Published: 12:00, 14 July 2017
Canterbury’s high street McDonald’s will shut its doors for seven weeks on Monday for a modern-day makeover costing more than £1 million.
The summer refurbishment will see the 24-hour branch completely ripped out and the introduction of table service, touch-screen ordering and computer tablets for customers.
It takes places at a time when many of the city’s thousands of students have gone home for the holidays – a deliberate move by bosses.
“It definitely is a factor,” said area supervisor Jon Kavanagh. “Students make up a huge part of the market for us, and even quite a lot of our staff are students.
“Canterbury is very tourist-heavy in the summer, but the tourists are outweighed quite heavily by the students. It’s all about the needs of the business, really.
“We’ll be opening a few weeks before Freshers Week, which is a very busy time for us, but not as busy as Christmas.”
The restaurant in St George’s Street will be the 13th of franchisee Paul Crocker’s 17 branches to be refurbished under the fast food giant’s ‘Made for You’ platform.
It will close on Monday, July 17, and reopen on Thursday, August 31.
"It’s going to be a full refurbishment upstairs and downstairs. We’ll take the floors out, the ceilings down, the wall coverings off – we’re starting again..." - area supervisor Jon Kavanagh
All tables will be fitted with tablets so visitors can browse the internet, scroll through Facebook or play games.
Customers can choose to order their food from 16 touch-screen kiosks – 10 of them downstairs and six upstairs.
“The number of them is pretty much unprecedented,” Mr Kavanagh said. “I’ve been to some of the busy West End restaurants and the most I’ve seen is 12. The average is four.
“They’re great if you want to avoid the queues – you can choose to takeaway or have your food taken to your table.”
A troublesome lift out of action for years will also be replaced, allowing disabled people and families with buggies to easily access the first floor.
“It’s going to be a full refurbishment upstairs and downstairs. We’ll take the floors out, the ceilings down, the wall coverings off – we’re starting again,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“It’s going to be completely unrecognisable. We’re sure people will be blown away by it.”
Mr Kavanagh added that the investment will also create new jobs at the city centre restaurant.
“We’ve found that after these refurbishments we tend to get busier so we’ll be looking to fill about 20 or 30 full and part-time positions,” he said.
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