Stepping into the newly remodeled McDonald's restaurant in Durand, the experience begins with an employee asking if you'd like to try ordering from the new self-serve kiosks. "I can help you out," the employee offers.
Yes? Maybe? No?
For some, it's a new and exciting advancement. For others, the learning curve is intimidating. And for yet still others, it's a matter of principle.
Paying the customer nothing to use the self-serve kiosk is an invitation for billion-dollar corporations to eliminate paid employees, some say. But some of these same folks have probably already become accustomed to using the self-checkout lanes at Walmart. (*Timidly raises hand.*)
On the upside, using the kiosk might help prevent orders from being "messed up," right? (Pro tip: You might still want to make sure that honey for your nuggets is in the bag.)
And then there's that Metro study that Facebook was so kind to show us over and over, about what awaits our fingers on the new touch screens.
In an act of defiance, I bypassed the kiosks and ordered face to face with one of the restaurant's employees. It was...underwelming. I guess I'd hoped for more. After all, I was acting in solidarity with McDonald's employees everywhere by refusing to use the fancy new machines. (I also long for the pre-Freestyle Coke fountain days. Back when life was simple and each flavor had its own button...)
This time it was no. I suppose that maybe next time it will be maybe. Eventually, it will probably be yes. And so it goes.
The new McDonald's lobby is different. Modern. Trendy, even? With one wall looking like an odd nod to Twenty One Pilots' album cover for "Trench," painted to look like yellow bricks with birds flying by. And there's a utility pole. (Not the first business in town to have a utility pole inside.)
Maybe there's more space. It's a little hard to tell. Maybe there's more seating. Or, maybe it's just different seating; benches along the front window. The high-tops are gone. In some ways it feels like a more traditional McDonald's and in other ways it feels like Ronald is probably a robot now.
Because, you know... clowns...
Josh Strickland is the Publisher of Durand Now and is a bigger fan of fries than of change.
A vintage McDonald's sign in front of the McDonald's restaurant in Lapeer./Durand Now photo
More Durand Now content follows these sponsor messages:
Shiawassee THEN Episode 2 - 8.31.19
Learn about the Owosso-made Autocycle. Fewer than 350 of these unique jet-car-motorcycle hybrids were produced between 1984 and 1990 by Owosso Motor Car Company.