McDonald’s owners have Altus ties

By Mary O.Esparza -

Effective Aug. 1, McDonald’s of Altus new owners are Ryan Thorley, 29, his wife Amanda Stepanovich-Thorley, and his parents Rick and Kathy Lopez-Thorley.

Thorley is a third generation owner-operator, who started his career as a McDonald’s crew member in high school and is following in his grandparents’ and parents’ footsteps. He attended and graduated from Ada High School and continued his education at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, where he met Amanda.

Thorley later returned to McDonald’s, working as a crew member in the restaurant.

“I have worked every position in a McDonald’s restaurant and became approved to be an owner-operator four years ago,” said Thorley, who was the youngest McDonald’s owner-operator in the entire Unites States at that time.

His parents have invested more than 35 years of their lives with McDonald’s and they also started as crew members. The Thorley organization owns nine McDonald’s restaurants, including the Altus and Vernon, Texas businesses.

Stepanovich-Thorley, who is the McDonald’s marketing director, was born, raised and graduated from Altus. Her parents are Joe and Rhonda Stepanovich.

“I was so excited and couldn’t believe it when Ryan told me the news of becoming owner-operators of the Altus McDonald’s, because it was a great business opportunity but also because now our 2-year-old son Beckett can be closer to his grandparents and the other family members,” she said.

The couple is excited and ready to get involved in the community and continue the legacy of former owners Norm and Sam Weber.

“We will continue to be a part of the Altus City Easter egg hunt — an event started by the Webers over 35 years ago, along with other traditional events,” Thorley said.

The couple added two new crew members to the Altus team — a new general manager and supervisor who relocated from the Ada McDonald’s.

“Our short time in the Altus restaurant has been great,” Thorley said. “We have enjoyed working with the staff and the transition is going along very smoothly.”

Some of the new ideas, changes and plans for the store are to provide new training techniques, give a makeover to the lobby area and implement digital menu boards. They also plan to be open 24-hours-a-day and add 20 more employees to the crew to make that happen.

The new McDonald’s owners are making plans to host “McTeacher night,” an evening set aside for teachers. The event gives teachers the chance to experience being a crew member, while fundraising for classroom supplies, curriculum and other needs. Projects and special events also are planned to benefit the Ronald McDonald house, which serves the families of sick children.

“Our main focus of course is to perfect our food menu, continue to provide the best quality food, fine tune our customer service techniques and stay positively involved with the Altus community,” Thorley said.

The couple looks forward to meeting the Altus community and is planning a re-grand opening with specials and a visit from Ronald McDonald and friends.

By Mary O.Esparza

Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.

Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.

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