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Marion McDonalds undergoes renovation

IN PROGRESS:Construction crews work to renovate the exterior of the McDonald’s on North Baldwin Avenue on Monday. The restaurant is open for business during the construction.

By Clay Winowiecki - cwinowiecki@chronicle-tribune.com

McDonalds on North Baldwin Ave. has started renovations to transform into the McDonalds of the future.

The renovation is part of a larger trend across the country to fit every store with kiosks, digital menu boards, a mobile app experience and more. The hope is to make sure McDonalds stays on top of current technology trends to remain successful.

“This is all part of our ‘Experience of the Future’ concept as we go forward,” said Rick Reichenbach, owner and operator of the North Baldwin McDonalds.

The renovation will add electronic kiosks in the store to allow customers to order without needing to visit the counter. To do so, customers will need to use a credit card. Otherwise, if customers want to use cash they can print off a receipt from the kiosk and pay at the counter, according to Reichenbach.

The store currently has a digital menu board inside, but one will be added to the drive through as well.

Once renovations are completed, the North Baldwin location will provide table service, thanks to a newly designed front counter.

The store plans on changing seating and installing a new restroom, too.

“It will be more open, brighter, more contemporary,” Reichenbach said.

After the renovation customers will also see changes to McDonald’s menu. The company is moving away from artificial items used in foods such as chicken nuggets, revitalizing its salad blend and has switched over to fresh beef that is only cooked when ordered, he said.

The renovation is taking place on the outside of the store first, this is expected to take three weeks to complete.

Afterward, the lobby will be closed for several weeks as it is renovated. The drive through will remain open during this time.

Reichenbach expects the lobby renovation to begin around Nov. 25 and be finished by Dec. 14th, but no exact date is set.

There will be no change in hours.

“What we’re doing is trying to stay relevant and current,” Reichenbach said. “We don’t want to become the Sears or the Woolworths of the industry.”

Reichenbach expects the renovation to translate into growth, boosting sales and bringing in new customers.

Part of the process of boosting sales means making the process of ordering food as convenient as possible.

“It’s all about helping the customer with convenience and serving the customer how they want to be served,” said Pam Fisher, a public relations spokesperson for McDonalds. “There’s multiple ways you can order your food and we’re just trying to be the most convenient place for (customers) to go and be served.”

In addition to the kiosk, customers can order food using McDonald’s app and have it waiting for them on arrival to the store. Another option is Uber Eats, an app that will deliver to your front door. 

One reason for the renovation is to get all McDonald stores in the county on the same technological playing field, Fisher added.

So far the construction has been smooth and there have not been any hiccups yet, according to Reichenbach.

Other McDonald’s restaurants in the area are expected to undergo the renovations next year.

“By the end of 2019, 90 percent or more of all the McDonalds in the U.S. will have been renovated with our experience of the future,” he added.

In total, the renovation at the North McDonalds will cost more than $1 million, according to Reichenbach.