We’re Lovin’ Our Burger Queen
We love a good hamburger, who doesn’t? In honor of National Hamburger Day, we wanted to celebrate all things McDonald’s! An internationally recognized brand, the restaurants dot the globe. What you may not realize, however, is that each location is locally owned and operated.
In Liberty County, Ashley Dodd is the second generation in her family to own locations on Highway 84, Highway 196, inside the Walmart Supercenter and in Midway. Her father, Gary Dodd, opened the original location here, and that 45 year-long family legacy is incredibly important to her. She’s our Burger Queen!
Ashley attributes a lot of her success to her dad who moved to Hinesville from Detroit after he worked at a McDonald’s from the age of 14 on. Her family moved to Georgia in 1977 because her dad had always loved the south, its traditions and strength, and he saw that in Hinesville.
Having worked at McDonald’s all her life, Ashley finished college and was accepted into the company’s Next Generation Program. One of the things that she loves to tell those new in the industry is …”“Remember where you came from and where the brand came from. Like Ray Crock, Fred Turner, the people who are pillars of McDonald’s and what we stand for. I just always remember who my dad was and what he instilled in me, and what he did for the community.”
She is incredibly active in and supportive of the community. The tuition assistance program is something she is especially proud to share with people. She wants her employees to not only love their current job, but to get an education and continue to grow and evolve as they work with her. Dodd was featured in our 2018 Liberty County Magazine. If you want to check out this year’s edition be sure to click here.
She said she feels it is important to remember that the people behind the counter are her customers too, and to realize that sometimes McDonald’s is a person’s first job and there is a responsibility to help employees succeed. As the only female McDonald’s operator in the Hinesville/Savannah region, one way she does that is through the McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program. It offers free advising and classes to employees, and even offers a high school diploma and ESL program for those who need it.
Ashley said she follows what she calls “POP,” which means “Put people first, and then operations and the profit will come later.” She said that you help everybody. She pointed out Angie, the store manager who worked in the restaurant when she was little, and Wanda, who was her store manager when she worked there in high school. Having people like them who were there when she was young and worked with her father are what makes her staff special.
“One of the things making us expand and grow is changing with the times. I feel like at my age, I know I have some of him, the old-school. And I have a lot of new-school. I’m able to bridge those and adapt and change and use technology to have a better experience for both sides of the counter.”
Ashley knows that community is important, and she strives to teach that same principle to her children. Growing up with all things McDonald’s, this thriving family of 5 always puts people first, serves others and remains humble in everything that they do. Don’t let the little one crying fool you, she was just having a bad day!
And who wouldn’t love our Hamburger Queen when she lives, breathes and embodies everything that is McDonald’s?! Never taking anything for granted, she strives to bring the best quality product to the market, along with serving the community that has served her family for 45 years. We’re not sure about you, but we’re lovin’ it! Do you love food? We do too! Be sure to check out our blog all about Liberty County BBQ & click here. Are sweets more your style? Our Sweet Spots blog is worth a read!