Queues and excitement for Stowmarket’s first McDonald’s
Queues of cars and people greeted the official opening of Stowmarket’s new McDonald’s on Wednesday.
The Gun Cotton Way restaurant and drive-through welcomed its first customers at 10.30am, following months of construction work on site.
Carol Rogerson, franchisee, said the reaction had been ‘absolutely incredible’.
“To see it open and customers through the doors is amazing,” she said.
“There has been a lot of excitement around the town. A lot of people were waiting for us to open the gates. To get this number of people in the first half hour is fantastic.”
The Cedars Park restaurant offers table service, self-order kiosks, is one of the first in the country with digital drive through menu boards, has a ‘fast-forward lane’ at the drive-through, a playland facility for children and magic table with digital activities.
There are 110 covers inside, a further 40 outside and 50 car parking spaces, as well as cycle parking.
Carol already operates five McDonald’s in Ipswich, one in Felixstowe and the Bury St Edmunds branch, which between them employ nearly 800 people.
Carol said: “We have recruited about 80 people locally to work here (in Stowmarket) and we have had 20 staff who worked in Ipswich but live locally to Stowmarket who asked to transfer here.”
And while front of house the restaurant has been equipped with the latest technology and interior design, those features also extend to the staff areas.
The crew room is equipped with lockers and individual chargers so staff can charge their phones while they work. There is also a television and training facilities.
Customers can order through touch screens, at the counter or via the drive-through, with orders sent digitally to the kitchens.
Behind the scenes, automated drinks machines dispense beverages while staff prepare each order from scratch before putting the hot food into a chute ready to be handed to the customer.
Each Big Mac takes just 45 seconds start to finish to prepare and cook.
Carol has been a McDonald’s franchisee for six years and said she loves the food.
Meanwhile, she added she was ‘desperate’ to open a similar drive-through restaurant in Bury St Edmunds and had a couple of sites in mind.
The Stowmarket McDonald’s will now be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week apart from Christmas Day.