September 25, 2022
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Michigan woman retires after nearly half-century McDonald’s career

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Yolanda Sabatini, 65, retired Aug. 2 after 47 years with McDonald's, including the last nine years at the Canton Township location on Ford Road.

Cheeseburgers cost a quarter, the Egg McMuffin was a brand-new menu item and Happy Meals were still four years from introduction when Yolanda Sabatini donned her first McDonald’s uniform in 1975.

Back then, she had no idea she would spend her whole career with McDonald’s – and no idea that two generations of family would be born through connections made under the golden arches. 

Last week, after 47 years with the company, Sabatini, 65, hung up her hat and retired from the Canton Township McDonald’s on Ford Road just west of Sheldon. 

“McDonald’s is the only place I ever worked,” Sabatini said, noting orders were hand-written and added on paper when she worked those first shifts fresh out of high school. “I was so frustrated after the first two weeks that I wanted to quit. But I said, ‘Nope, I’m going to keep going,’ and six months later I was promoted to manager.” 

Although she’s worked at about 10 local McDonald’s locations over the years, Sabatini’s longest stint was at the store on Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth, where she was employed from 1984 to 2013, before landing at the Canton Township location nine years ago. 

Yolanda Sabatini is ready for work during her early days with McDonald's/

Family ties

Originally from Australia, Sabatini – then Yolanda Groenewald – came to the U.S. with her parents when she was 8-years-old. Her parents bought a home in Garden City, which Sabatini and her husband Ken still live in today. 

The couple met in 1981. At the time, Ken Sabatini was an assistant manager who also did maintenance at McDonald’s, while Yolanda worked what was then known as the “all night close.”



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