An inflatable Ronald McDonald welcomed burger-seekers as they walked through the new McDonald’s doors.
The icon stood to commemorate the opening of the new building for the local franchise of the fast food chain. Construction began in June 2019 so the franchise could move from its nearly 50-year-old building.
The new location in Gas City officially opened on Nov. 7. It sports a new visual style focused on darker colors as opposed to the red, white and yellows of the old building. Inside, diners will find an abundance of faux-brick, metal siding and grates to give the space a more modern, urban feel.
Visitors to the restaurant will also find a more open dining area, hosts in this space to help and accommodate visitors, touchscreen ordering stations and a new double lane drive through with two pickup windows.
“Customers will feel more welcome,” said First Assistant Manager Zayne Hunter.
Hunter also believes that a more modern and optimized kitchen will allow the McDonalds’ staff to get patrons their food more efficiently.
However, there have been minor growing pains while adjusting to the new location. Hunter said that new equipment means more training so that the location can best serve its guests.
“Our city is growing,” said Bradley Kline, Gas City planning and zoning director. “We’re seeing new technology with new business.”
Kline sees the new McDonald’s building as one of the first steps in developing the east side of Gas City.
Kline’s office has done a comprehensive master analysis of Gas City. Alongside the new fast food restaurant, they are developing the land on that side of town to open space for more economic development. This development will include a new street that will make space for new businesses and help Gas City with traffic congestion.
While new area businesses have wide-reaching implications, Kline does not see the new McDonald’s having any direct effect on the Taylor community.
“We always welcome new development and new growth,” Kline said.
Kait Bedel, graduate assistant for Taylor Community Outreach, believes that local businesses offer new opportunities for Taylor students to intersect with the Grant County community.
However, she does not see the new McDonald’s building affecting the dynamic between Taylor and its neighbors since most students often choose other off-campus venues for hanging out with friends and building new relationships.
Similarly, Kline also does not see this affecting the relationship between Taylor and Gas City.