Since 1955 McDonald’s has been proud to serve the world some of its favorite food. Along the way, McDonald’s not only lived through history, but created it: from drive-thru restaurants, to Chicken McNuggets, to college credits from Hamburger University and much more. 

Dennis Quiles, a U.S. Army veteran, is Director of Global Security at McDonald’s Corporation, where he has served for the last 18 years.  A 34-year veteran of the protection business, Quiles is an acknowledged professional in physical security, hospitality, corporate security and casino surveillance.

“We deliver leadership and safety and security solutions to our global partners while supporting the organization’s strategic business plans. We uphold our core business values and protect our most valuable assets which are our customers, people, products and brand,” he explains. Most McDonald’s restaurants are individually owned and operated so Quiles and his team serve as a resource and work to convey security best practices to franchisee- and company-owned restaurant managers across the globe.

Quiles’ role also involves functions for physical security for the corporate and regional offices and supporting a team of security managers around the world. The department’s success is due to the undivided collaboration of the Home Office Global Safety and Security Team:  Jim McHenry, Director of Global Safety; Filippo Marino, Director of Intelligence and Executive Protection; Cory Keith, Meetings and Events Security Manager; and the strategic direction of the Global Safety and Security Vice President, Michael Peaster.                      

“The global security managers do the same type of work for their restaurants at the regional or country level that we do here,” Quiles says,  “they protect the employees, the brand and the business.”

His relationship with the McDonald’s C-Suite is “a procession of trust and mutual cooperation,” he says. “We are viewed as business partners because we influence and provide support to the organization including supporting the organization’s business plans and goals. We actively collaborate with McDonald’s intelligence managed by Senior Intelligence Manager, Ryan Long. Ryan’s team provides us with actionable intelligence to work with management to ensure that they are well informed. Some of the information is comprised of global safety and security related trends and issues that may impact the system and business strategies going forward.”

Quiles’ peers share a “mutual perception; they look at McDonald’s Security as collaborators,” he says. “We work with industry subject matter experts and federal and local agencies to enable mutual cooperation and to develop sustainable networks.  The focus of McDonald’s Security is to provide restaurant staff with tools that help them understand the safety and security guidelines developed to provide a safe and secure working environment.”

Global Security’s proficiency becomes evident through several initiatives including McDonald’s worldwide scorecard, owner/operator and customer comments and industry surveys. “The data is very helpful,” Quiles says, “and of course, we are always reviewing our practices to improve the system, and I wouldn’t have it any other way because the information provides us the opportunity to enhance our services and see how everyone is looking at us rather than just looking in the mirror.” 

McDonald’s operations management is most proud of its food, so Quiles and team contribute to keeping the supply chain safe and effective. “We strive to work with suppliers, owner/operators and crew who tirelessly work around the clock to ensure that we provide fresh and safe products for our customers. That’s our goal. We have a very strong supply chain, and we have worked hard to protect our food from the farm to the fork.”

Quiles is quick to appreciate the opportunities that he’s been given to succeed so he works to mentor and support future security professionals. “First, we make sure that the candidate can do the job. We don’t hire based on the fact that someone likes the person,” he says. “It is because that person holds the management and technical skills and has what it takes to manage the position.  Then we mentor by discussing development opportunities for future growth. We also help our global security managers with their development programs and talent management when appropriate. We pride ourselves in providing assistance. On many occasions it’s about what the person’s experience would bring that will enhance the system. We hire the individual that is prepared to meet the challenge, has the right attitude, skills and personality for the job.”

“I have truly enjoyed my role over the past 18 years,” Quiles adds, “in part because of the opportunity to work with so many diverse cultures and the development opportunities that have arisen from operating in 119 countries. McDonald’s Global Safety and Security professionals have the opportunity to effectively and positively impact the system and the 70 million customers around the world that choose McDonald’s every single day. One of our department’s main objectives is to ensure that when our customers come into our restaurants they feel safe and secure. Our company’s goal is to ensure McDonald’s remains a place that you can bring your family to have a comfortable and enjoyable dining experience.”


Security Scorecard

  • Annual Revenue: $26 Billion
  • Security Budget: Variable

 Critical Issues

  • Customer and Crew Safety
  • Cybersecurity          
  • Food Defense         
  • Civil Activism/Demonstrations

 Security Mission

  • Asset Protection/Theft
  • Brand Protection/Fraud/IP Theft: External,
  • Partner and Insider Threats
  • Enterprise Resilience        
  • Political Unrest/Activism
  • Risk Management Planning
  • Supply Chain
  • Terrorism
  • Workplace Violence 

Read more thought-leading strategies and success stories from security frontrunners in more 2014 Security 500 Report profiles here.