McDonald’s franchises are in almost every town across the world, including one right here in Perryville. Millions of people order up Big Macs, fries and crispy chicken nuggets every day. For most, a visit to McDonald’s is an in and out experience, for one woman with local ties, McDonald’s is a lifestyle. A lifestyle woven into her family’s past, present and future.
Jessica Lucas is a third generation McDonald’s employee, working in the stores that her family operates.
Her father, Steve Short, and his father Jim Short, have worked, owned and operated McDonald’s franchises in the metro east for more than forty years beginning in the 1970’s.
Jim and Steve both started with McDonald’s in 1979, which led Lucas to be around McDonald’s operations her whole life.
Lucas started working in her father’s stores in high school and continued throughout college.
During her senior year of college, she became more involved with her father’s business and following her 2009 graduation from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville, with a Business Administration degree she began her career.
Today Lucas is the Director of Operations for all ten of her family’s stores.
She splits her time at stores located in Mascoutah, Freeburg, New Baden, and Chester, Illinois and Pevely, Crystal City, Bloomsdale and Perryville, Missouri.
“McDonald’s have given me everything,” Lucas said. “It has provided my family a great life and many opportunities. McDonald’s has taught me how to be a great leader and how important it is to give back to our communities and employees.”
Lucas stated that she loves her job as a McDonald’s Franchisee and would love to see it grow within her family. Her hope is to keep the family business running and eventually pass down the torch to her own children.
“If my daughter has the same passion as I do for the business, I would love to see her choose to become a fourth generation owner/ operator,” Lucas said. “But I will leave that choice up to her.”
As a dedicated employee and part of the metro-east community, Lucas can be found at one of the McDonald’s franchises along with her family, working together everyday.