See Inside New Cedar Rapids McDonald’s That’s Ready to Open [PHOTOS]
The new McDonald's on 1st Avenue in Cedar Rapids is nearly ready to welcome customers. I stopped by today and took a look around the amazing new restaurant.
Anytime you visit a restaurant, you likely don't spend much time thinking about all the different phases of each order and everything that's going on inside the kitchen as your food is being prepared. Today was an eye-opener for me.
Justin Macchione is the Regional Operations Manager for McDonald's and showed me around the new location, along 1st Ave in Cedar Rapids, on the south side of Lindale Mall. Macchione is responsible for 25 locations in Iowa, including all the Cedar Rapids stores.
We talked some about the McDonald's that recently closed near Thomas Park in Marion. Macchione shared that the building simply wasn't up to the task of continuing to be a working restaurant and also didn't fit the needs of today. The new 1st Avenue restaurant, just 1.04 miles away, is ultra-modern. According to Macchione, all of the Thomas Park McDonald's employees have taken jobs at the new Cedar Rapids restaurant, which will employ up to 100.
The 1st Avenue McDonald's has two drive-thru lanes and three windows. Macchione told me that the third window is for short waits for a particular item, so customers who won't have to wait long at all, don't have to pull into one of the restaurant's five curbside spots.
One of my favorite parts of technology these days is what McDonald's can do with their app. Customers who order on the app will have their food prepared once the phone they ordered it on arrives on-site. Once you get within a short radius of the restaurant, your order automatically pops up in the kitchen so your food is fresh and hot. You either then grab your food at the drive-thru, go inside to a table, walk in to pick it up or pull into a curbside spot.
The first thing you'll notice when you walk into the 1st Avenue McDonald's is that there's no menu board inside. You order at a kiosk (cash payment will be available, one of the 1st McDonald's locations in Iowa to offer that option at a kiosk) or via the app.
After a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m., the new Cedar Rapids McDonald's will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 7. Initial hours will be:
- (Drive-thru) 5 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday; 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday
- (Dining room) 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 5 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday
Macchione says this location will be open 24 hours a day beginning on November 1.
Here's a look at some photos from inside and outside the newest Cedar Rapids McDonald's:
The new McDonald's has an automatic pop machine that prepares your drinks:
The two-lane drive-thru, facing Lindale Mall:
The friers are ready for french fries:
The "drink station" portion of the new McDonald's:
Food prep area:
Which sandwich is your favorite?
Once your food is completed, it's sent down the short conveyor belt...
To the finishing station where it's placed in a bag or on a tray for you, along with any sauces you've requested:
The tabletop number signs have GPS coordinates on them so the person who brings your food to you knows exactly where you're seated.