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Man Who Worked At London's First McDonald's 'Felt Like Millionaire' Earning £14 A Week

Anish Vij

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Man Who Worked At London's First McDonald's 'Felt Like Millionaire' Earning £14 A Week

A man who worked at London's first-ever McDonald's 'felt like a millionaire' after earning just £14 a week.

Patrick Feeney spent his youth in Greenwich, south-east London where his family were left devastated after the death of his father.

The added financial stress was then brought onto the shoulders of a 15-year-old Patrick, who landed a job at London's first McDonalds restaurant in Woolwich, which allowed him to financially help out his family.

Now, aged 60, Patrick lives in Wiltshire and explained: "I hated school. I was always getting in trouble.

"I always got the cane or was bunking off.

"I caused my mother no end of bother, but going to McDonald's was an unbelievable transition."

Although he went to St Austin's Roman Catholic School in Charlton, he felt that the conventional education-based route wasn't the right fit for him.

Patrick always hated school and couldn't find a fit until he got his job at McDonald's. Credit: BPM Media
Patrick always hated school and couldn't find a fit until he got his job at McDonald's. Credit: BPM Media

"McDonald's wasn't strict like school. It wasn't like military precision but once I started there the penny dropped from a financial aspect," he explains.

"The more you worked, the more you got paid and the more food allowance you got so it was a no brainer really.

"As long as you weren't lazy everything was hunky-dory. Some people just wanted to stay on one thing like chips, but if you didn't mind what job they gave you, you got on well.

"There were plenty of chances for promotion and there was a 'stars' scheme if you did well."

Now, many years later, he is enjoying the benefits of a long career and a nice redundancy package after working 27 years at Honda in Wiltshire.

However, he believes his success was helped by starting work at McDonald's as a schoolboy.

Patrick did everything from clearing tables and sweeping the floors to working the tills and the grills.

This is how the McDonald's restaurants looked back in the day. Credit: BPM Media
This is how the McDonald's restaurants looked back in the day. Credit: BPM Media

He added: "It was very busy even back then.

"You'd be making up and packing, filing up the drinks machines, there was always a multitude of things to do. The harder you worked, the more popular you were.

"You only had to be there a couple of months and you felt quite entrenched and you could show your skills to the new trainees.

"I've got nothing but fond memories of it. They were good times.

He concluded: "I used to earn £28 a fortnight and a pint of lager back then was 15p, so I felt like a millionaire... like I was a Rothschild.

"I would spend the money on clothes. My Doc Marten boots and Levi jeans. I'd always have a bit of money in my pocket.

"I remember once being able to buy my mum a teammate for mother's day and that was quite a proud moment."

Featured Image Credit: BPM Media

Topics: UK News, Food And Drink, McDonald's

Anish Vij
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