to see Chambliss move up higher in the local organization.

Chambliss, 43, has been with the McDonald’s organization for 11 years, has been with the Roach’s organization for three years and helped open the Iowa Avenue restaurant in August 2001. He is a graduate of Jefferson County High School and attended Copiah Lincoln Community College. He has eight children and three stepchildren.

“One of the reasons I believe I won the award is I believe in hard work and I treat my employees fair,” Chambliss said, adding that he agreed with his employers that taking care of the customer is vital to the success of a business.

He said he was able to bring some concepts back from the meeting in Naples, which he attended with one of his daughters.

One concept is to not only make sure the customer is satisfied but also make sure the employees are, too.

“Without the employees, you can’t run a McDonald’s,” he said. “If the employees aren’t happy, they aren’t going to be able to serve the customer.”

He said his goal is to serve the customer 100 percent, and as good as his McDonald’s is, there is always room for improvement.

“One thing I want to work on is a faster drive-through … and orders more accurate,” he said.