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Local McDonald's orders up digital

McDonald’s restaurant in Farmington hosted a grand reopening ribbon-cutting celebration Monday, June 18. The interior restaurant was closed for a month for remodeling that included an interior redesign and menu ordering kiosks for guests to increase the customer experience. Kara Hildreth / Contributor

On your next visit to the Farmington McDonald's, you may want to eat inside and check out the new kiosks. If you are picking up food in the drive-thru, soon you will notice a new outdoor digital menu.

The Farmington McDonald's hosted reopening Monday, June 18, after a month of remodeling the interior.

"It is part of McDonald's vision for the restaurants to upgrade all 14,000 restaurants across the system by the year 2020," said Kay Butler, franchise owner of the Farmington and Rosemount restaurants among other locations in the state.

Butler and her husband, Tom, opened the Farmington McDonald's in August 2012.

"We completely remodeled the lobby and added some new features and we are not quite done — we will be getting outdoor digital menu boards in the drive-thru," Butler said.

Butler said the restaurant also added two jobs to enhance the customer experience for guests eating meals inside.

Guests can order food at the new stand-up menu kiosks located in the front of the restaurant. Soon, new outdoor menu boards will resemble the inside menus that scroll Big Macs and fries on revolving, full-color menu screens.

"It will be more visual and you will have more opportunities to see what the sandwich looks like," Butler said.

The interior remodel did not add any additional seating, but the new redesign offers a more open layout that looks visually larger since they knocked out a wall. The space allows guests who are eating in the dining area to be more visible to restaurant staff.

The interior walls were designed with local appeal.

"We were able to put some actual images of downtown," Butler said. A front wall shows an artistic rendering on wallpaper of the historic Exchange Bank building in downtown Farmington. Another wall is covered with local street mapping imprinted on wallpaper.

A new way to order

Guests can order food at the new kiosks or at the front counter.

"The truth is that it is just another point of ordering and some people like to linger and look at the menu, and they are not sure what we have," Butler said. "It is a way for them to place their order and customize things if they want to take their time."

Some people may be resistant to ordering food at kiosks because they think this action will take away employees' jobs.

"But it is actually the complete opposite because we had to hire extra people and we have to have someone out there at all times taking care of customer service and assisting them and making sure to ask if they need anything," said April Manifold, manager at the Farmington McDonald's.

"Customers can still take orders at the front counter and you are given a number to sit down and read or sit down with the kids and they are not standing and waiting and then we will bring out their meals to the tables," Butler said.

Now that McDonald's had deployed mobile ordering on smartphone apps, customers can also place meal orders on a cellphone and then pick up orders inside or at drive-thru windows.

Soon, customers will be able to order and have meals delivered at home or work place. This fast-food delivery will be a partnership and co-branding with Uber Eats, Butler said. There is no minimum order amount for the future food delivery.

The Rosemount McDonald's restaurant will undergo an interior remodel next year..

"The Rosemount location will have an updated new look that McDonald's has," Butler said.