Paula Gaer is a longtime customer of the Applewood McDonald’s and used to visit the restaurant frequently when she lived in the area. Now that Gaer, 63, lives in Denver, she doesn’t come quite as …
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Paula Gaer is a longtime customer of the Applewood McDonald’s and used to visit the restaurant frequently when she lived in the area.
Now that Gaer, 63, lives in Denver, she doesn’t come quite as often. But she does like to bring Lily, her six-year-old family friend who still lives in the area, to lunch there when the two spend the day together.
“I like the new changes,” Gaer said of the Applewood McDonald’s. “It looks great in here and the people are more amiable. It’s improved very nicely.”
On Aug. 11, the Applewood McDonald’s, 2881 Youngfield St., hosted a ribbon cutting and grand reopening following a remodel and technology upgrade.
It’s part of an initiative called Experience of the Future, which entails adding technology and some renovation work to the fast food restaurants to provide a more modern dining experience. It has been rolled out at more than 2,600 international McDonald’s restaurants, and the plan is to do it at all McDonald’s nationwide by 2020, said Mike Sandoval, a local franchisee who co-owns and operates eight McDonald’s restaurants in the metro area along with his father Frank.
“It’s the right thing to do for the business,” Sandoval said. “We’re going for a warm, welcoming experience (that) allows guests to interact with employees differently.”
The Applewood McDonald’s is the Sandovals’ third restaurant to receive the updates within the past three years. The other two are the Kipling and Belleview location, 10177 W Progress Ave. in Littleton; and the McDonald’s at 38th and Wadsworth, 3902 Wadsworth Boulevard in Wheat Ridge. The Sandovals’ restaurants yet to be done are the Ken Caryl and Alkire location, 7509 S. Alkire St. in Littleton; Belmar, 6801 W. Alameda Drive in Lakewood; and their Commerce City store. The father-and-son also own-operate the McDonald’s inside the Walmart near C-470 and Bowles Avenue in Littleton.
Mike Sandoval grew up in Golden and now lives in Lakewood. Frank Sandoval still lives in Golden. He purchased the Applewood McDonald’s in 1996.
“We’re part of the community,” Mike Sandoval said, noting he and his father enjoy giving back, such as hosting school supplies drives, to the communities their McDonald’s restaurants are located in. “This is home for us.”
The Experience of the Future renovations include interior and exterior remodels, such as new décor and seating/dining furniture. The Applewood McDonald’s also now has a double drive-thru lane. Two noteworthy technology upgrades are an app that allows customers to order and pay by mobile device and digital self-order kiosks inside the restaurant.
The dining experience itself has also received some attention. The Applewood restaurant now offers curbside pickup for those who order through the app, delivery through a partnership with Uber Eats and for customers who still prefer to dine in, orders can be delivered to tables by McDonald’s crew members — no matter if the order was placed through the digital kiosk or by the traditional method of at-counter.
“You have many more options” for a customized dining experience, Sandoval said.
Society as a whole is progressively moving forward with technology advancements, said Crystal Carr of Lakewood, the Applewood McDonald’s general manager. What’s exciting is seeing McDonald’s growing and modernizing alongside it, she said.
“Everybody wants this kind of stuff,” Carr said, “so we’re giving it to them.”
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