Jim Aaron has completed his complete makeover of his two McDonald’s restaurants in Rome with a $1.2 million upgrade to the Golden Arches on Turner McCall Boulevard.
Aaron, who spent 37 years as a corporate employee with the iconic fast food chain, has spent the last seven years building his own chain of eight McDonald’s, but the two in Rome remain near his pride and joy.
He acquired the East Rome McDonald’s in July 2018 and immediately started a complete makeover that started with re-training the staff and upgrades to the kitchen in the restaurant.
For the past five weeks, the dining room and children’s play area sections of the restaurant have been closed for the the makeover.
“I couldn’t be prouder,” Aaron said.
There is definitely a Rome feel to the interior of the dining room with numerous landscape pictures of scenes in Rome by local photographer Ryan Smith.
“It has all of the modern relevant things like a kiosk, mobile order, mobile pay, delivery with Door Dash and Uber, but what I’m passionate about is that while we stay relevant for the young consumer we still have the registers on the front counter,” Aaron said. “We want to meet the customers wherever they are, however they want to order from us.”
The restaurant features all new seating and decor, with lots of padded seating and actual table service.
Based on feedback from customers, Aaron said that service at the East Rome McDonald’s has improved dramatically under his leadership. As a result sales have improved by 25%.
“That’s just with operations and people (improvements),” Aaron said. “The community noticed.”
The staff has grown to about 80 employees.
“Now phase two is making it beautiful,” Aaron said. “We’ve got more features in here than you will find at most McDonald’s across the U.S.,” Aaron said. The new decor features a lot of wood and stone accents, with granite table tops in the bay windows.
Seven of his eight restaurants have now been completely remodeled with the last one, in Vonore, Tennessee scheduled for a makeover in 2020.
In addition to the Turner McCall and Martha Berry Boulevard stores in Rome, Aaron has McDonald’s in Summerville, LaFayette and Chickamauga.
“Over time I want to grow a little bit more but I want it to be measured growth,” Aaron said. “I want to continue to give back to the community, students, schools and athletes.”