The Franchise Magazine

Looking Forward

In 2024, McDonald’s UK will celebrate 50 years operating in the UK. The brand’s franchise network provides the backbone of its operation, we asked these franchisees to share their insights and wisdom on becoming a McDonald’s owner-operator. Find out more about how they give back to their communities and what the future has in store…

With a background in corporate banking, Anisha Sharma took the plunge and became a McDonald’s franchisee just over a year ago.

Where are you based?

I live in Ealing, but grew up in Southall, down the road from my restaurant, so I know the area really well! During the process of becoming a franchisee, you’re made aware that you could be operating a restaurant anywhere in your geographical preference, so I was genuinely speechless when told I was going to be in Southall – it’s my dream store and always will be! 

Plus, it’s your community, isn’t it?

You get to know the people coming in each day  – it’s part of their routine, they like coming here and as a restaurant owner, that’s the best thing you can hear! 

How did you move from banking to being a McDonald’s business owner?

I always wanted to have my own business. My parents had a snooker and pool club and my sister and I would help out. I saw my parents work incredibly hard, but they loved it – it inspired my dream to run my own business one day. I went into banking after graduation as it was secure and I wanted that stability. I had a really good career, but that thought of running my own business kept coming back – I knew it was in my future.

I looked into other opportunities, but McDonald’s kept pulling me back. After speaking to other franchisees, doing my own research and engaging with the recruitment team, there really was no comparison for me.

When I heard I’d got through and I’d be running my own restaurant, it was the most incredible feeling! It was like three separate milestones: first of all, passing the initial application process is a huge achievement in itself! Secondly, a day after my final interview, I was walking in the park with my young daughter and got the call to say I’d got through and I yelped for joy! And third – finding out that the restaurant I was going to be taking over was right on my doorstep … I just couldn’t believe it! I was so elated when I found out, I ended up dancing around my garden!

What’s a typical day in your business?

There’s no typical day, but that’s actually what I love! I really believe that whatever you put into every day is what you’re going to get out. The best part is developing my people. There’s no better feeling than when they go on a training course at McDonald’s HQ and come back and they show me what they’ve picked-up. There’s no doubt that it’s motivating for the team, too, and makes them want to go on and work better and achieve more.

How are you supported as a woman in business?

McDonald’s has some amazing female franchisees who I look to as both mentors and inspiration. I know I can pick up the phone to any of them, and they’d be willing to help, so there’s a real focus on women supporting and uplifting each other.

I also speak at franchise events, and it’s brilliant to interact with other women who have been inspired by my journey. That’s why I think it’s so important to utilise these platforms, so that others feel empowered to take that first step. I want my daughter to grow up to be independent and do whatever she wants, and I hope that I’m setting a good example for her.

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