Home Uncategorized 15 Self-Made Millionaires Who Started At McDonald’s

15 Self-Made Millionaires Who Started At McDonald’s

Simi November 15, 2017

Rich and famous and living the high life. They have homes in Beverley Hills, New York, London, Paris, Monaco or even private islands somewhere in the middle of nowhere where its sunny 365 days a year. They surround themselves with security staff and have their chauffer’s and masseuse therapists on call day and night. Some even travel with their therapists and pets.

They own fast cars, sleek boats, and even faster planes. They travel with an entire entourage; from chefs to yoga instructors and even their dog walkers. They have their people on twenty-four hour a speed dial. They waft in and out of fashion weeks from London to Paris. They run multi-billion dollar corporations and have brand endorsements from Gucci, Ferrari to golf balls. They never stand in line for anything and are always on the A list of party invites. They choose where they want to be and not the other way around.

They have private bank accounts all over the world and even more stashed in “tax break” countries. They work hard and play even harder. When they throw parties you better bet its a million dollar affair and they only have the best of the best or at least better than the A-lister living next door to them. Some are movie stars, singers, designers or wiz billionaire entrepreneurs – either way you look at it they are mega superstars in their fields and have a celebrity status globally.

Who are they really? Where did they come from and how did they achieve their success? Many questions with many answers; so looking for a common thread between them was hard to find at first, but once we found it we were blown away by how many had started their first jobs in the same place………..McDonald’s.

McDonald’s to Amazon – Jeff Bezos

That’s right Jeff Bezos the founder, CEO and global business celebrity – not to mention one of the wealthiest and smartest men in the world started his career at McDonald’s. His all-time favorite shift was the Saturday morning breakfast run. He just loved cracking eggs; up to 301 into a single container and mixed the hell out of it before making scrambled eggs.

Perhaps this early career start created some fantastic foundations for this entrepreneur and innovator who today has a net worth in excess of 94 billion!

It’s not about cracking eggs and flipping burgers; it’s about time management, cost management, human relations and having the right ingredients and delivering a great product on time every time. Sounds a bit like the way he runs Amazon.

Like McDonald’s, Amazon has grown into a global brand delivering millions of packages daily to almost every corner of the globe. Constantly innovating and bringing new products to market takes hard work and consistent product evaluations to deliver just the right thing to market at the right price.

Fired 3 times from McDonald’s- Pharrell Williams

Today he is simply known as Pharrell. This rapper extraordinaire has a net worth of over 100 million US dollars and believe it or not he started at McDonald’s and was fired not once but 3 times from 3 different McDonalds.

Having life experience now and having worked incredibly hard to achieve his success and fame he looks back on those early burger slinging chip frying days and says simple……..”Man I was so lazy, no wonder they fired me!”

Whilst he is known as a serious rapper, most of his celebrity status and earnings come from being a producer of hits like; That Girl – Snoop Dogg & Charlie Wilson, Ain’t no Doubt about it – Justin Timberlake and Wepa – Gloria Estefan.

Perhaps this multi-awarding winning Grammy star learnt a thing or two from his “lazy days” at McDonald’s; it takes more than one person to make a successful team; a team working together makes great music and delivers an awesome product or simply just that he vowed to knuckle down and do some serious work in the field that he was passionate about – Music!

Can I take your order, please? Andie MacDowell

A pretty teenager in a South Carolina MacDonald’s that may have served you back in the very late seventies was none other than the gorgeous Andie MacDowell. Her real name is actually Rosalie Anderson and she started her “working” career at MacDonald’s.

Today Andie MacDowell is worth more than 30 million US dollars and she has had a very successful modeling and acting career. A winner of a number of prestigious awards likes an Emmy and that all pinnacle of acting awards an Oscar!

What did she learn during her time at Macdonald’s? “I learned that nothing is beneath you. Every job you do, do it well and to the best of your ability”.

From working the checkout counter to the back end of the restaurant Andie did it all; cleaned the floors, made the salads, buttered the rolls and flipped hundreds of burgers. These basic work tasks and keeping to a routine that requires you to perform constantly under pressure stood her in good stead as she went on to make movies such as; Greystoke, St Elmo’s Fire and Green Card.

Keep your head up under the golden arches-Andy Grammar

The handsome and smooth-talking Andy Grammar also did some time in his life as an employee at a MacDonald’s in Los Angeles, California. Wonder if he ever sang when he asked people what they wanted to order. Just imagine that!

Today his net worth is in the millions and growing on a monthly basis. This talented songwriter, musician, and singer moved on from a job at MacDonald’s to busking on the streets in Santa Monica as he made more money and then as his luck turned her got a gig at the Viper Room. He was later signed by S-Curve records and in 2011 has his first hit song with “Keep your head up”.

