Astronauts. Teachers. Award-winning playwrights. Executives. Small business owners. One in 8 Americans have one thing in common: the experience of working at a McDonald’s restaurant. Whether their career continued within the Golden Arches or beyond, McDonald’s is celebrating both former and current crew members who make up this diverse community with the launch of its new “1 in 8” initiative.
Members of the 1 in 8 will have access to unique programming, like opportunities to attend exclusive events, mentorships with notable alums who’ve gone on to make an impact in their respective fields, reunions with former team members and more.
To officially kick things off, McDonald’s is dropping a limited-edition letterman jacket that represents what it means to be 1 in 8 – because a group this iconic deserves swag to match. Designed by McDonald’s alum and founder of lifestyle brand Robotic Minds Concept, Kendall Hurns tapped into his nostalgia and love for the brand to create this one-of-a-kind jacket, featuring IYKYK surprises for fellow crew. For each jacket sold, McDonald’s will contribute funding to help exceptional crew members achieve their aspirations through once-in-a-lifetime experiences and opportunities. Jackets go on sale on Monday, Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. ET at www.McDonalds1in8.com, while supplies last.
“For 1 in 8 Americans, the McDonald’s restaurant experience offers critical life skills and creates opportunities for meaningful work and connections,” says Tiffanie Boyd, Senior Vice President & Chief People Officer at McDonald’s. “Formally bringing this group together will give past and present crew members alike the chance to continue growing, building their networks and celebrating the special community they represent.”
In the midst of Homecoming season, McDonald’s also honored the 1 in 8 with its first-ever Homecoming celebration in New York City today, Oct. 11. During the event, current crew and 1 in 8 alums had the chance to connect to share personal stories and career advice. In attendance were a handful of well-known 1 in 8ers, including New York Times Best Selling Author and Peloton Instructor Cody Rigsby, Michelin-star restaurant chef, Harold Villarosa, TV host, actress and entrepreneur Alejandra Espinoza, creative entrepreneur Kendall Hurns, and McDonald’s franchise owner, Paul Hendel – who started as a crew member when he was 16 years old and now owns 31 restaurants. The event also brought the Homecoming spirit with the Brooklyn United marching band, exclusive gear and a friendly face-off to see who could build a Big Mac® the fastest (because there’s no truer test for a 1 in 8er).
“It’s no secret that McDonald’s is my day one,” said Rigsby. “It’s a full circle moment for me to be able to share my journey to inspire others – including those who had the same start as me and used their job at McDonald’s as a jumping off point.”
And while many members of the 1 in 8 use the skills learned at McDonald’s to succeed in different fields, others apply them to grow within the company as franchisees, management or corporate positions.