McDonald's is one of Federal Way's top employers; Hiring Day draws a range of applicants

Willie Cho, owner and operator of the McDonald
Willie Cho, owner and operator of the McDonald's at The Crossings, stands in front of a table of applications and information about the restaurant chain Aug. 17, which was Hiring Day.
— image credit: Jacinda Howard, The Mirror

Federal Way McDonald’s restaurants hosted a Hiring Day on Tuesday.

Across the western part of the nation, 16 states with more than 3,000 McDonald’s locations participated in the Hiring Day event. Management was looking to hire employees of all backgrounds for various jobs with the company.

At the McDonald’s located at The Crossings, Willie Cho (owner and operator of Federal Way’s three McDonald’s franchises), manager Fernando Medina and supervisor Diane Gates were on hand. Applicants who attended Hiring Day took care of the majority of the application process on the spot.

“It’s a unique opportunity for an immediate interview,” Cho said.

McDonald’s is a top Federal Way employer, with 281 employees, according to the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce’s 2009-2010 membership directory. The Crossings location is operating with 92 employees, Medina said. As of Tuesday, there were positions available at the Federal Way locations. Employment opportunities range from maintenance to management, cashier to bookkeeper, and vary depending on the season. With school due to start soon, some employees will be departing McDonald’s and replacements are needed.

McDonald’s applicant pool has expanded in recent years. Employees are not strictly teenagers. Students, retirees, people holding degrees, stay-at-home mothers looking for extra cash and folks who have lost their jobs are applying, Cho said.

“We definitely do have a different employment pool coming in,” he said.

Those hired will be offered perks. Employees working 20 or more hours qualify for McDonald’s health and medical insurance plans, free meals, free uniforms, flexible schedules and employee support services.


Hiring Day took place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 17. A total of 21 applications were taken at The Crossings location at Pacific Highway South and South 348th Street. At times, multiple individuals stood in line for their chance to land a job with the company.

“The turnout is great,” Gates said. “It’s more than I expected.”

Hiring Day, which has been done in the past, is beneficial to McDonald’s and to applicants. Management conducts the application and interview process back-to-back. They match a face with an application and get to know the applicant as paperwork is reviewed. Managers can immediately see if an applicant has the qualities they are looking for.

“It’s hard to discern someone’s hospitality from an application,” Cho said.

Applicants get the reassurance that their application was viewed by hiring personnel. They also have an opportunity to discuss their employment goals and work schedules. Maybe most importantly, they have the chance to make a good impression.

“We kind of like to hire smiles,” Cho said. “That’s one thing that’s hard to train.”

Cho looks to hire individuals that are hospitable, sincere and eager to work, he said. They must be prepared to participate in training and can anticipate moving up rapidly in the company, if desired.

“We really like to accelerate our people very quickly,” Cho said.

Job seekers who missed Hiring Day have other opportunities to land a job at McDonald’s. More Hiring Days will be held in the future. They are advertised at McDonald’s locations and on the company’s website,

Meanwhile, McDonald’s accepts applications on a daily basis at their restaurant locations. Managers are not always available to discuss employment opportunities with drop-in applicants. Individuals may also apply online at or

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