Renovation under way at local McDonald's

Andrea Rose

The McDonald's on Buchanan Trail East just off Interstate 81 is surrounded by building materials, scaffold and work trucks.

A major renovation of the fast food restaurant started on Oct. 1. The drive-thru is expected to reopen this week and the remainder of the work should be finished the week of Oct. 22.

"If all goes well and the weather is good, we expect to be open by the 26th of October," said Steven Delamater, owner of Delamor Enterprises, a Chambersburg-based McDonald's franchise with stores in Chambersburg, Waynesboro and Breezewood, in addition to the Greencastle restaurant."We're getting a lot done very quickly. It will be really beautiful when it's done.

"The store will have a completely different look from the exterior to the interior," Delamater said. "There will be a new dining room and drive-through, with digital menu boards inside and out, similar to Waynesboro."

Delamater said the new interior will offer customers the option of ordering at the counter or from a kiosk.

"What we're finding in Chambersburg, Waynesboro and Breezewood is — and you never want to generalize — but for the most part, younger people seem to take to the self-order format very easily. People who are older enjoy ordering with a person. I make sure at my restaurants that everybody has a choice.

"This is not something being done to reduce labor," Delamater added. "We still have the need for more people to work for us. We do hire above minimum wage."

He said staff will be on-hand in the dining room to ensure customers have a positive dining experience, despite being in a fast-food atmosphere.

"We are evolving the way we serve customers," Delamater explained. "When you come in and place your order, you take a numbered table tent to where you are sitting. That is encoded so it lets us know where you are sitting. As soon as the food is up, we know where to find you when we bring out the food on a tray. We make sure the order is correct upon serving, then we'll turn that table tent on its side so it lets us know that we already came once. We'll then go back a second time, not to bother anybody, but to ask if everything is OK."

Delamater said dining room staff will keep an eye out for drinks that need refilled, too.

"Our intent is to help and make it so the customer, once they sit down, that they do not have to get up again," he explained.

He said time is still of the essence. "The No. 1 thing that's behind all this is making sure that whether you order in the drive-thru or at the front counter that the time that it takes for serving is decreased and the quality of the service is improved," Delamater said. "It's friendlier, the time is quicker and inside, it really is as close as you can get to table service."

One change some parents may notice is that the former Play Place concept is gone. "I fought to continue to keep the Play Place. Customers liked it," Delamater said. "McDonald's Corp.would not let me keep my Play Place."

Instead, Delamater has created more play areas inside with video games for children and adults. "It's fun to see the adults playing along with their children," he said.