Half a century at McDonald’s: Why Sarnia’s Brenda Mitchell is there to stay

If there is one restaurant franchise that has mastered the art of shaping our collective memories over the years, many would argue in favor of McDonald’s.

For Sarnia, Ont. resident Brenda Mitchell, the fast-food giant holds a particularly fond place in her life as she approaches her 51st year working for the company in Southwestern Ontario.

Mitchell, 71, has no plans of leaving anytime soon.

“McDonald’s is my life. I love all my customers, I love the staff, and I love the owners Colleen and Pete Buckley. They are super people. If I didn’t like it, I would’ve quit years ago.”

Five decades at the McDonald’s Drive-Thru might not appeal to everyone, but for Mitchell, it is an intentional part of her life. Sarnia residents now know her de ella by name, and decade to decade, Mitchell has witnessed her community culture de ella live through multiple cherished eras.

Brenda Mitchell is currently the longest-serving crew member in Sarnia, Ont. (Courtesy of Carter Gibbons at Weber Shandwick)

“I liked it when they brought out new products like the McRib and the BLT. They did gear it to children… [I remember when] they brought out the toys for Happy Meals and all of that. We never had that back in ’71.”

The company has stuck with her amidst life changes as well, with Mitchell joining teams in London, Oshawa, Pickering-Ajax and Gravenhurst, and settling back in her hometown of Sarnia in the 1990s. She’s been there ever since.

Local franchisee Colleen Buckley says of Mitchell, “I have had the privilege of working shoulder to shoulder with Brenda since 1994, when I was a crew member myself. Brenda is a treasured part of my McFamily.”

So, after all that time racked up on the intercom, does Brenda still enjoy a good combo meal?

“I like their breakfast. I like the Sausage Egg McMuffin.”

Afternoon Drive7:33Sarnia Woman Reaching Her 51st Year as McDonald’s Employee

A proud McDonald’s employee for over half a century: that’s the story of Brenda Mitchell. Chris dela Torre speaks with the Sarnia resident who shares why she has no plans of leaving the fast food chain and recalls her favorite memories of her over the years. 7:33

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