McDonald's to Spend $69M Renovating 100 Arkansas Restaurants

McDonald's to Spend $69M Renovating 100 Arkansas Restaurants
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McDonald's announced this week that it and its franchisees are investing $69 million in Arkansas in 2018 and 2019 to renovate and modernize about 100 of its restaurants.

The Arkansas renovations are part of $6 billion the chain is spending to modernize most of its restaurants nationwide by 2020.

The renovated restaurants will feature:

  • More modern dining rooms with globally and locally inspired décor, new furniture and refreshed exterior designs.
  • Digital self-order kiosks that will allow customers to browse the menu, find options and tailor their meals.
  • Remodeled counters to allow for new table service. 
  • Bright and easy-to-read digital menu boards inside and in the drive-through lanes.
  • Designated parking spots for curbside pick-up for customers using a mobile order and pay service.
  • Expanded McCafé counters and larger display cases.

David Stokes, an owner-operator who owns stores in Little Rock, told Arkansas Business the chain's focus is to "bring the stores up to speed on what we're calling the experience of the future, how McDonald's will look now and in the long-term future."

In Arkansas, he said, plans are to finish the renovations in 2019, and that about 80 of the 100 slated to be updated are in central Arkansas.

"I've been in this for 41 years, and we're constantly doing remodeling and upgrading," Stokes said. "But, something of this scope, I don't know that I've seen it, because we're trying to touch as many of the 14,000 restaurants nationwide as we can. 

"So, when a customer is driving from California to New York or Arkansas, they'll see a similar experience. So we'll have more modernized restaurants and stuff that is more relevant to today … We're moving from baby boomers to millennials and beyond."

Stokes said the planned changes will better serve customers' needs, especially where it concerns technology.

Stokes added that more technology will not mean fewer jobs. In fact, he said, the restaurants will need more employees.

Stokes is also president of the ArkLaTex co-op. Co-ops are business units that handle the local marketing and public relations that is not handled on the national level by McDonald's corporate office.