By Ruth Storkel.
In the Burien community, there are countless unsung heroes who serve us daily at various places of business: banks, stores, restaurants, auto garages, etc. These people are the ones who assist us in many areas to provide our basic life necessities. Not only do they work hard, but they do so with a smile and a positive attitude that brings us hope and fulfillment.
Recently I had an enjoyable chat with one of my favorite workers in Burien, Matthew Brandis, who has served our community for many years at Wendy’s Restaurant. To sum Matthew up in a few short words, he is simply the “Best in the West!” Through many years of visiting the drive-thru window at Wendy’s, I have found him to be welcoming, friendly, kind, patient, and polite as he has waited on my family. Going through the drive-thru can give one a great “pick-me-up” when Matthew takes your order.
During a face-to-face meeting, I had the opportunity to learn about his background. He was born in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, and grew up in White Center (where he now resides); he went to Mt. View Elementary and Evergreen High School. Some of the high school classes he enjoyed most were “Culinary Arts” class and PE. His favorite teacher was MS. Dixon, whom he remains friends with to this day; she occasionally drives through the drive-thru window at Wendy’s, and he enjoys seeing her.
Matthew shared that he had jobs at UPS and Taco Time before he worked at Wendy’s. He spent a short time unemployed, unsure where he wanted to work. His mother didn’t let him sit at home, being miserable very long. She told him he needed to keep looking for work. Soon thereafter, he found employment at Wendy’s and liked it so well that he has been there for 18 years. (Wendy’s offers good benefits to their employees.) He is thankful for a good, strong mother who has stood behind him and inspired him as an example while she worked hard for many years in the nursing profession.
I asked him, “What do you like about your job?” His immediate response was, “Customers!” Several people have told him that they come to Wendy’s mainly to see him because they feel uplifted by his positivity and kindness. He says, “Life is too short to be miserable! Make the best of whatever you’re going through, and be thankful.”
During his employment at Wendy’s, he has learned every position: cashiering, cooking, taking orders up front, etc. He finally ended up working the “drive through” position, which entails multitasking; there’s no time to be bored there!
He loves how the people of Burien are compassionate and kind; several times a week, customers will tell him to “put the car behind me on my bill.” Occasionally a car will die in the drive-thru lane, and people will step up to help move that car off to the side.
Life at Wendy’s has been fairly peaceful; there are a few rude, impatient customers that angrily “bark out” their orders, but he has found that most people are very congenial and enjoyable.
Matthew works six days a week which leaves little leisure time, but in his off hours, he enjoys spending time with friends, watching NBA games, and having dinner and movie nights with his mother twice a week.
I asked Matthew this question: “If there was one thing you could change about Burien, what would it be?”
“I would like to see help given to the homeless people, which would include providing them with professionals that could really bring healing to them,” he said. Working on the main avenue of Burien has given him many opportunities to observe that there are many in need.
“What is your favorite food at Wendy’s?” I asked. “Salads!” Matthew said. He likes that Wendy’s offers a wide variety of food, but the salads are delicious!
I am very thankful we have marvelous people in our community serving us enthusiastically the way Matthew consistently does. I want to say on behalf of countless customers: “Thank you, Matthew Brandis, for the wonderful way you have loyally served our community for nearly two decades. You are making a positive difference in Burien and contributing to our city growing in its destiny as the Gem of the Sound.”
And now I am going to go try out Wendy’s salad. Be sure to say hi to Matthew if you have the pleasure of seeing him there!
Hey Burien Citizens!
Do you have a favorite person who has served you in Burien, made your life better and easier, or has positively influenced your life? We want to carry more stories like this about the valuable workers in our community. Please write to us and tell us about this special person! Email us at email@example.com