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From French Fries to a Franchise is non-fiction memoir.   




Michele Layet was one of Australia’s pioneering McDonald’s female franchisees. Michele started as a Trainee manager in 1982 and became part of a McDonald’s experiment to hire from outside the McDonald’s family. 


Do McDonald’s put sugar in their buns? Why do they only hire children? How do you buy your own store? And can you make money out of it? 


Michele answers all these questions, and many more, by drawing on her own experiences as one of Australia’s first female franchisees and also by enlisting the help of an eight-foot tall plastic clown. 


FROM FRENCH FRIES TO A FRANCHISE? shows Michele, first, as a fresh-faced trainee – overcooking fries and locking herself in the freezer. We see her rising through the management ranks, buying her own franchise, and rubbing shoulders with pioneer, Ray Kroc and Australian CEO (later world-wide CEO) Charlie Bell. We ultimately see her grow weary of life behind the counter and trade it all in for life behind a typewriter. 


Now she tells us her story. 


FROM FRENCH FRIES TO A FRANCHISE? is not just a story of Michele but also the story of a famous burger giant. We finally discover how McDonald’s is run. We learn about flag protocol, dreaded inspections, and why Ronald McDonald never appears in advertisements. This memoir destroys the myths surrounding McDonald’s once and for all, while following one woman’s ascent to the top of the ‘food chain’. It is an eventful, and often humorous, journey from making French fries to running an enterprise. It shows what life is really like behind the golden arches. 


During her 26 year career she accomplished the following: First female Chairperson of the McDonald’s Owner/Operator Cooperative;ed establish South Australia’s first Ronald McDonald House; board member Ronald McDonald House and 2002 Franchisee of the year.  


Michele still has strong links to the McDonald’s community.  Now she only eats French fries cooked and served, possibly by a future owner or CEO of McDonald’s because she is officially now a Macaroo (McDonald’s Retired Owner Operator). 


After the successful sale of her McDonald’s Franchise in Adelaide in 2008, a decision was made to return to Melbourne, and full-time study acquiring a diploma of Professional Writing and Editing.

About The Author

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Michele Layet was one of Australia’s pioneering McDonald’s female franchisees. She started as a Trainee manager in 1982 and became part of a McDonald’s experiment to hire from outside the McDonald’s family. 


During her 26 year career with McDonald’s she accomplished the following: First female franchisee in South Australia; First female Chairperson of the McDonald’s Owner/Operator Cooperative; helped establish South Australia’s first Ronald McDonald House; board member Ronald McDonald House and 2002 Franchisee of the year. 


Michele still has strong links to the McDonald’s community.  After the successful sale of her McDonald’s Franchise in Adelaide, a decision was made to return to Melbourne, and full-time study acquiring a diploma of Professional Writing and Editing. Now she only eats French fries cooked and served, possibly by a future owner or CEO of McDonald’s because she is officially now a Macaroo (McDonald’s Retired Owner Operator).

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