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Turlock restaurant owner receives Golden Arch Award
McDonalds award pic
Local McDonald's franchise owner Dennis Graspointner (far right) poses for a picture with two of his crew members. Graspointner will be awarded the Golden Arch Award, the highest recognition that a McDonald's franchise owner can receive, at a national convention in Orlando, Fla. on Monday. - photo by Photo Contributed

Turlocker Dennis Graspointner is being recognized for not only his business acumen, but also his philanthropic efforts throughout the Central Valley.

Graspointner, a McDonald's franchise owner, was recently chosen as a recipient for the McDonald’s Corporation’s elite Golden Arch Award.  The Golden Arch Award is the highest recognition that a McDonald’s franchise owner can receive.  Only 1 percent of the company’s 34,000 restaurant owners are presented this award bi-annually at the McDonald’s Worldwide Convention.

Graspointner will be presented with the Golden Arch Award on Monday at this year’s convention, in Orlando, Fla.  Specific criteria is necessary to receive an award of this kind including exceptional customer service, outstanding quality scores, significant community participation, and overall achievement and business growth.

“I am truly honored to receive this distinguished award,” said Graspointner, a resident of Turlock.  “I have always had a passion for entrepreneurial work.  I love what I do, and for this reason, I make it a priority that outstanding quality, commitment, and excellence is maintained at every one of my restaurants.”  

Graspointner has owned McDonald’s restaurants for  35 years.  He currently owns and operates 19 restaurants in Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Calaveras, Tuolumne, and Merced counties, including locations in Modesto, Turlock, Ripon, Livingston, Angels Camp and Sonora.  His restaurants continue to be models of success for McDonald’s and many of his restaurants, and his management team, have received awards recognizing his leadership quality and service.  Fundraising is also a priority; each of his restaurants participates in hosting “McTeacher’s Night,” a fundraiser for local schools, at least 40 times each year with a 20 percent payout to each participating school.

Community support is an expectation not only for himself, but also his entire leadership team.  Graspointner’s organization consistently participates and gives back to the local communities where his restaurants reside in various capacities.  His leadership team speaks about nutrition at community service clubs.  With his help and encouragement, his employees created an after school tutoring program at eight of his restaurants where students who need additional help with their school work can come to receive assistance in mastering academic concepts and principles.  His organization also provides boxes of toys and games for the local Salvation Army as well.  All of his general managers participate in community involvement in some way including the Relay for Life run, the annual Autism Walk at Modesto Junior College, car washes for the Livingston Police Department, and “Clean Up the Community” events. 

Graspointner makes sure the employees who go above and beyond are recognized and rewarded.  Each year, he hosts a dinner for his management team where he acknowledges years of service to his organization, and gives out 30 different awards to employees who have excelled in a variety of areas. 

 “The crew and management team at our restaurants make all the difference in the world to our customers,” said Graspointner.  “I share this award with them for all the hard work and dedication they have put in to making our local McDonald’s restaurants a success, and a positive experience for the many guests who visit us each day.”

For the past three years, Graspointner has been actively involved in providing McDonald’s coffee for 1,000 care boxes that are sent each year to American soldiers from the Central Valley serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, giving those soldiers a taste of home.  In addition, for the past seven years, his restaurants have hosted a holiday drive in December where his employees collect and donate Christmas trees, decorations, and food to 40 underprivileged families in the community. 

Graspointner is also spearheading a coalition of leaders from McDonald’s and the local community to build an outdoor pavilion at the Ronald McDonald House Charities at UC Davis in Sacramento to be named after one of his closest friends who recently passed away from cancer.  The 1,600 square foot Pavilion will provide the families of sick children a place where they can participate in barbecues, and other outdoor social activities. 

Graspointner’s legacy is continuing with his two sons who have also developed entrepreneurial tendencies.  His sons, Justin and Brandon, are heavily involved in a program to become restaurant owners in the near future.