A heartfelt goodbye took place at McDonalds in Estevan, as the community came to say goodbye to a long-time employee.
Co-Owner and Co-Operator Tim Jenish gave a speech, wishing Lorna Coate luck, and thanking her for her service to the store and the community.
“Over the years you’ve been a great contributor to the store, especially dealing with the customers. They all love you and when you were away, they were constantly asking, where’s Lorna,” said Jenish.
The McDonald’s team gifted Coate with an iPad, which she can use in her spare time.
Jenish said that when he and his wife took over ownership of McDonald's 24 and a half years ago Coate was showing them the ropes.
Her knowledge of the company and procedures has benefited the team greatly as she continued to train her fellow employees for the remainder of her time there.
Coworker Perma Quin said that Coate trained her when she began in 2008.
“She always helped us out for the good of the restaurant,” said Quin. “Not only for the restaurant but for all of us here. She was like a mom to us.”
Coate’s training method was consistent and she was able to help others feel comfortable in their roles and coached them turning mistakes into learning experiences.
“We wish her good luck on her retirement, stay blessed, and have good health,” said Quin.
Christine, a manager at McDonald's created a custom cake for Coate with a design that the staff collaborated on. The motif was inspired by her go-to break foods a grilled cheese sandwich and a large root beer.
Coate was not ready to say goodbye but after a series of health problems last year, she felt it was the best decision.
“It was the right thing to do because, you know, I didn’t want to be driving and putting myself and other people in harm’s way.”
After nearly 30 years in the industry, Coate had some insight into how to master customer service and keep the customers coming back.
“Making sure the customer is the number one priority, and you should from start to finish, of their order make sure you are talking to them and giving the best service you can,” said Coate. “Thank them for coming in and ask them to come back, and they will if you give them good service.”
She said she is looking forward to the spring to get outside, but she does miss working.
“You have no idea how much I miss this place. I really miss working. I miss my customers. I miss my coworkers,” said Coate. “It’s just when you’ve been coming here for 27 and a half years it’s kind of like 'ohh now what do I do?' I’m really going to miss it because I hadn’t planned on retiring yet.”