ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Are you sick of waiting in lines at your local McDonald’s? Dealing with rude cashiers? Limited burger options? Not being able to gorge yourself on more fries than your heart can handle?
Well, the future of McDonald’s is addressing all of those issues and more with their latest planned franchise, a drastically altered business model, and the very first of its kind will open in St. Joseph.
Along with new decor to invite a more casual dining experience, the new 6,500-square foot franchise will offer a kiosk at which customers will place their order, which allows for faster service and customizable orders.
The new restaurant will offer “hundreds of different choices to build the burger of your dreams,” owner Chris Habiger told the St. Joseph News-Press this week. “Once you’ve placed your order, you can find your seat because we’ll bring it out to you.”
There is also a new feature: all-you-can-eat fries.
The news comes in light of the recent, highly-publicized protests by minimum wage fast food workers demanding higher pay. The new kiosk system would replace the need for as many cashiers, but Habider said he plans to hire 85 new employees at the new location.
It’s a bold move showing how closely business leaders are watching consumer trends. The company is shirking the pay-at-the-register model, where customers carry their order to their table, for more table service. And with the offer of unlimited fries, the company is taking note of another trend: McDonald’s customers at large simply aren’t looking for healthier options.
An article in Vanity Fair suggests “McDonald’s has tried to compensate by adding healthier choices to its menus, but customers don’t seem to be biting. In fact, earlier this week The Wall Street Journal reported that it’s removing wraps from its menus because no self-respecting millennial was going to McDonald’s to buy a wrap,” adding that “maybe going full-throttle with the unbridled unhealthiness in the St. Joseph store is just what McDonald’s needs. No one is going to McDonald’s to diet. They’re going to stuff their face with seven days’ worth of calories, and that’s O.K. Maybe, in the future, the lesson will be that we all should drop the airs and accept who we are.”
The franchise is set to open in July.