Meet Nate Grohs, General Manager, Cleveland St. McDonald’s

Photo of Nate Grohs.

Nate Grohs

General Manager,
Cleveland St. McDonald’s

What year did you start working for McDonald’s and the Walla Organization?

I started working for McDonalds in 2000 as a 14-year-old. It was the summer before my freshman year of high school.

What led you to your current career at McDonald’s?

I first started working for McDonalds so I could get a car. I was always told that I would have to help buy my own car. McDonalds seemed like the best place to start. I didn’t know at the time that this was going to be where I stayed working. I became a Manager in Training (MIT) just as I was ending my sophomore year. During my junior year I was promoted to a Swing Manger. During my senior year I was running my own shifts during the evening and was an opening manager on the weekends. I was always looking to take that next step. After one year out of high school there was an opening for a 2nd assistant salary position, and I was offered the job. I took the job in August of 2005 and stayed a 2nd assistant until the year 2014 when I took a position as a 1st assistant manager. I stayed working as 1st assistant until 2021 when I was given the opportunity to run my own store.

What is your current position and responsibility?

I am currently the General Manager of the Cleveland St. location. My role in the store is to help make sure that we deliver quality food, and fast service in a clean atmosphere for our customers. I do this by managing a team of people who help to oversee the day to day operations. I help keep everyone on the same page and work towards the same common goal. Another key job of mine is to help in the development of our managers. Making sure that if/when the time come for people to be promoted, they are able to step into that role with little-to-no interruption on the day to day operations.

I also work with the other General Managers in town to come up with ideas that will help the business be even more successful, day after day.

Why do you work at McDonald’s?

Besides getting a paycheck for working, I work at McDonald’s because I enjoy what I am doing from day to day. It is a fast-paced environment that changes from day to day. Yes, we make food for customers but each day is different. Each day we are challenged with different obstacles and we need to learn to drive past them. This has also helped me in my personal life. I have learned different tools over the years that help in many areas of life. Most of these tools I have learned from experience, however I have also learned these tools by attending classes that McDonald’s puts on to make their managers the best they can be. I have been given the opportunity to attend many of these classes and was even fortunate enough to attend the highest level of class McDonald’s offers, Hamburger University.

I have also made some amazing friends from working here and I can’t say that I would have met them without working here. Some of these amazing people are more like family than friends. There is a level of support that we can give one another not only inside the restaurant but also in our personal lives.

What is it like working for the Walla Organization?

Working in the Walla Organization is one of the greatest organizations that one could work for. Our owner Wendy is constantly showing her employees how much they mean to her. She helps make sure that her employees have all the tools necessary to do their jobs. Keeping our equipment changing with the times. Along with having the right equipment, she makes sure that her managers have the training they need to be successful. She invests not only into the company but also her people.

Wendy is all about her people and shows it multiple ways. She has let us hold special days for the crew like treat days and themed days like jersey day. She is always trying to stay ahead of any changes in the world that would affect her staff. She has a true feeling of responsibility to everyone that is on her payroll, letting them know that she will do everything that she can to help them in life.

One of the greatest things working for the Walla Organization is the feeling of family I have with the people around me. I have come to meet and know so many wonderful people that I would call part of my family. Although we have 4 different locations in town, Wendy has made it feel as though we are One. When one person is successful, we are all successful. It also goes the other way and if we fail, we will all learn from it.

Another great value our owner has is her belief on time off. She believes that we are no good to ourselves or others around us by being at work 24/7. There is a time that is needed to rest and recuperate. Burning the candle at both ends does more harm than good. This is why she believes in making sure that we have time away from the store. By giving vacation days for her employees, she is investing in the employees’ health and her company.  

What is your go-to meal at McDonald’s?

There are so many options for meal choices here at McDonalds. Depending on what time of the day, my go-to meal is different. During the breakfast hours I like to have a Sausage Egg McMuffin and some apples. If I was eating lunch or dinner, I would go for a Quarter Pounder or a Crispy Chicken Sandwich with some fries and BBQ sauce.

How does your career at McDonald’s support your life outside of work?

My career has allowed me to do many things. I started a family of my own and am able to provide a life for them. From feeding and clothing them, to letting them do activities and camps. Being able to let them do these activities and camps is possible by working for a company that holds the value of flexible scheduling. I have also been able to enjoy taking vacations with friends and family over the years. Without the pay and time, these things would not be possible.

What do you like to do in your free time?

When I have free time I like to spend it riding my motorcycle, fishing and during the right season, hunting.

I enjoy getting out on two wheels and touring the hills on my motorcycle with my dad. And occasionally taking a little trip to a nearby state, exploring the curves of the roads. Getting to feel the freedom two wheels has to offer.

If I’m not riding, I like to take the boat out on the water and fish. I really like to fish for bass but honestly, I will fish for whatever might be biting at the time. I really enjoy the challenge of fishing - trying to figure out what is biting and what they are wanting. It is a great feeling hooking into a big fish and reeling it in!

I am also a big hunter. I have been hunting for deer for as long as I can remember. I enjoy the challenge of being able to find the animal and getting as close to it as possible. It is a time of peace when you are out looking for game. You don’t want to make a lot of noise while hunting so you take your time walking and turn off your phone so it doesn’t go off. I also like hunting for birds. Unlike big game, the more people you have hunting birds, the more fun. You don’t have to be quiet and you get to be with likeminded friends.

I also enjoy reading books in my spare time. I like how reading can take you to another place as you paint a picture in your mind about what you’re reading, using the descriptions about a place and seeing it in your own way. The coolest part, your painting will always be different than someone who is reading the same story.

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