A popular McDonald’s licensee, who has given away milk and bread during the COVID-19 pandemic, has opened up about his desire to protect more than 110 staff.
A popular McDonald’s licensee, who has given away milk and bread during the COVID-19 pandemic, has opened up about his desire to protect more than 110 staff.

Thousands sign petition for Macca’s licensee

A popular Brisbane McDonalds' licensee hopes to stay with the company despite an apparent uncertainty over whether his licence will be renewed next month.

Rod Chiapello has held the licence for the Bracken Ridge restaurant in Brisbane's north for more than 20 years and that licence expires on June 30.

He would not comment personally about it, but instead referred to a post which appeared on the restaurant's Facebook page today.

Rod Chiapello (centre) with team members Simi Kaur and Bre Wadey in 2014 when McDonald’s Bracken Ridge announced it was starting home delivery. Picture: Sarah Keayes
Rod Chiapello (centre) with team members Simi Kaur and Bre Wadey in 2014 when McDonald’s Bracken Ridge announced it was starting home delivery. Picture: Sarah Keayes

"Our lovely customers and community friends have been asking for well over 12 months now 'Rod … are you leaving'," the post reads.

"Our 20 year McDonald's license exprires on 30/6/2020.

"I need to state clearly … that I have absolutely no intention of leaving the brand nor the team at Maccas Bracken Ridge.

"The McDonald's brand is amazing and we are just so proud to be associated.

"There are however a few individuals in leadership positions within our awesome McDonald's brand that have an alternative view (to most others) about our business and its ability to operate with integrity and to care for and protect the livelihood of our over 110 team members which includes 16 mums and 26 university and TAFE students."

Towards the end of the post there is another reference to the "official review date of our existing licence" followed by the statement "We will keep you posted".

McDonald's was contacted for comment, but has not responded.

McDonald's Bracken Ridge team members (from left) Talitha Dalton and Caitlyn Menesi with some of the bread and milk which they gave away on Saturday, April 11, 2020.
McDonald's Bracken Ridge team members (from left) Talitha Dalton and Caitlyn Menesi with some of the bread and milk which they gave away on Saturday, April 11, 2020.

The Facebook post generated an outpouring of positive messages of support from the community.

That response was not unexpected given the way Mr Chiapello has supported the local community over many years - whether through providing help to individuals in need or donating to charities, schools, sports clubs and community events.

Most recently, during coronavirus restrictions, the restaurant has been giving away milk, bread and cookies.

Not long after the Facebook post appeared at noon, Jon Twartz started a change.org petition to 'Save Rod and his amazing team at Maccas Bracken Ridge'. The petition already has more than 2000 signatures.

Mr Chiapello was been with McDonald's for about 33 years and previously held licences for restaurants at Toombul and Virginia.

Rod Chiapello with team members from McDonald’s Bracken Ridge in a photo to promote McHappy Day in 2013. Picture: Russell Brown.
Rod Chiapello with team members from McDonald’s Bracken Ridge in a photo to promote McHappy Day in 2013. Picture: Russell Brown.

The Bracken Ridge restaurant is a big supporter of Ronald McDonald House and has been the top McHappy Day fundraiser in Queensland for many years.

Last year the store raised $16,639.77, the fourth highest amount in Australia, through it's annual McHappy Day mini fete.

Mr Chiapello's contributions to the community were recognised in 2015 when he was named the Lord Mayor's Citizen of the Year for his "ongoing and selfless support to many different areas of the Brisbane community over many years".

Originally published as Thousands sign petition for Macca's licensee


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