Aurora High School grad operates 3 McDonald's eateries

by ALISON STEWART Published:

Aurora -- Will Galloway opened his new McDonald's restaurant on Kent Road in Stow near Hobby Lobby on Aug. 1. He also owns two other locations -- East Steels Corners Road in Stow and South Water Street in Kent.

"My father [Charles] started in this business a long time ago," said Galloway, 35, who graduated from Aurora High School in 1996. An Aurora resident, Charles owns four McDonald's locations -- two in Ravenna, one in Streetsboro and one on Howe Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls.

After graduation from AHS, Will enrolled at the University of Akron. He took some courses in business and marketing, and had planned to become a computer programmer, but left the university after a few semesters and followed in the footsteps of his father.

Galloway acquired the McDonald's on Howe Avenue from his father in 2003, becoming the company's youngest Northeast Ohio owner-operator, but sold it back to his father in 2012. He purchased the Steels Corners and Kent locations in 2008.

The new location on Kent Road in Stow is Galloway's first construction project. That restaurant previously was located a few blocks east on the Stow-Kent border.

"I enjoy what I do because I enjoy working with people," said Galloway. "I enjoy watching people grow and develop."

According to Galloway, the restaurant business is always evolving.

"We're responsible for fast service as well as quality," he said. "I'm always trying to push people to do a better job. It's an ongoing challenge to keep everyone motivated so they serve customers with a smile."

THE NEW McDonald's has several features to keep it more modern and contemporary.

"The designs are fun and more exciting," explained Galloway, who purchased a light-up table that turns different colors as a person touches it. Responding to body heat, the booths also change colors.

"It's fun to see the kids [young customers] get excited," said Galloway. "Our new digital menu is new to me. And I've never had a location with television screens before."

The new McDonald's also features a dual lane, 24-hour drive-thru. The lobby and dining room feature modern décor, flat-screen televisions and bistro-style seating. The restaurant also is equipped with free wi-fi, and low energy LED lighting is used to illuminate the parking lot during evening hours.

"McDonald's is making some bold and exciting changes," said Galloway. "Now our customers can enjoy the brand new look and feel of our restaurants, while enjoying the familiar tastes they have loved for decades."

Galloway said he hopes his businesses will continue to be successful. "I want the customer to come in and get what he or she pays for -- which is good service."

Will Galloway's WillJen Corp. employs about 150 people at the three locations. About 20 new employees were added at the new Stow fast-food site. He said he eventually plans renovations for his other two stores, but has no timelines for them.

Will's older brother, Charlie, is a manager at their father's Howe Road restaurant and is in the company's program to become an owner-operator.

Email: astewart@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4163

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