Meet The McDonald's Cashier Who Joined Before Happy Meal, McNuggets

Pennsylvania-based Dot Sharp is retiring from McDonald's after working there as a cashier for over 45 years. She has been at the fast food chain longer than the classic 'happy meal' or 'McNuggets'

Tanya Savkoor
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mcdonalds cashier dot sharp

Image: Kerry Ford PR

After over four decades of service as a McDonald's cashier, a woman from Pennsylvania, USA, retired from the fast-food giant on January 12. Dot Sharp had been working at the McDonald's register since September 7, 1978. The 85-year-old has witnessed the invention of some of McDonald's iconic menu items including the 'happy meal' and chicken nuggets. Sharp closed the drive-through window for the last time, serving her granddaughter as the final customer. 


Speaking to the local news channel WTAE, Sharp said, "I'm really sad about that because it's not so much the food, it's the people. The people that I work with, they were great, they treated me great all these years, and we have the best customers in the world here."

Dot Sharp's Long Career At McDonald's

Although Sharp joined and retired as a cashier, she has donned many hats during her time at the fast-food chain. She began working there in her 30s when the few items available were muffins, burgers, and fries. For the last nine years, she worked at the drive-through window as a cashier, a McDonald's management source told Business Insider. 

Then began the allure of the patent Happy Meal, introducing Hot Wheels and Barbie-themed free toys in 1979. Sharp told WTAE, "We started the Happy Meal down (at the first location). Whenever they came out with the Barbie and the Hot Wheel ones, people would come in and order 50 Happy Meals at one time."

Sharp was around during the invention of McDonald's best-known menu items like Chicken McNuggets in 1980, the 1986 McPizza, McFlurries in 1995 and McCafe coffee in 2001. 

Retiring At 84


Dot Sharp's granddaughter Dottie Sims, who is also a McDonald's employee at another branch, was the last customer before Sharp retired at the age of 84. Speaking to WTAE, Sims said, "I actually just found my diary from when I was about 5 years old. It said, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' in it, I wrote, 'my grandmother,' and I'm halfway there."

Sims has been working at McDonald's for over 20 years. She told WTAE, "She was there with me for my first order. I used to go to work with her when I was little, and she would (let me) hand out customers change for them." Now, Sims is there for her grandmother's last order.

Meghan Sweeney, owner and operator of McDonald's, Gibsonia, bid farewell to her loyal employee. "We truly appreciate all that Dot did for our organization. She brought a sunny disposition to every shift and always made the customer her top priority. I’m hoping Dot enjoys a well-deserved break in her retirement," Sweeney told WTAE. Dot Sharp was also present when Meghan Sweeney's father, Paul Sweeney, acquired the branch where she worked.

McDonald's retirement longest employee