Area McDonald’s Restaurants Rolling Out A New Look

August 18, 2018 GMT

PITTSTON TWP. — McDonald’s is rolling out a new look and a new way to order by adding kiosks and table service and the Pittston Twp. restaurant is the next one to modernize.

Construction starts Monday to remodel McDonald’s on state Route 315, said Pat Stella and her son Rich Corbin, who own the restaurant and 10 others throughout Northeast Pennsylvania.

It is the latest McDonald’s being remodeled in a plan from the fast-food chain and franchisees to invest about $266 million in Pennsylvania to modernize more than 360 restaurants in 2018 and 2019.

In all, McDonald’s and franchisees are investing $6 billion to modernize most U.S. restaurants by 2020.

The modernization is offering more technology and transforming the customer experience inside and outside the restaurants.

At the Pittston Twp. restaurant, Stella and Corbin said the drive-through will close next week for about week for the project but the restaurant will remain open. The new drive-through will have two speakers, one after another, offering two order points.

After that is complete, work will start to remodel the inside of the restaurant and the drive-through will remain open.

“The restaurant will never be closed completely,” Stella said. “There will always be a way for a customer to access it.”

With the significant construction investment, McDonald’s in Pittston Twp. and other transformed restaurants will feature modernized dining rooms with globally and locally inspired decor, new furniture and refreshed exterior designs.

The new design will no longer include its red and white coloring but there will be taupes and browns. It will be both rustic and contemporary, Stella and Corbin said.

“This is what the customer wants,” Stella said. “They want to come in to a nice new restaurant remodeled on the outside, a whole different look on the outside.”

McDonald’s also has been trying to enhance the customer experience with digital self-order kiosks that allow customers to browse the menu, find options and tailor meals just the way they want.

The Pittston Twp. restaurant will have four kiosks to order and that will not take away jobs, Corbin said. The kiosks will actually add a job because someone will help people with their orders, he said.

“People can customize their orders to their own liking,” Corbin said.

Customers also can still choose to order at the counter. Remodeled counters will allow for new table service that offers customers to new digital menu boards are being installed inside and at the drive-through.

The interior design in Pittston Twp. will include high-top seating and a leather couch.

Additionally, customers will find places to charge their iPhones and iPads and parking spots are being designated for curbside pick-up through mobile orders and paying.

“Part of the reason for this is to get more younger people to come in. It caters more to millennials,” Corbin said. “Everybody has an iPad and an iPhone. The kiosk is like a mega-sized iPad or iPhone. It’s the way of the world now.”

McDonald’s restaurants that have already been remodeled in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties include locations at 913 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming across from the Midway Shopping Center; 1950 Memorial Highway, Shavertown; Route 6, Clarks Summit; Brooklyn Street, Carbondale; Route 6, Eynon and Main Street, Old Forge.

Stella said McDonald’s restaurants that she owns that will be remodeled next year will include locations in Plains Twp. and Edwardsville as well as East Northampton Street and Kidder Street in Wilkes-Barre.

A restaurant in Luzerne was remodeled outside and its lobby will be next and self-order kiosks and digital menu boards will be added, she said.

Another McDonald’s in Wright Twp. also will be remodeled next year, owner Christina Mueller-Curran said recently.

Throughout Pennsylvania, there are more than 500 independently owned and operated McDonald’s, said John Longstreet, president and CEO for Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association.

“This $266 million investment by McDonald’s Corporation and franchisees will improve the restaurant experience for customers while also supporting local jobs,” Longstreet said.

In addition to the massive modernization project, McDonald’s is phasing out plastic straws by 2020 and switching to more environmentally friendly paper straws. The move also is expected to attract more millennials.

Contact the writer:

dallabaugh@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2115, @CVAllabaugh