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WATCH: ‘McDonald’s of The Future’ Opens Friday in Ottumwa

By Ellis Codjoe, September 13, 2017

The McDonald’s of the future is coming to Ottumwa.

A brand new McDonald’s restaurant will open on Friday featuring an upgraded dining experience for customers.

Donna Mann, owner of the Otttumwa Franchises and 6 other locations across Iowa says the upgraded location in Ottumwa is just the third to open here in Iowa.

“We were going to be the first. Our construction didn’t go as fast as we had hoped so now we’re the third. Soon, in the Midwest region which is Minneapolis, Iowa, Wisconsin and some other states, they will soon have 10 or 12 of these. By about 2020, every McDonald’s restaurant will be upgraded in some way.”

Mann says upgrades include a new fine dining experience in the dining room, an outdoor patio and another big addition that has received attention across the country.

“We’ve added kiosks for those who would like to place their own order. Some of the younger generations especially like to play with that. We will still have crew at the counter in case people prefer to place an order that way.”

A recent survey released by Junior Achievement of Central Iowa found 77% of parents surveyed were concerned about their kids being able to find decent jobs due to so much automation.
Mann responded to the survey, saying the new kiosks may actually result in the restauraunt needing more employees.

“This is a convenience, they don’t have to use that if they don’t like. But, by adding these, we’ve added four new touch-points for people to order. More people can order at the same time. That creates more pressure in the kitchen area, so we need more people in that area. We’re also offering table service where we will deliver your meal to your table. That requires more personnel. So it doesn’t alleviate any personnel, it actually adds to the staff and we need more employees.”

The new restaurant replaces a McDonald’s location built in the late 1970s. The location will officially open at 5:00 Friday Morning with special drawings and other festivities planned including an appearance by the one and only Ronald McDonald.

The grand opening also benefits the community. From Sept. 15 through Sept. 24, 25-cents from each Happy Meals sold will be given directly to Ottumwa Community Schools.

See the press release below the video for additional details. 

McDonald’s Press Release:

Ottumwa, Iowa — The McDonald’s of the future is coming to Iowa. A McDonald’s Experience of the Future restaurant will celebrate its grand opening on Sept. 15 at 222 Richmond Avenue in Ottumwa.

McDonald’s Experience of the Future concept is highlighted by an updated dining room configuration, a new outdoor patio, and the addition of self-serve, touch-screen kiosks, which allow customers more options to customize their meals – from proteins, to types of buns, to toppings, sides and desserts. Plus, the screen also shares nutritional information with each item.

Customers inside the restaurant will also be treated to table service, where food will be brought to the table by a friendly McDonald’s attendant. For those customers on the go, the store is planning to implement in coming months the option for mobile order and pay through the McDonald’s App, along with curbside pick-up.

The restaurant will also feature a Frozen Beverage Machine for customers to enjoy a Frozen Coke, Blue Raspberry Fanta or Cherry Fanta.

“We’re honored to be the first to bring this new concept to the Ottumwa community. Our hope is that folks will come on out and see what the future of dining at McDonald’s looks like. We have tremendous customers and we are proud of our involvement in this community. It’s exciting to share this with our neighbors and people across the state,” said Donna Mann, local owner-operator of the Ottumwa location.

The grand opening also benefits the community. From Sept. 15 through Sept. 24, 25-cents from each Happy Meals sold will be given directly to Ottumwa Community Schools. The nature of giving back continues, as one lucky student each from the Ottumwa elementary, middle and high schools will receive backpacks filled with school supplies. One lucky recipient will receive a laptop, as well.

The touchscreen kiosks resemble a giant iPad, allowing customers to see exact calorie counts of each item, submit their order, and pay in one session. Customers will take a Bluetooth activated table number and can wait in a seat for their food to be served. The outdoor digital menus provide an easy-to-read list of offerings for drive-thru customers.

“This restaurant allows us to adjust to our customers’ needs,” Mann said. “It offers something for everyone. For those coming into the lobby, there’s a friendly face delivering their food right to the table. For families and children, it’s a nice, clean and fun place to have a meal and spend time together. It truly is a great, new and exciting experience at McDonald’s.”

Grand Opening festivities from 11-3 p.m. on Sept. 15 will include:

–       50 customers will receive a certificate for a free large sandwich for a year (beginning at 11 a.m.).

–       50 customers will receive a certificate for a free breakfast sandwich for a year (beginning at 5 a.m.).

–       An appearance from Ronald McDonald and a live radio remote.

–       An appearance from Ottumwa High School cheerleaders and the Bulldog mascot.

The celebration continues during the Grand Opening week. Drawings will be held for several prizes, including:

o   A laptop

o   An Apple Watch

o   Beats headphones (donated by Coca-Cola)

o   iPod (donated by Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group)

About McDonald’s Mid-Iowa Iowa Co-op

The McDonald’s Mid-Iowa Co-op comprises local small-business owners who own and operate the more than 60 McDonald’s restaurants in Central Iowa.

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