By Seth Daniel
When Jeff Brewster started at McDonald’s decades ago, he was cooking, wiping down tables and greeting everyone with a smile.
But his mind was to eventually own the place.
Now, that’s just what he does, and on Tuesday morning he cut the ribbon for his newest store on Lower Broadway – one of the most unique McDonald’s stores in the entire region.
“This was my first job, McDonald’s,” said Brewster, who also owned the previous store that was demolished last year and rebuilt on the same lot in the new configuration. “I’m living the dream. I started as a cook, and cleaning tables, but I had in my mind I wanted to owner and operate a McDonald’s. I saw it as a great opportunity. I continued working there and my goal after college was to be a McDonald’s operator. I realized that goal. In America, every goal is attainable. You just have to really put your mind to it and you will make it.”
The McDonald’s on Lower Broadway has been in existence for many years, but when the Wynn Boston Harbor casino came to town, things changed. In order to provide a new configuration for the Wynn service road, McDonald’s agreed to sell Wynn a portion of their land. The land that was needed was right where the old McDonald’s was located. However, the restaurant was blessed with a larger than necessary parking lot and they were able to build right next to the old store.
What came out was the kind of McDonald’s no one in this area has ever seen.
That’s because there is no other store like it around.
“This is a very unique store,” said Brewster. “It is the first one in the country like for McDonald’s.”
The store features two floors connected by an elevator with a dining room upstairs and downstairs. In the downstairs dining room, one of the very unique features is table service. Using sensors and some advanced technology, those in the kitchen can tell where a customer is sitting and what their order is. Connecting those two things, an employee brings out the order to the customer when it’s ready. At those tables, there are computer tablets on the wall featuring fun family games to play while one waits.
Upstairs is more of a quiet area with a nice view of the surrounding area (one day likely to be the best view of the Wynn Boston Harbor casino around) and many people using the Wi-Fi. The upstairs also hosts the main kitchen with state of the art ovens. All of the meals are cooked and assembled upstairs and put on an electronic dumbwaiter that delivers them to the bottom floor where they are assembled for customers.
Brewster, who has been in Everett for some time, also presented the Everett Police Department with a $5,000 donation to benefit the summer Jr. Cadet Police Academy. Brewster said he had been invited by Chief Steve Mazzie some years ago to provide Happy Meals to the cadets, which he gladly did. However, beyond that, he has come every year to talk about owning a franchise.
“We like to have the junior cadet program to create a pipeline for new police officers, but we know not everyone is going to be a police officer,” said Mazzie. “Jeff has come down and spoken to them about the opportunities that are out there for owning a franchise business, and we want kids to know about that opportunity too.”
Brewster also donated $5,000 to the Everett High School Athletic Department, and $1,000 to the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Substance Abuse Coalition.
“One thing threatening us in our community today is drugs,” said Brewster. “You see it on television and everywhere. The youth need our help and they can’t do it alone.”