Geoff Wood, Owner of 4 restaurants in the Western Cape
Western Cape resident and owner of four McDonald’s restaurants in the area, Geoff Wood has ketchup running through his veins. The University of Witwatersrand hotel school graduate was one of the first successful crew members when McDonald’s opened its doors in South Africa in 1995, after he received training in New Zealand and Chicago.
A few years later when Geoff was 36 years old, he opened his first restaurant in the Western Cape and subsequent restaurants thereafter. He decided to open his own McDonald’s restaurant after having worked with Owner Operators for many years.
“It was awesome to see it from their perspective as they displayed more passion as owners in the company, so I was excited to open my own restaurant,” he explains.
He loves working for McDonald’s as there is no other brand like it. “I love it so much I think I have ketchup in my veins. There’s a passion around the brand, it’s a family environment that’s exciting, fast paced and motivating,” he shares.
Throughout his 20-year career at McDonald’s, Geoff has won a number of awards including the 1997 Restaurant Manager of the Year, 2005 People Award, 2005 Solid Arch Award, 2010 Operations Excellence Award and most recent the 2013 Chairman’s Award.
As an Owner Operator, he finds the biggest challenge and greatest reward is trying to manage his own individual aspirations while assisting his staff to fulfil their aspirational goals at the same time.
“I have seen people start off as Crew 20 years ago and now they’re influential in McDonald’s decision making process. It is great seeing people grow and live up to their full potential,” Geoff says.
He believes having passion for the brand and being goal orientated is the key to being a successful business owner within McDonald’s. “You need to set yourself three to five year goals and reassess them frequently and you need to be people-focused and hardworking,” he says.
Over the years he has witnessed how McDonald’s restaurants have been influential in the communities they are situated. In Richwood Bush, he is part of the team that helps with the feeding scheme, clothing drive and everything the community needs.
Despite overseeing his four restaurants, Geoff always finds time to cycle and keep fit. His drive, determination and passion are not only present in his working life; these qualities extend to his personal life and have culminated in his participating and representing McDonald’s in the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike Challenge.
The untamed African mountain bike race is 718km and includes 14 850m of climbing – this is equivalent to climbing Mount Everest twice.
“Mountain biking is a great passion of mine. I started cycling in 1999 and have completed over 150 races of which includes 13 Cape Argus Cycle Tours, ten 94.7 Cycle Challenge races of which I achieved 7 sub three hour,” he shares.
Geoff has won first place on Stage 1 of the Arabella Challenge Multi Stage Mountain Bike race in 2013 and third overall in the Arabella Multi Day Mountain bike race.
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