Goodbye to the Blue Jay Golden Arches - Mountain News : News

Goodbye to the Blue Jay Golden Arches

Story and photo by Angela Yap | Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 9:00 am

The McDonald’s Golden Arches in Blue Jay will soon be removed as it is scheduled to be closed on Friday, Oct. 4, said owner Randy Baremor in an exclusive interview with the Mountain News.

To get your Happy Meals, McDonald’s fried, chicken McNuggets, the Big Mac or the giant pretzels, local residents will have to visit either Lake Arrowhead Village or Crestline.

“I tried to inform our customers that we are closing on Oct. 4 via Facebook, but it generated unintended rumors and some negativity that I want to officially clear,” shared Baremor. “When a franchise is awarded to a owner, they receive a 20-year term. In my case, when I bought it from the previous owner Doug Tabor there was only nine years left for the term for the Blue Jay location.”

The lease negotiation for the Blue Jay McDonald’s started about two years ago between McDonald’s corporation and the owner of Blue Jay Village.

“We are interested in getting into the new building but after careful analysis and meetings, the McDonald’s Corporation made the decision to not renew the franchise of the Blue Jay location because of the cost associated with going into the brand new building,” explained Baremor. “It would not work financially, so it is strictly a business decision.”

“I am sorry Blue Jay did not work out as we were the only drive-thru location in the Lake Arrowhead communities,” said Baremor. “This Blue Jay location is one of my first franchises. It’s like ‘my baby.’”

All employees from the Blue Jay McDonald’s are offered continued employment at other locations.

“We are taking care of our employees as we now own a dozen McDonald’s. Some of them will work in Lake Arrowhead Village, and other at the Crestline location,” said Baremor. “No one will lose their jobs.”

“In winter, we send some of our employees to work in Big Bear so they don’t lose any hours because business is slower in Lake Arrowhead area in winter. Then, over Fourth of July, we bring employees from other locations to the Village because the Lake Arrowhead Village store is always the busiest store on Fourth of July.”

Baremor also shared that Ghaffari and he believe in investing in their employees.

“We pay up to $3,000 in scholarship per year for our employees to go to college. For example, my Riverside store is only two blocks from UC-Riverside, and some of our Lake Arrowhead employees attend Cal State San Bernardino.”

“Ten employees were sent to the Hamburger University in Chicago for training in the last 30 days with all expenses paid,” Baremor added. “We want to provide all the training and education to our restaurant managers, as this experience does position management level personnel to advance to the highest levels of business training. Hamburger University trains about 5,000 restaurant managers and franchise owners a year. More than 350,000 McDonald’s employees have been through its management, leadership and business administration programs.”

This year, Baremor also offered three $500 scholarships to Rim High School graduates who demonstrated entrepreneurship goals.

Another local program adopted by Baremor include the Kindness Kids program at Valley of Enchantment Elementary School.

“Each month a student is chosen by his or her teacher to be part of a special luncheon with the principal based on kind bahavior,” Baremor said. “We donate the lunch for all the students and principals.”

Randy Baremor and Ramin Ghaffari bought their first three McDonald’s franchises in the Lake Arrowhead Village, Blue Jay and Crestline in 2010. 

“Since Ramin and I bought our first three franchises on the mountain nine years ago, it has been important to us to be part of the community and support some of the programs,” Baremor added.

In 2014, they bought the McDonald’s in Big Bear. Over the last 18 months, they bought another seven franchises including Colton, Riverside, Hemet and two locations in Perris and two locations in San Jacinto.

Prior to buying their own franchises in 2010, both Baremor and Ghaffari were already armed with 30 years of McDonald’s experience in both operation and training working in McDonald’s.

California has the highest number of McDonald’s restaurants in the country with just under 1,300 restaurants. Baremor and Ghaffari now own 1% of them.

“We know the business, and we know how to work it,” Baremor said.