“We had to do some improvements there and clean up the building,” said Patricia Hammons, saying they plan to “be a good neighbor... We’ll keep fixing it up.”
A few other changes may be in store for the west side McDonald’s.
The restaurant “is nearly 20 years old. We’re positioning for the next 20,” said Patricia Hammons.
The Hammons are considering changing the drive-thru lanes at the restaurant to either a dual-lane setup — where one waiting line of cars ends up splitting in a Y to enter two separate lanes — or a setup of tandem order taking, in which one lane includes two ordering stations.
“Ordering in McDonald’s has become really complex, with all the McCafe and specialty items,” said Patricia Hammons. As a result, customers tend to bottleneck at the ordering station.
A dual-lane system would alleviate the bottleneck at ordering, as would a tandem system, though not as efficiently.
“Optimally we would like to do a dual lane, or they call it a side-by-side lane,” said Patricia Hammons, but if space limitations nix that idea, they could go with a tandem system instead.
At present, the restaurant is using a hand-held ordering station to take care of some waiting customers.
“It helps a lot, but it’s not a long-term solution,” said Patricia Hammons. An employee must be sent out “in the elements,” she explained, and drive-thru customers can’t see a menu board or a tally of the cost of what they’ve ordered so far.
“We actually had a complaint when it was so hot — ‘those poor people have to be outside.’” Customers don’t like to see that, Patricia Hammons said.
Sarah Einselen is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5151. Twitter: @PharosSME