CROWN POINT — Would you like some kiosks with those fries?
The newly remodeled McDonald's on Main Street reopened for business early Wednesday with self-order kiosks for customers who don't want to wait at the drive-in window.
For traditionalists, the egg McMuffin remains unchanged.
Denise Beatty was one of several "guest experience leaders" who helped customers navigate the digital touch screens.
"It's like waitressing, to make it convenient for you, so you can spend more time with your family instead at the counter," Beatty said. "We take care of you guys."
She and a full staff prepared for the morning rush of McDonald's customers who have had to go elsewhere for their fast-food fixes during a three-month major renovation.
The remodel has given the restaurant modern and locally accented decor, new furniture, a remodeled counter, more digital menu screens both inside and out, and curbside pick-up for those using the McDonald's mobile order and pay app.
Breakfast items were featured in the pre-dawn hours of its reopening. Beatty said the boards change about 10:30 a.m. daily to luncheon items, although all-day breakfast features remain.
McDonald's has been at 135 N. Main Street since it first opened in August 1979 as a walk-in-only store, Jeff Templin, the owner, said.
"We wanted to tear the building down and start from scratch a long time ago. But we couldn't turn the building on its axis, so we did a major remodel," he said. The building was expanded in the rear to provide more room in the kitchen and restrooms. Doors were reconfigured to remove choke points in the walk-in traffic.
Templin said the reconfigured in-line tandem drive-in should accommodate more cars on their property. "Mayor David Uran said he is extremely happy we added that and won't have that long line of cars waiting out in Main Street," Templin said.
Templin said his father-in-law, Bill Modrak, started with McDonald's in 1956 and built the Modrak/Templin Operating Group that manages the franchises in Crown Point, Hobart, Lowell and Merrillville.
"He started with McDonald's as a 15-year-old," Templin said. "He was working at a driving range in Hammond and wondered what it would be like to work for a hamburger joint for the rest of his life, and he wasn't going to make a career out of it. He has done pretty well."