What did he do at MacDonald’s? He worked mainly as a cashier and learned how to deal with people and money. He took the orders, placed the orders, took the money and then gave you your food. He learned how to handle money and orders in a fast-paced environment. Sounds a lot like the music business!

A Limp-Bizkit at Macdonald’s – Fred Durst

Today we all know him as the lead singer of the band Limp Bizkit. Born William Frederick Durst his family and friends called him Fred and he worked at a Macdonald’s in his teens in Jacksonville.

His net worth right now is well over the twenty million US dollar mark, but who actually really knows. Not only did he front the over 35 million album selling band Limp-Bizkit, believe it or not he was first into break-dancing, hip hop and heavy metal.

After working at MacDonald’s he went to work in a tattoo parlor and it was here that he got the idea to start a band that did a combination of hip-hop and rock music.

What did he learn at his time at MacDonald’s? Well, he always worked the early morning shift. So he got used to interesting working hours. Imagine that young tattooed teenager leaning forward on the counter asking you what you want? Seriously though, he learnt to work as part of a team and to lead under pressure and to keep going till your shift ends.

This is a hold up – James D’Arcy

Sauvé and eloquent and oh so easy on the eye, this British actor started his earning life at a MacDonald’s. His birth name is actually Simon Richard D’Arcy. After leaving drama school he worked for about a month on an acting gig but that dried up and he swept the streets to earn a weekly wage.

He then got a job at a local MacDonald’s but says he did not last very long. Not because of the work. He actually did well. He was friendly and loved interacting with the clients.

But one shift a chap came into the restaurant and pointed a gun in his face. The guy then realized that it was not the person he was looking for and left. This left James rather shaken and he decided to leave.

Today he is worth just over 8 million US dollars and still lives in a suburb in England. Talking of England; did you know that the Queen of England owes a MacDonald’s in her business portfolio? D’Arcy is best known for his role Edwin Jarvis in the series Agent Carter.

Excuse me your honor! – Star Jones

Marie “Star” Jones has a number of highly success roles in her life. She is a lawyer, a TV personality, journalist, author, fashion designer, and diversity and women’s advocate.

Wow, that’s quite a life and career. Let’s go back to the 80’s. There she was working at a local MacDonald’s in Badin, North Carolina as a deep-fryer. She completed a law degree and was admitted to the bar in 1987. Fascinating that she went from putting things into the oil fryer and then as a lawyer helped her clients out of the fryer!

Today this versatile lady has a net worth of over 19 million US dollars. Is on the A-celebrity list and appeared on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice. Perhaps she could say the famous words of YOURE FIRED to him now or not! She also co-hosted The View and was often involved in controversy whilst on the show.

She allegedly lied (we all innocent until proven guilty) about her weight loss – which turned out to be a gastric bypass. Star Jones recently got engaged to Ricardo Lugo. They have been together since early 2016.

10 seconds makes all the difference – Carl Lewis

Now retired this 9 times gold medal Olympic champion is proud of his early days working at MacDonald’s and has been quoted on many occasion as saying “Time is very important … you couldn’t let the fries get cold. If I was 10 seconds off, I’d have no gold medal.

One of the many contributing successes to the MacDonald’s global franchise has been the efficiency of time and how its managed. Every aspect of the business is measured in portions and time to deliver each element. Great training for this athlete I’d say.

Estimated to have a net worth in excess of 30 million US dollars this champion athlete has dedicated his time to coaching and motivational speaking globally. Whilst it was rumored via the internet that he had died, causing alarm it was subsequently confirmed that it was a hoax and fake news.

He was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1961. His parents ran an athletics club. It was almost a natural progression that he would take part and his born talent developed into one of the greatest athletes of all time.

From this moment on…… – Shania Twain

Yip, she too started her first job at MacDonald’s and used to clean the floors. You may laugh at that, but keeping your base clean and tidy is a solid foundation in everything you do.

Today this megastar is worth in excess of 350 million US dollars and her hourly rate is so big I can’t even write it down as it will have changed before I add the last zero.

This is a far cry from minimum wage as a cleaner at MacDonald’s. By her own account, she really enjoyed it and loved the people she worked with. One of the many factors that have kept this franchise a firm favorite is the “family” vibe created by employees and customers. You always find a friend at the golden arches.

Born in Canada she has sold more than any other female country artist ever and remains in the queen bee position today still. She was born and named Eilleen Regina Edward in 1965 and has had so many number one hits over the years; You’re still the one; From this moment on and I’m gonna getcha good!

I needed a buck or two – Sharon Stone

Every celebrity and starts somewhere, some are born into wealth and opulence and get ”passed the baton”, most, however, are like us and come from a standard middle or lower class family. Sharon Stone was born to accountant Dorothy and blue-collar worker father Joseph in 1959 along with a sister Kelly and 2 brothers; Patrick and Michael.

Raising four children was not easy especially with the economic troubles of the 70’s, the parents encouraged the 4 Stone children to get Jobs both for pocket money and to learn the ways of life.

