By James Grob, email@example.com
A job at McDonald’s is what you make of it.
This, according to Jodi Logan.
“It’s been good for me,” she said. “It’s actually been great for me. For some people, it’s a valuable first job, a stepping stone into other things. For me, it’s been a career.”
Logan started working at McDonald’s in 2007 as an assistant manager, then held the general manager position at the Charles City location for nine years before being promoted to area supervisor in January.
She is now charged with managing the four McDonald’s restaurants owned by Scott Soifer, located in Charles City, New Hampton, Independence and her home town of Oelwein, where she grew up.
“I especially like working for this organization — he takes care of his employees, insurance, 401K. He puts a lot of commitment into his employees,” Logan said about Soifer. “They want us to succeed, because they know in return they will succeed.”
As a general manager, Logan said, she worked 50-55 hours per week, a lot of nights and weekends, and also was constantly on call.
“A lot of long, hard days,” she smiled. “Now I work fewer weekends, and not as long of hours.”
As a general manager, she was a winner of the prestigious Ray Kroc Award — an annual performance-based award that recognizes the top 1 percent of McDonald’s restaurant managers nationwide.
As area supervisor, Logan oversees the daily operations of four restaurants. The local restaurant, located at 506 Allison St. in Charles City, employs more than 60 people, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has been in Charles City for more than 40 years. It was recently remodeled and now features table service and kiosks to place orders.
Logan played a big role in that transition.
“You hear all the time, that we’re just burger-flippers, and that you could never make a career of it,” Logan said. “Even old friends back home will sometimes ask if I ‘still work at McDonalds,’ and I’ll tell them, ‘Yes, it’s put a couple of my kids through college, and paid for a lot of things that your job probably hasn’t.’”
Ranging in ages from 18 to 31, all four of Logan’s children have worked for her at McDonald’s, and two of those went through the Charles City school system. Her youngest, Cole, just graduated from CCHS a year ago.
“I employ a lot of high school kids,” Logan said. “Ninety percent of the high school kids who work here are going on to college. This is their first job, so I feel that I’m one of the people teaching them how to be a grown-up, and how to be responsible.”
Logan said the skills they learn at McDonald’s can be valuable throughout their lives.
“They’re learning how to be respectful at a job, and how to be on time, how to request time off,” she said. “All those little things that, if you’ve never had a job before, you just take for granted.”
Logan often takes various opportunities to visit the high school and talk to kids about employment.
“I’ll tell them how to apply for a job, what’s important in an interview,” she said. “I think the school system has done a lot of good things for my kids.”
Logan said she wants people to know how supportive the McDonald’s corporation in general — and the Soifer family in particular — has been to local kids.
“For example, if kids work here and average 15 hours or more a week, they get a $2,500 scholarship for college, anywhere,” she explained. “They just have to be employed for 90 days or more, and it can be used at any college.”
Logan said the restaurant also donates to local youth causes, educational programs and items such as the 4H building at the fairgrounds.
“That comes from owner Scott Soifer,” Logan said. “He was originally from Charles City. His parents, Sam and Barb, were the original owners, and then when they passed Scott took over the organization.
Through McDonald’s and on her own, Logan has also gotten involved with various community events, such as the Relay for Life and RAGBRAI last year.
“I like to be involved in the community a lot,” she said. “When you have kids in the community it opens your eyes.”
Logan was born and raised in Oelwein with three brothers. Her older brother, Jamie, still lives in Oelwein. Her younger brother Joe lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and her younger brother Jeremy is Oelwein’s chief of police. Three of the four went into food service as a career.
“We’ve all been managers or area supervisors at some point in time,” Logan said. “I don’t know if that’s just in our blood, or that it’s we just like to eat, or what.”
The interest in food service may have come from her mother, Jane, who worked the lunch line in the Oelwein school district.
“Yeah, she was the lunch lady,” Logan said. “We may have gotten it from her.”
From the school lunch line in Oelwein to running the busiest restaurant in Charles City, along with three others, Logan is happy where she is.
“I like the people in Charles City a lot. When I moved to town I didn’t know a lot of people,” Logan said. “This is how I met a lot of people, through McDonalds.”