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BizBeat: Linn McDonald's gets high-tech upgrades

BizBeat: Linn McDonald's gets high-tech upgrades

January 7th, 2018 by Philip Joens in Business

Julie Smith/News Tribune Linn McDonald's restaurant manager, Jennifer Holmes, demonstrates for Butch Ruprecht the new kiosk just installed during the store's new renovation. The $1 million remodel is nearly complete but already in use and includes new flooring, tables and chairs, children's play area, digital menu boards outside and more.

LINN, Mo. -- The Linn McDonald's location will celebrate its grand re-opening next week after the completion of a $1 million renovation.

The renovation replaced the exterior and most of the interior of the restaurant. New self-ordering kiosks highlight high-tech additions that fit in with the feel of modern McDonald's stores.

"It looks amazing," said Butch Ruprecht, McDonald's Jefferson City area franchisee. "It took way too long, but it looks good."

The $1 million renovation enlarged the seating area, replaced the PlayPlace toys, and added new restrooms and soda stations.

"If you haven't been down there for a while, it will look like a totally new store," Ruprecht said. "It's really state-of-the-art."

Ruprecht said a ribbon-cutting will be held Wednesday. Reading nights and movie nights for children will be held in the PlayPlace area.

Built at least 25 years ago, the restaurant was previously topped by the bright-red sloped roof which served as the hallmark of McDonald's decades ago. As part of the rehab, the store now has the boxy exterior that's the look of the current McDonald's. To do this, crews covered the building in scaffolding for about a month as they removed the red soffit, installed new siding, and put new signage and lighting on the exterior.

Ruprecht bought the store about four years ago and made several upgrades to the kitchen and other working areas. Because of this, the restaurant closed its lobby for more than three weeks, remaining open by serving customers through its drive-thru window. At one point, because of the construction, employees had to walk customers' orders to cars.

Ruprecht described the renovation as an investment in the community.

"It's going to take a long time to make it up," he said. "(It's a) long-term investment."

The renovated lobby opened in mid-December, but construction continued in small areas of the interior until just recently. Crews also added digital menu boards inside and at the drive-thru, new ceiling tiles, and new floor tiles.

Originally scheduled to take just six weeks, the upgrades spanned three months because of several construction delays, Ruprecht said.

The Linn store is the first in the area to be fitted with McDonald's new self-serve kiosks. The kiosks stand several feet tall and looks like giant tablets allowing customers to order items via touch-screen and pay electronically. McDonald's planned to roll out the self-serve kiosks to 2,500 U.S. restaurants by the end of 2017.

The kiosks also will be installed at the McDonald's at 3124 S. Ten Mile Drive in Jefferson City this spring. Ruprecht's McDonald's location at 1425 Missouri Blvd. will undergo the same type of renovation in the spring.


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