Extensive rebuild starting at Franklin McDonald’s

The Franklin McDonald’s at 13th and Otter streets will become a hub of construction activity as workers will demolish and rebuild the store in what they’re hoping will be 80 days.

“They plan on demolishing the structure this week and begin building next week,” city code enforcement officer Chuck Gibbons said Wednesday.

Gibbons said the announcement the store would be closing this week came as a surprise after months of planning, applying for permits and working with the construction company.

“Dates got moved all around, the weather played a role, but they were really at the mercy of whenever the contractors would be available,” Gibbons said.

After the restaurant is demolished, Gibbons said the new structure will be built farther back on the lot to accommodate more cars in the drive-thru lane and alleviate traffic congestion on 13th Street.

“I think it’s going to be quite the improvement as far as traffic congestion,” he said.

The drive-thru will reflect the modern system of two ordering stations and will allow 18 cars to be stacked in the lanes at one time, Gibbons said.

The entire project has an estimated cost of $961,290, according to Gibbons.

“So it’s quite an investment on McDonald’s part,” he said.

In a press release, McDonald’s said all Franklin employees have been offered employment at its location in Seneca across from the Cranberry Mall until the projected re-opening in October.

“The biggest news is that they won’t be open for Applefest,” Gibbons joked.

Franklin’s reconstruction is part of a larger initiative on behalf of McDonald’s to modernize “most” restaurants by 2020, the press release said.

“We’re building a better McDonald’s for our customers,” said owner/operator Dan Deligatti in the release. “We’re making long-term investments so McDonald’s will be even more easy, convenient and, of course, delicious.”

The release said $266 million will be invested to upgrade 360 restaurants across the state.

In addition to the new drive-thru system, the release announced the new store will include digital menu boards, digital self-order kiosks, table service in the dining room and mobile order/pay with the McDonald’s app.

Restaurant manager Jeff Rodgers said in the release the new technology will “create greater need for customer service personnel.”

“I’m hoping to add at least 20 people to my restaurant’s crew in the next few months,” he said in the release.

The McDonald’s building was originally built by Irvan Kaplan, who also owned franchises in Oil City and Titusville, in 1975. It hasn’t been remodeled since 2006.