Thompson’s much-anticipated new McDonald’s restaurant finally opened its doors to the public in the early morning Sept. 14.
Local owner Brett O’Meara said that residents came out in force to get a glimpse of this revamped, retooled facility, which kept the restaurant’s staff on their toes throughout the entire opening weekend.
“We had a lot of help from outside of town from our McDonald’s family, a lot of corporate people and we managed,” O’Mera told the Thompson Citizenon Sept. 17. “It was all hands on deck and it was a pretty exciting time.”
Bigger than its previous incarnation, the new facility offers features and services that will, management says, provide a better dining experience for its customers.
Many of these changes were on full display during a special sneak preview event Sept. 12, when select members of the community were invited to have a meal and tour the new building.
On top of keeping popular attractions like the drive-thru and PlayPlace area, owner Brett O’Meara said they’re also introducing a new way to order food through self-serve kiosks, which have been slowly creeping into the McDonald’s business model since 2015.
“If people spend a little bit of time and learn how to use them, it’s a quicker way to get your food, you can jump the line a little bit,” he said. “Your kids will be able to use it really easily. It’s very intuitive.”
Additionally, staff are being trained to offer mobile ordering and table delivery services, which O’Meara said will make the whole process more convenient, especially for customers with young children.
“I think it’s going to be really important for families and mothers that are wanting to watch their kids,” he said. “Now we’re going to bring their food out to them so they can relax and not worry.”
the Sept. 12 preview event also served as an opportunity to thank all of their loyal customers who stuck by the restaurant ever since they decided to demolish the original building back in May and construct this facility to take its place.
This four-month waiting period became an outright drought in early August, when the Walmart McDonald’s was shut down to make way for the department store’s Supercenter renovations.
“I thank all of you for coming this evening. This building has been a long time coming,” O’Meara said Sept. 12. “We would not have made such a significant investment if it wasn’t for our belief in this community.”
O’Meara cemented his team’s commitment to Thompson that night by making donations to local organizations, including the Norman Wolves ($1,000) and Norman Northstars ($3,000) hockey teams, the YWCA ($1,000) and the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre ($500).
Mayor Dennis Fenske publicly thanked O’Meara and his wife Jodi for undertaking such an expensive construction project in Thompson when the city continues to experience financial hardships due to ongoing cutbacks at Vale.
“The fact that these two people as franchisees reinvested in our community in the times that we are in sends a strong, strong message that we as a community are here for the long haul,” Fenske said Wednesday. “We’re going to be sustainable and this is proof in the pudding.”
The Thompson McDonald’s staff currently consists of 85 employees and O’Meara said they are still hiring.
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