“I hired a designer, David Melton out of Columbus, Ohio, who has restaurant experience. That’s what they do. They design restaurants,” said Bruce Parsley, the owner. “We brought David in and created a very bright but classy design.”
Parsley said Melton came down with a color board and the two of them went over the proposed design.
“I fell in love with it. I didn’t change one thing. And I went with it from the outset,” Parsley said.
Parsley was asked if all designs had to fall within McDonald’s corporate guidelines.
“Corporate gives you some guidelines; however, the operator has five, six, eight vendors we can pull in,” Parsley said. “And when you pull in a designer into one of these places, they’ve already been through the McDonald’s procedures. We’ve educated them on the things that have to happen inside the restaurant, so they come in here and they have a kind of run-of-the house, so to speak, and they come in here and they work with the restaurant to design what the operator needs.”
Parsley had the original restaurant razed, then built the new restaurant at the same location.
“The old building was built in 1978. But here today, technology has changed so much. So now we have Wi-Fi anywhere you go in the restaurant,” Parsley said. “We have a bar that has been designed here where people can plug in their laptops. They can hook up free to the Internet. They can eat lunch and work. Everything is becoming multi-tasking, and as technology moves our economy and the way we do things individually, this is a representation of what we are trying to accomplish.”
One of the things you notice when you first walk through the door is that the interior looks larger, even though it is on the same land as the old location.
“We did not use the full footprint of the lot back in 1978. So we added about 4 1/2 feet to the west, and we added about 4 feet on the east side, and I had about 6 1/2 feet in the rear of the building that was not utilized,” Parsley said. “So when we came in to this and we put the double drive-through on, we said we’re going to use every inch and kick everything out. So we’re just using existing real estate. We just kicked everything out to the property lines.”
Parsley was asked about the financial effect of closing the restaurant during the time of rebuilding.
“You do lose income. That’s the short answer, and the honest answer,” Parsley said. “However, you know it’s an investment for the future. And that’s how we look at it.”
Going back through the operation, it is obvious all functions are computerized, many of which are there to assure freshness. For example, after a pot of coffee has set for 30 minutes, the system beeps, and it will not allow you to use that coffee.
“So we throw it out,” Parsley said. “It’s the same thing with orange juice — all things are bar coded. It will tell us when it is time to get rid of something, and it will stop the function of the machine.”
Parsley said the unit that operates the system, including the cash register and production, cost $55,000, which led to a question about the overall cost of investment in building the new facility.
“Let me just say, it’s substantial,” Parsley said.
Parsley showed the equipment that cooks product on both sides at the same time, making preparation faster.
“Everything is really high-tech in this restaurant,” Parsley said.
“Technology is really driving this operation,” Parsley said. “We go to school a lot and have great management.”
Parsley credited his head manager, Amy Altman, who has been at the restaurant for about 15 years, and Chuck Conn, director and supervisor of the area McDonald’s Restaurants, with the company for 29 years, with being the driving force behind the restaurant’s success.
“My hat’s off to them,” Parsley said. “They’re doing a lot to get this store ready. They are very knowledgeable, very intelligent people.”
As you walk through the restaurant, you see preparation areas where biscuits are made from scratch, and where salads are created.
There is much more to see, including the computerized soft drink mix system and sweet tea system, but Parsley is most excited about having the restaurant open to the public at 10 a.m. Thursday.
“The first 100 customers will receive a coupon for a free Big Mac or Egg McMuffin every week for a year,” said Emily Meyers with McDonald’s public relations department.
Parsley said his father, longtime McDonald’s operator Al Parsley, will be at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.