“First, I want to thank Ray Kroc and Ronald McDonald for the opportunity to serve as Lead Fry Cook for the last three semesters. Their support and friendship mean a lot to me, and I wish them all well. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the Servers, the dishwashers,the pickup window staff, the prep chef, and the Big Mac, shake and fries lovers for making my McDonalds experience so meaningful.
“Growing up in the shadow of the Golden Arches, I never dreamed of having the chance to work for a local fast food franchise during such an historic period.
“My decision not to return as Fry Cook of the Brookline McDonalds is an extremely difficult one. I will always cherish the relationships I developed here and am proud to have worked side-by-side with so many great people, in and out of uniform, as together we brought great burgers to Boston.
“In my time as Fry Cook, I gave my entire heart and soul to the organization. During the process leading up to today’s decision, I came to the conclusion that I can no longer do so. In the end, my choice is the right one not only for me but for my complexion as well.
“My affection for the hamburgers did not begin three semesters ago when I started working here, and it does not end today. I will remain on the job changing saturated oils for several days as we finalize preparation for next week’s kitchen staff meetings. Thereafter, I will make myself available to the new fry cook to ensure a smooth and stable transition.
“My passion for and dedication to Fries, Vanilla Shakes and Big Macs with Cheese remain strong. Although I have no immediate plans, I will embrace this change in my life and look forward with excitement to the future.”
Q: Theo when you came here three semesters ago, obviously with a clean complexion, …basically I think everybody would like to know from your standpoint what happened here and why are you no longer the Lead Fry Cook of the Brookline McDonalds Franchise?
Well what happened, to answer your question broadly, is I think we had a lot of success as a burger joint together over the last three semesters and we cooked a lot of great meals together....that doesn’t disappear at all with me leaving.
McDonalds remain a very, very strong franchise, with very sound leadership, and we’ll be serving billions more going forward. As I said in the statement, in the end, this is a job you have to give your whole meat and potatoes to, you have to devote yourself to fries completely. You have to believe in every aspect of fried food . And in the end, after a long period of reflection about myself and my complexion, and the time, I decided I could no longer put my whole heart and soul into it.
Q: Was there anything that could have been done at all to you to stay?
In the end, no. We had many talks about schedules and tasks, who would man the fry stations, who flips the burgers and pours the shakes.
Q: When you met with us after the season, it seemed like your heart and soul was in it. What happened (since then)?
There was a pimple, and when I turned the microscope on the pimple and on my complexion,, we all felt that to do this, you had to pop the pimple. You had to really pop it. And that process was very difficult. I think a lot of good came from that process. There were a lot more of blackheads that probably should have been Oxycleaned a long time ago, but in the end, you asked what changed, the pimple revealed that I could not put my whole heart and soul into the fryolator at this time.
Q: Do you have a good relationship with Ronald (McDonald)?
Yeah. My relationship with Ronald is one that spanned about 14 years. I started eating burgers at age 2. We’ve had a very successful Happy Meal relationship. I think Ronald and I like each other. As with any long relationship, there are complexities, there are zits and abscesses, there are occasionally times where you have yearnings for Burritos and Chinese Food. But in the end, I want what’s best for Ronald. I wish him well in the future. When I look back, he’s done a lot for me. In the end, 30 years from now when I look back on my relationship with Ronald McDonald, I’m gonna see it as a positive influence in my life.
Q: Theo it almost sounds like you have a little burn out, does this mean you’ll step away from fast food…?
No, I am not burned out. As I said in the statement, I have tremendous passion for the burgers. I have a tremendous dedication to fries and shakes. I work hard, but I enjoy it and I’m not at all burned out.
Q: Do you see yourself returning in five to 10 years in (a similar) position?
With Mcdonald's? Well again, the decision right now is that it’s the right thing and obviously it’s not a decision I take lightly. Hopefully I will graduate from High School and I wouldn’t rule anything out, but for right now the difficult decision is to walk away.
Q: Theo (you said) there were no chain of command issues… was there some component of your relationship with Ronald McDonald that caused you to decide that continuing was untenable…?
It’s not fair to attribute my decision to any one french fry or burger or any one person. There were many all beef patties that went into this decision and it’s not something I ate lightly. It was not a snap reaction, it was not… indeed it was not a single order of fries.
I’m not concerned with my legacy at all. I’m concerned with frying the right potato when I work as a fryer, in the capacity of Lead Fry Cook, I’m in charge of building a a french fry, maintaining that crispiness and handing out as many ketchup packets as possible every year, as many double orders as possible.