By Dan Bechtold
The Golden Arches of McDonald’s has been a part of Dick Krantz’s life for three decades.
Thursday friends, family, co workers and McDonald management honored Krantz for his 30 years of dedicated service.
Krantz is retiring from the company that has been such a big part of his life and the life of his family.
The city of Winner declared March 25 as Dick Krantz Day in Winner with finance officer Chandra Weidner reading the proclamation at the open house.
Krantz started his career with McDonald’s Oct. 8, 1991 and in 1992 he along with his wife, Sandy, became general managers.
McDonald’s opened in Winner in 1989.
Krantz recalls his first experience with McDonald’s. His wife Sandy was working and called him to say two employees did not show up would he please come and help.
He went to work that day and has been there ever since.
Mike Schulte of Chamberlain was the supervisor of the Winner store and happened to be in Winner the day Dick came to help work. “Before he left Mike took off his tie and handed it to me and said welcome to management,” said Krantz.
It is ironic that now Schulte will the supervisor of the Winner store.
Krantz says McDonald’s was a good fit for his life. “The number of people that I have been associated with is amazing both internal customers and employees.”
The fun part for Dick is when people who have stopped at McDonalds and now years later come back and look up Dick to have a visit. That is one of the memories he enjoys so much.
Krantz is a great people person and that comes out in his dealings with customers.
In 2003 Dick was named the supervisor of the stores in Winner and Valentine, Neb. He has also done some online work for all the stores sharing information on sales volume and good customer service.
Krantz recalls attending Hamburger University in Chicago. He noted the school has changed over the years. It used to be a very detailed operation and now it is more people focused. “We used to have to take tests at Hamburger U if we knew the temperature fries should be cooked.”
Krantz has a board that is filled with 30 years of McDonald pins plus other awards including an outstanding manager pin. One pin he is particularly proud of is one from person from China that attended Hamburger University the same time as Dick.
The board also features Monopoly pins when McDonald’s featured that game. Also, corporate McDonald’s had a money machine in Winner one day to feature the Monopoly game. Persons could stand in a wind tunnel and see how much money they could collect.
Another promotion was a car that was given away and Karla Stout of Winner was the lucky winner of car.
Krantz has been through a couple of store remodeling projects. The first was in 2005 and the most recent was in 2017. It was in 2017 that the dual drive through lane was installed.
Like many businesses, COVID-19 has had an impact on McDonald’s. The lobby closed March 17, 2020, so it has just been over a year that there has been drive through only at the store.
“We are still strong. People trust we are giving them good and safe food,” said Krantz.
With the pandemic that dual lane drive has been great for business. Krantz is so glad the decision was made to install that double lane.
When he first started McDonald’s was owned by Dale and Karol Porter of Mitchell. It is now owned by Leonard Management of Elkhorn, Neb. Krantz said the Leonards and the Porters have been so good to him.
Krantz is so impressed with the current manager Dustin DeSersa and his wife Tia who is currently managing McDonald’s in Chamberlain. Both of them started working for Dick when they were 14.
“Dustin is a great leader. I cannot say enough about him,” said Krantz.
Originally from Howard, Krantz received a degree in animal science from South Dakota State University.
After college, he went to work for a meat procession plant in Howard and worked there for 17 years. He was the ground beef manager. The plant processed 20,000 to 60,000 pounds of hamburger a day and shipped it all over the United States. There were 50 to 60 employees at Howard Beef.
The plant changed names and moved to Pipestone, Minn. Krantz worked in Pipestone for a short while but decided he wanted to do something different. He made contact with the Jorgensens of Ideal and moved to Winner in 1990 to be the manager of Dakota Lean. Dick went to college with Greg Jorgensen .
After a year at Dakota Lean, Krantz started at McDonald’s.
When asked what he enjoyed about his job, Krantz said the people and learning new things.
He has enjoyed watching people who have worked at McDonald’s grow. “Even if they left, you know you had a part in their development.”
In retirement, Dick plans to do more traveling, camping and his favorite hobby working with horses.
Over the years Dick and Sandy have been strong supporters of the community and especially the youth. They have been strong supporters of the 4-H program and Dick served on the horse committee for many years.
The couple have three children: Jennifer Showalter, Norfolk, Neb., who has two children; Scott, Brookings and Jessica in Sioux Falls.
The Golden Arches of McDonald’s have provided a solid career for Krantz. It is one that he has truly enjoyed.