My first gig as a McDonald's store manager was with the partnership of Zien-Heller in Minneapolis. I didn't know much about the structure of the partnership except that they
had the rights to develop McDonald's in the City of Minneapolis and they controlled the
real estate. We knew we worked for both men but reported directly to Jim Zien, he was
in the restaurants frequently, Sim Heller occasionally.
One day Sim Heller made an unannounced visit to my restaurant and was especially
interested in a contractor who was tiling walls in the back of the kitchen, walls that had previously been painted. I was excited about the upgrade - him - not so much.
Sim wiped his hand across the 4x4 salt and pepper tiles and just said, "I hope Zien can
Today's McDonald's Operators should emulate the very wise Sim Heller and when asked
to get involved in questionable initiatives respond with, "I hope Easterbrook can afford it".
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