McDonald's Warilla operators Glenn and Katia Dwarte, best known for their recent efforts to offer table service to customers, have been recognised with the company's highest honour for their work in the community.
The couple's amazing start to the year, which featured international publicity, was topped off this week in Auckland when they were presented with "The Ronald" at the Australia and New Zealand Owner Operators Convention.
Each year, a select few owner operators around the world receive the honour that is as much about what they do for the community as the way they manage their restaurants.
Mrs Dwarte, who started her career as a teenager at McDonald's Warrawong 35 years ago, said it was nice to be recognised in such a way.
The nomination submitted by a field service consultant noted how the Dwartes were active members in their community and were known across the global franchise as the Mr and Mrs McDonald's of Wollongong.
It said the McDonald's Warilla, Warrawong and Shellharbour Food Court operators had helped many schools, charities and sporting teams for more than 20 years and employed and trained over 300 people.
It referred to their recent donation of $10,000 (including $5000 of their own money) to a single mother of three who was being treated for cancer and unable to work.
Their purchase of equipment for Shellharbour Hospital, helping Illawarra firefighters raise funds for The Westmead Children's Hospital burns unit and annual Christmas Eve dinners for up to 450 disadvantaged people were also mentioned.
The couple has also been nominated for an Order of Australia award.