McDonald's honors popular Highlands Ranch employee Jesse as regional Crew Person of the Year

Jesse beat 25K candidates in 4 states for honor

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. - A popular McDonald's employee in Highlands Ranch is receiving top honors just for being himself.

Jesse works at the restaurant near South Broadway and Highlands Ranch Parkway, and just beat out 25,000 other candidates in four regional states for the McDonald's "2013 Crew Person of the Year" award.

Staff members at the restaurant call him one in a million and said they are excited for Jesse.

"What helped Jesse this year was the amount of customer praise he got," said his manager. "Our customers really and truly love Jesse."

Known for always greeting drive-through customers with a smile, a friendly hello and a pitch to include an apple pie with their orders, Jesse is so well-regarded with customers that some have included "Say Hi to Jesse" in their posts on restaurant review websites.

One customer told 7NEWS, "Jesse is always up and there's nothing that brings him down. He brings everyone up with him."

"Everyone has bad days and good days. You just have to brush it off," said Jesse.

In recognition of his achievement, the restaurant handed out coupons earlier this week noting his award, which were redeemable for free apple pies in Jesse's name.

Remarking on his award and new celebrity status, Jesse told 7NEWS, "I feel like I won the lotto."