(Originally posted on the MD Times’ website on September 26, 2017)
After exactly three months of being closed, McDonald’s, 5 W. South St., Mooresville, opened back up Thursday.
On June 21, the building was torn down in order to be rebuilt with a variety of new features the previous building did not include, according to owner Paul Jedele.
Changes to the McDonald’s included making the building bigger, getting rid of the basement, creating a dual drive-thru lane with digital menu boards, LED lighting, a surfaced parking lot and adding new features inside of the building.
In the kitchen, Jedele said they have added Combi ovens, the kinds used in high-end kitchens. The ovens are pressurized and use water to steam cook food, making it a “much more consistent product.” They will use it to cook eggs and bake chicken.
Customers will also have two different options to order their food when inside the restaurant, either by the traditional cashier counter or using one of the new kiosks. There will also be table service, where customers will grab a number and find a table to sit at, and a worker will bring their food to them.
“There’s been a lot of people are saying we’re eliminating positions; it actually creates more positions because it creates a greater capacity,” Jedele said. “We have more order points in the restaurant now, which means I need more people in the kitchen, which means it’s anything but a reduction in staff. It’s actually an increase in staff.”
There is also a community room inside the restaurant for community members to rent out for meetings. Those who are interested in reserving the room can ask the store manager.
Right now, the children’s playplace is not available, as it is still being set up. Jedele said it will be virtual play, called Active Play, where there will be 200 games to choose from and interactive screens.
For example, if the children want to play with a ball, there will be a light projecting from the top and onto the floor that displays the ball, and if the child kicks the “ball” it will respond and go in the correct direction. Jedele said when he saw the Active Play at a McDonald’s convention, the children were sweating just as much as they would if they were on the playground.
In addition to Active Play, there will also be touch art, which is an interactive screen geared toward 3- to 5-year-olds.
The playplace is set to be ready on Oct. 19, when the location will have its grand opening. Jedele said there will be a bounce house, Colts in Motion, giveaways and more in celebration of the reopening.
“It’s a thank you so much for being patient,” Jedele said, adding people would come in during construction and think the restaurant was open, but found out it was actually closed.
While the fast food restaurant officially opened at 7 a.m. Thursday, Jedele held a soft opening and VIP party on Tuesday evening. He said it was a way for the community to be excited about it reopening, as well as the staff to learn the new equipment and be prepared for the opening day.
“What I wanted to do is give all of the crew and their family a free meal on me, as well as prominent members in the community,” Jedele said.
Now being reopened, the restaurant has 85 percent new staff, with some training beforehand, but most of it “on the fly,” Jedele said. He is also looking for new staff, as they are always interested in hiring more workers, and can offer benefits for some.
Jedele said he is very excited about the new changes, and is proud of his general manager and supervisor building a new team around them.
“I’ll be honest, it’s been stressful up until this point. But now to see people smiling to people and to see the crew and the managers finally be like, ‘Oh we’re going to do this.’ It’s refreshing,” Jedele said. “We’re pretty excited about the restaurant and what things we have to offer with it.”