McDonalds lobby now open for dine-in

Bree Soule, Online Editor-in-Chief

On Jan. 19, the Owen Road McDonalds opened for dine-in service after being shut down for nearly two years because of the COVID-19 virus. Customers may order inside only via the kiosks and sit down to enjoy their meal. The Kiosks make the inside a cashless transaction— meaning customers must pay with a credit or debit card.

“I’m relieved that the lobby is open now,” Department Manager Two Sarah Montney said. “I wouldn’t say I’m excited, but I’m happy. I believe this will increase business because as it gets warmer, people will want to eat in air conditioning. But for right now it’s kind of just a hit and miss.”

Business has been slow regarding dine-in customers since the lobby has been reopened. 

“We have maybe 15 families eat in the lobby a day right now,” Montney said. “Before we would be wrapped around lobby waiting for people to order for at least a half hour. Most of the time people are just using it for the bathroom.”

Although some customers may be happy about this change, it has created obstacles for the McDonald’s employees.

“Staffing a properly-run store to be able to handle a line in the drive-through and lobby [has been an issue,]” Montney said. “Our crew trainers are working double time right now to get all of our new hires who we hired during the pandemic trained to handle both.”

The front counter is completely closed to customers. This assists the staff in maintaining a fast-paced business even with a lack of employees.

“Not much has changed because we don’t use the front counter to take anyone’s orders yet,” Crew Trainer Lucas Bois said. “Right now we have customers order for themselves on the kiosks which helps us because we are short-staffed. We don’t have to stop working on the drive-through to take someone’s order. Plus it would be hard to get so many employees used to working lobby who have never worked it before.”

As reported on their website, the McDonald’s lobby is open every day of the week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The drive-through remains open 24 hours a day.