Written by Tim Hoffman Monday, 19 January 2009 13:58
As Dave Philips flipped off the lights, after yet another hard fought day manning the overnight shift, he thought back on his illustrious career as a server of some of the best McDonald's burgers the game has ever seen. In what likely was his last burger served in a McDonald's uniform yesterday, Philips put on his usual show, serving small amounts of meat buried in a mountain of bread like the superstar he is.
A crowd of dozens turned up to see Philips at the Philadelphia area McDonald's to see his last performance, many reminiscing about some of their fondest memories of the burger flipper.
"He was one of the fast food game's greats, possibly the greatest ever," said 64-year-old Tom Britt. "The way he could run a microwave, typing in numbers, changing the power setting from high to low, using defrost when necessary, it was unlike anything I've ever seen before. Sure, he had some bad games here and there, one time he forgot to put bacon on my Bacon Burger Deluxe, but for the most part its been a great ride having him cook my ninety-nine cent food."
Despite having played for McDonald's for his entire career, the 34 year old Philips was released after the end of this holiday season. Many note the decline in his speed as a factor for the decision, with some teammates saying he doesn't dunk the fries in oil as quick as he used to. But management insists that they would love for him to finish his career with the McDonald's store #507 team, and claim his release was based on financial considerations. As a 17 year veteran of the team, Philips was due to make $5.6 million on his contract next year. Store #507 says that would leave them little salary cap space to pay for other players.
Philips goes to the Burger King across the street to try and play out the final few years he has left in his tired body. They landed the high profile free agent with a $6.80 per hour contract. He hopes to one day capture the Employee of the Month award that has for so long eluded him. He leaves store #507 holding several franchise records including most burgers served in a career and highest order completion percentage. There is talk ownership may retire his nametag and place it on the wall, any future hires named Dave will have to choose a new name while at the store.
As Philadelphia attempts to move on without the legend who has guided their McDonald's for so long, they wonder what the future holds...