By Shaun Szkolnik, for the Tribune
TRUSSVILLE — For Trussville residents, the wait is over. The fully remodeled, revamped and reinvigorated McDonald’s on North Chalkville Road held its soft-opening Monday, June 18.
The first thing that customers will notice is the exterior. The changes have created a building that feels modern and welcoming all at the same time. The addition of a second-order lane also makes for a more efficient experience at the drive-thru.
Once inside, customers are bathed in a healthy dose of retrofuturism — if the Sean Connery era James Bond ever needed a Big Mac, this is where he would get it.
“This theme is called ‘Experience the Future,’” said GM of the Pell City McDonald’s Jennifer Tucker. “The kiosks are here to allow the customers to customize their own orders. They can order at the kiosk, and we still have the front counter available, as well.”
The kiosks are one of the most interesting features of the new McDonald’s. The design is simple and intuitive. Customers may place their orders in a manner that will be familiar to anyone that has used a smartphone. Once the order is placed, the customer has the option of paying at the kiosk or at the counter; after that customers may take a table marker and wait for their order to be brought to them. Yes, that is correct, the Trussville McDonald’s now has table service. Customers may also opt for the new self-service beverage bar and prepare their drinks while they wait for the food to be served.
“It’s just touch screen based,” said Tucker. “So, it works (with) pictures. You just touch the order you want. You can complete the order and pay at the kiosk, or you can complete the order and pay at the front counter. There are options available.”
Another fun new feature is the self-serve beverage bar. Located in the area of the order counter, customers may use the semi-enclosed location to prepare drinks from the large soda fountain.
“You can place your order here yourself,” said Tucker. “Have your cups, go ahead and fill your drinks. We do provide table service, as well, so you just have a seat and we bring your order out.”
Although a fairly intuitive experience, there is a small learning curve to operating the new kiosks. For any customer needing assistance with their operation, the Trussville McDonald’s provides a guest experience leader.
“She (the guest experience leader) is out here and available to help walk people through the ordering process until it becomes learned,” said Tucker.
For a generation, at least a staple of the Trussville McDonald’s has been the children’s play area. That tradition is being carried over in the revamped facility. Toddlers will find a play station where they can have safe adventures to their heart’s content.
The official grand opening will take place on July 3 and continue for the rest of the week.
“We have a very big plan,” said Tucker. “Lots of events going on for the kids. We’ll have some face painting. Lots going on, face-painting and just different events throughout the day.”
The Trussville McDonald’s is located at 1111 North Chalkville Road. Ashley Kaple is the owner and Mary Pease is the General Manager.