McDonald’s restaurants in Utah are getting a high-tech, multimillion-dollar makeover.
The national company and franchisees announced plans Tuesday to invest more than $25 million over the next two years to modernize 35 — of the 120 — McDonald’s restaurants in the Beehive State.
The Utah upgrades are part of a larger $6 billion improvement plan designed to upgrade most U.S. McDonald’s restaurants by 2020.
Cory Watson, who owns and operates 22 of the Utah McDonald’s restaurants that will be remodeled, said the company plans to use area architects, electricians, plumbers and other contractors for the remodels.
“The economic impact for the state will be huge,” he said, adding that if the makeovers increase sales, as expected, the eateries will require more employees.
Once remodeled, McDonald’s restaurants will have:
• Digital self-order kiosks that make ordering and paying easier. Kiosks allow guests to browse the menu, find options and tailor their meal.
• Remodeled counters that will allow for table service.
• Digital menu boards inside — and at drive-thrus — that are bright and easier to read.
• Designated parking spots for curbside pickup through mobile ordering.
• Expanded McCafé counters and larger display cases.
• Modern dining rooms with globally and locally inspired décor, new furniture and refreshed exterior designs.
Watson said the changes will enhance the dining experience, whether the customer is a millennial who expects to order and pay with a cellphone or a senior citizen who wants to order face to face.
“It speaks to all our consumers,” he said.
While McDonald’s is known around the world — and just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac — the company has implemented several changes in recent years to stay relevant with today’s savvy diners.
It has tried to attract more health-conscious eaters by offering salads with kale. In March, the 120 Utah McDonald’s were among the first in the country to sell quarter pounders made with fresh beef, not frozen patties, and the company has created McDelivery through Uber Eats. The service launched in the Salt Lake City area late last year and is available in 75 restaurants from Ogden to Provo.
One thing that isn’t changing: the Golden Arches logo.