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But today Darren Hall is the managing director of McDonald's South Africa

By unknown | Dec 03, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Lihle Z Mtshali

Lihle Z Mtshali

Darren Hall, the managing director of McDonald's South Africa, is such a big fan of his own product that you are most likely to find him at one of the outlets tucking into a Big Breakfast every morning.

"This is my absolute favourite," he beams like a kid let loose in a toy shop, spreading a variety of the McDonald's breakfast offering on the small table and inviting us to sample everything in front of him.

Hall has been at the helm of the South African division of one of the world's most famous fast-food franchises since 2006, but his career at McDonald's spans over two decades.

The 41-year-old Hall started working at McDonald's in the United States when he was only 16 years old and flipped burgers so he could buy a pair of tackies he wanted badly.

Hall had no plans to stay at the job beyond his first pay cheque, but after getting paid $35 he bought his tackies and enjoyed having money in his pocket so much that he stayed on.

"I had wanted to follow in my father's footsteps and become a pilot in the US air force, because I wanted to travel the world. But a manager at the McDonald's branch where I was working on weekends convinced me to join the company's management programme."

So when Hall finished high school he started his full-time career at McDonald's.

He came to South Africa for the first time in 1998 to oversee the operations of the franchises and he was here for three years before going back to the US.

He then came back in 2001 to introduce the McDonald's breakfast range.

In 2006 he was offered the opportunity to come back on a full-time basis as the managing director, which he took up without hesitation.

McDonald's South Africa has 100 franchises and 6000 employees countrywide.

Hall says: "We are playing around with the idea of opening restaurants in townships, with one recently opened at the Maponya Mall in Soweto."


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