Five years ago, Lois Brenner started working in service enhancement at McDonald’s in Little Falls. It is a decision she doesn’t regret.
“Being a widow, I was looking for something to do to fill my time. I couldn’t sit around and be a couch potato,” she said.
She said a friend had encouraged her to apply.
Recently, the Little Falls Chamber of Commerce named her July Employee of the Month. Brenner said the news came as a shock, but it is something she considers to be an honor.
“It’s humbling,” she said.
Some of her tasks at work is to make sure that the area with condiments is stocked and cleaned. She also sweeps and mops the floor, washes windows and more.
But Brenner’s dedication to her work stretches beyond her tasks. One of the greatest enjoyments for her at work is to interact with the customers while she is working to make sure they have a great experience and feel welcome.
“Lois is great to have around. She is customer focused and always has a smile on her face. She always goes the extra mile to make sure all our guests are satisfied before leaving the restaurant,” said supervisor Jared Allord.
Brenner thanks those who nominated her for Employee of the Month.
“I am so blessed to be employed these past five years and working with my fellow employees in such a friendly atmosphere. The opportunity to meet and make friends with so many of our guests is a true pleasure,” she said.
The anonymous nominations spoke highly of Brenner.
“She is very friendly and does a very good job at keeping McDonald’s clean. She is always busy picking up things around the store and offers to bring coffee to the customers. We really appreciate her,” said one nomination.
Another said, “Lois always has a smile. She often has to run outside with a hot bag of food to deliver to customers, she is in her 80s. Lois does this with a smile and thank you for your order each and every time. She always makes us feel welcome and like the best customers she has seen all day, even though she treats everyone this way.”
The third nomination said, “We always know the booth or seats will be clean and ready to use. She is also a very friendly lady. She always smiles, greets everyone and gets them items needed and takes their trays when finished. Lois does a wonderful job.”
Brenner said having the job and the connections she has made has helped her in her grief of losing her husband, Bill, who died from liver cancer in 2010. The two had been married for 53 years.
“After he died, I struggled with depression, but working here helped me. Some weeks that was the only thing I had to look forward to,” she said.
One thing Brenner enjoyed doing with Bill was motorcycle riding. While he steered, she rode behind him. Together they visited many places as they cruised across the country from state to state.
Brenner, now age 83, said that she missed it so much after he died that she decided to get her own motorcycle, a Can Am, and start riding herself. She belongs to the biker club, The Minnesota Gold Wings — Little Falls Chapter and continues to ride.
“It is fun. I enjoy it. I am probably the oldest in the group and they take wonderful care of me,” she said.
As Employee of the Month, Brenner will receive certificates from Berg’s Bug Removal, Bursch Travel Agency, CHI Health at Home, Coborn’s Floral, Domino’s, Fitness Connection, Franciscan Sisters, Fresh Hair Professionals, Friends of Pine grove Zoo, Johnny C’s Sports Bar, Linden Hill Historic Event Center, Pine Ridge Golf Club, Subway in Little Falls and Vacuum Cleaner Outlet and Service Center. She will also have a professional photo taken by Maddie B’s Photography.