Discover the incredible story of Daryl Holmes, an Australian retiree who defied convention by embarking on a new journey at his local McDonald’s restaurant. At the age of 72, Daryl decided to leave behind the monotony of retirement and apply for a job at the McDonald’s branch in Newcastle, a vibrant city north of Sydney. Little did he know that this decision would turn him into a local legend and an inspiration for people of all ages.
In his role at McDonald’s, Daryl greets customers with a warm smile, assists them with the user-friendly self-serve kiosks, and goes the extra mile by personally delivering food to their tables. His dedication to ensuring the customers’ needs are met has made him an invaluable member of the Australian McDonald’s team.
Reflecting on his choice to return to work, Daryl shared, “I’ve been an avid golfer all my life, but I realized that I still had so much more to offer. With my wife still working and several years ahead of her, I couldn’t sit idly by. I wanted to find something meaningful that would allow me to apply myself and enjoy every moment.”
For the past six years, Daryl has been proudly employed at his local McDonald’s, making him one of Australia’s oldest employees within the fast-food industry. Despite facing challenges with two knee operations, he remains steadfast in his commitment to the renowned fast-food chain.
What Daryl cherishes most about his job is the opportunity to be a wise and caring role model for the younger employees. He effortlessly assumes the role of a grandfather figure, providing valuable advice to help his coworkers navigate the intricacies of work life. “I constantly emphasize the importance of finding joy in what you do, learning from every experience, and having someone to lean on during tough times,” he explained. “To them, I’m just like their grandfather.”
When asked if he receives advice from his coworkers, Daryl jokingly responded, “Not advice suitable for radio airwaves! But truthfully, I have the privilege of working with exceptional young individuals. Their dedication is remarkable, and it’s an honor to collaborate with them. I always remind them that our success hinges on effective teamwork. If something isn’t right, nobody gets blamed; we work together to fix it, always keeping the customer at the center of our focus.”
Adding a touch of fun to his work, Daryl eagerly embraces the McDonald’s Monopoly promotion. During this time of the year, he dresses up as Rich Uncle Pennybags, the iconic mascot of the board game. Customers and staff alike adore seeing this spirited gentleman, donning a mustache and top hat, spreading joy and excitement throughout the restaurant.
Looking ahead, Daryl envisions himself continuing his journey with McDonald’s well into his eighties. He also encourages fellow retirees to embrace new opportunities and rejoin the workforce. “There’s plenty of work out there,” he assured. “Employers value what you can contribute, not what you can’t. If you can confidently say, ‘I can do this,’ you have an excellent chance of showcasing your worth.”