To this end, Sharon worked at McDonald’s in Meadville Pennsylvania (the same place she was born) during summers. After graduating ahead of time (she started grade 2 aged 5) in 1975, she enrolled in Edinboro University, she started modeling at the same time, entering numerous competitions across the state of Pennsylvania eventually becoming a candidate for Miss Pennsylvania.

One of the judges encouraged her to go to New York and actively pursue a modeling career. Sharon left McDonalds and University, moved in with an Aunt in New Jersey and the rest was history.

I tried…….. Macy Gray

Her real name is Natalie McIntyre was born to Laura McIntyre and Otis Jones in 1967, though he left the family shortly after Macy’s birth.

Macy went to school in Canton Ohio with another famous singer Brian Warner aka Marilyn Manson. Her first job was at a local McDonalds where she worked year round from her teenage years.

Yet she found time for her passions; having learned piano at aged 7, she continued exploring music and her potential in sound up to and including university where she got her big break.

She had been studying scriptwriting in LA but had begun to sing with jazz bands across the city in her spare time when she was noticed by a recording scout. Just 2 years later she was an international star going 7x platinum in the United States of America and the UK. She has since released 5 other albums and is currently working the club scene in New York.

Free food for my mates – Jay Leno

Born to a Scottish immigrant mother and an Italian descent father, Jay Leno was born in 1950 in New York State, he was raised however in Andover Massachusetts, attending both Junior and High School in the town.

Andover lacked much economic opportunities; Jay managed to find a job when a new McDonald’s opened, however, his brother joined the army. While his brother Patrick was fighting in Vietnam, Jay started working at the McDonalds on the Main Street of Andover.

In a twist, however, Leno would short charge his friends for burgers as well as fries. He was never caught doing this, but both he and his friends have brought the story up in interviews and conversations. One can see one of the reasons why he was so popular.

Another reason for his popularity is that Leno was great at telling a joke and interacting with people, after graduating in 1973 he opened up a comedy club in the local area.
This led guest appearances on the Tonight Show which he would begin hosting in the early 90’s.

It was not being kissed by a rose – Seal

Seal had a troubled early life, but his rise to stardom shows just how far inner strength can take one. Born to a Nigerian Mother and Brazilian father at Paddington Hospital in London, UK, Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel better known as Seal was raised by a foster family in Westminster (a very wealthy area of Greater London).

Despite the opulence around him, Seal had numerous run-ins with the law and had many low paying jobs in and around London. However, one of the worst was his two-week stint at McDonald’s. “The worst job I ever had was in McDonald’s in Kentish Town. I was 16 and they gave me a brown uniform that was two sizes too small. I stayed two weeks, until I got my first pay check, then I was outta there.”

He toured with numerous small bands in the mid and late 80’s eventually ending up on a friends couch in London.

His break came when he met the Producer Adamski who offered him the vocals on a track he was producing called ”Killer” The song was a #1 hit in the UK and helped launch Seals solo career.

A melting pot of people – Andy Card

Born in May 1947 in Brockton Massachusetts, Andy was very active in the Scouts. Unlike most of the people on our list, Andy only started to work for McDonald’s after he graduated high school, this happened when he went down to South Carolina to study. When he looks back on the time he says: ” I remember thinking that McDonald’s was unique as a great equalizer.

Wealthy and poor, black and white all came to McDonald’s and stood in the same lines and sat at the same booths.” After acquiring a civil engineering degree he studied postgraduate at Harvard in Politics and served in the Marines in the late 60’s.

From there he would launch his political career, eventually rising to high positions in both the Reagan and Bush Snr. Administrations. Being a Republican he did not serve in government during the 90’s (Democrat Bill Clinton was president at the time). However, he returned to Politics after joining George Bush Jnr’s campaign in 2000.

He would go on to serve as Chief of Staff for 6 years, including during the terror attacks of 9/11. He is the one telling the President of the attacks at the Nursery school on the morning of September 11, a truly harrowing video.

Ain’t no mean girl – Rachael McAdams

Canadian born actress, who believe it or not, worked at MacDonald’s for 3 years before her big acting break.

She is best known for her roles in the Notebook and Mean Girls. Today she has a net worth of over 20 million dollars. Not bad for a kid who started with a minimum wage. She says that she was never known to be a good worker at McDonald’s.

Despite her not-so-good job performance there, Rachel describes McDonald’s as “a great place to work.” “I had a little bit of an OCD thing with hand washing and just didn’t have time,” she explains. “They were like, ‘Hey, the drive-through’s backing up. Stop washing your hands!'” Quite a pressure situation but she was sure about pursuing a different career.

She broke the orange juice machine one day and that was a good hint to her to break the shackles and pursue her acting career more seriously. The kids’ theater and McD job were not good enough to pay the bills. All we can say now is, Good move, Rachel!