George Jetson would be proud of the McDonald’s restaurant in Centerville following a complete rebuild as part of the “Bigger, Bolder Vision 2020” plan unveiled by the fast food giant involving each McDonald’s restaurant in the United States.
A “soft” opening took place Tuesday morning, and a grand re-opening celebration is scheduled for April, according to owner Mike Freeman, who was on hand Monday to describe the digital upgrades to his restaurant.
McDonald’s plan is to enhance digital capabilities and the use of technology in all of its restaurants to “dramatically elevate the customer experience and redefine customer convenience through delivery.”
The new restaurant is ADA compliant, is 30 percent larger than the one before it and seats about 50 customers compared to 44 before, according to Freeman, who owns seven McDonald’s franchises, including the ones in Centerville and Riverdale.
The look inside is totally different from what one would expect in any fast food restaurant, a more open and relaxed space to enjoy a meal.
The McDonald’s in Riverdale will undergo a similar rebuild starting in April that will take two to three months, according to Freeman, who added approximately 50 employees would work at the McDonald’s in Centerville.
“We’ll open up with 50 employees, and we’re always looking for people, always hiring,” said Freeman. “If you come to us offering something unique, we will hire you.”
Some McDonald’s restaurants didn’t involve the extent of reconstruction that the Centerville McDonald’s underwent, basically a total rebuild for the most part, explained Freeman.
The new McDonald’s has added capacity including a double-sided prep kitchen with all major components replaced leading to more efficient customer service, Freeman pointed out.
“A new oven cooks eight different products, and all the major technology offered by McDonald’s is in the store,” he added.
The restaurant includes a self-order, touch-screen kiosk where customers can order using credit or check cards with their orders brought out to them.
Drive-through customers also can take advantage of touch-screen ordering, and another technological advance allows customers to order by smartphone.
Customers can use the McDonald’s app to pick out their favorite McDonald’s items a la carte or make a meal or choose from available deals using the “Add Deal to Mobile Order” button.
Customers can pay using any major payment card, and their card will not be charged until they check in, according to McDonald’s.
Customers can check in at any participating McDonald’s restaurant to pick up their meal however they want, either by getting their food brought to them curbside or grabbing it in the drive-through line.
Customers still must go to the counter for cash orders, but a system addressing that is under development, according to Freeman.
An automated beverage system pours beverages for customers without the need of employees, also increasing efficiency.
“We bought both these restaurants over a year ago, because we thought they may be underperforming a little, and we felt like there was opportunity now, so we’re here in a big way,” said Freeman referring to both the McDonald’s in Centerville and the one in Riverdale.
“We’ll have two really good restaurants ready to grow in this community by the end of summer,” Freeman concluded.