May 4, 2021 – West Bend, Wi – The was a cozy McCelebration with cake at the old Galactic McDonald’s on S. Main Street in West Bend on Monday as Jane Sterr was recognized for her 40 years of working at the golden arches.
Sterr has been with McDonald’s since May 2, 1981. “I was 18, at West Bend East High School and the restaurant was across the street where Auto Zone is now,” she said. “We had a one-window drive thru and the popular sandwich was the McLean Deluxe.”
The Galactic McDonald’s first opened Feb. 28, 1996.
Camaraderie and customer service are reasons Sterr has stayed 40 years. “We have our very regular customers and we joke around; we can still work while having fun. It’s a very good atmosphere,” she said.
Sterr is one of the famous McDonald’s Day Ladies; four women that worked together in 2014 and recognized by customers for their courtesy, commitment, and familiarity.
The ladies included Karen Wentz, Jane, Caroline Schwartz and Vicki Montanez.
Karen and Jane are the only two left from that group. Wentz started in January 1997, when she was 33. She worked during the era when McDonald’s would bring breakfast to the high schools serving pancakes, cinnamon rolls, and egg McMuffins. “We’d set up in one of the cafeterias and the kids just loved it,” she said.
Jane worked during the era when McDonald’s made hotcakes and biscuits from scratch. “Today, with the volume of people that come through, there would be no time for that,” said Karen.
Jane, according to her coworkers, is an expert at iced coffee and filling drink orders. “She could have 15 drink orders on the screen and the kids can’t even keep up with how fast she is,” said Karen. “They make comments like, ‘I want to be like Jane some day.'”
Aside from her ninja drink-making skills, Jane is also punctual. “She has never ever been late,” said Karen. “Never… and she never calls in either.”
Customers can identify Jane by her voice when she takes orders in the drive-thru. “She knows them too just by their order too; like coffee eight and eight. We have a camera but a lot of times we don’t even need to look… we just know the by their order,” said Karen.
Together, Karen and Jane, are known to customers and staff by work names like Lavern and Shirley or Lucy and Ethel. “If they see one of us and not the other, customers will ask ‘where is your sidekick,'” said Karen.
The pair have worked side-by-side for 25 years. “It is a pleasure to see her every morning at 4 a.m.,” said Karen. “I really enjoy working with her and the relationship we have.”
This past October, Jane wore a corsage during Karen’s daughters wedding. “She’s like a second mother to my daughter…. we’re just really close,” said Karen. “We’ve gone through a lot of fries and a lot of cries together.”
Karen said she and Jane stay at McDonald’s because of the “awesome general managers and district managers.”
Below is August 2018 when the playland was removed from Galactic McDonald’s.