Friday, February 15, 2008

Rebuilt Bedford McDonalds Adding McCafe Coffee Bar

The McDonald's in Bedford which closed on October 15th last year, has been demolished and totally rebuild. The new restaurant which is finishing up construction, is hoping to open by the end of February. While the new restaurant has the same number of seats (70) as the old one, just about everything else is different and updated.

Construction continues on the new McDonald's. The new restaurant has a much more modern appearance than the original one built in 1971.

New Dual Drive-Thrus
I spoke with Tim Moulton, Director of Operations for the Bedford McDonald's about the changes the new restaurant will bring. Tim mentioned one of the biggest problems with the previous restaurant was that the drive-thru would get backed up with cars during the busy lunch time rush, occasionally spilling out on to Great Road, tying up traffic. In studying the drive through configuration, they realized that the order point (where you place your order) was the bottleneck as people sometimes took a while to decide what they wanted, while the pay window and food pick up window flowed smoothly. To combat this problem, the new McDonalds has dual (side by side) order points so they can take two orders at the same time. These two lanes then move in to a single lane for payment and food pickup. Tim is confident the new drive through configuration will improve order speed, traffic flow and virtually eliminate backups on to Great Road.

Exterior Changes
There are other improvement to the outside as well. The number of parking spaces has been reduced. A sidewalk has been added to the back of the McDonald's lot on Shawsheen Avenue. This extends the sidewalk on Shawnsheen from the Bedford Plaza Hotel to the Great Road Shell Station. On the front side, there will be more grass, some flowers and the addition of a few trees. Tim is also adding a picnic table and benches so customers can eat outside in the warmer weather. A Bike rack will also be available.

The new restaurant features an updated brick design along with the latest McDonald's logos and branding. The interior has been totally revamped. Click on the image for a larger view.

Interior Changes
The biggest changes appear to be the interior. While in the past it seemed McDonald's was designed to get you in and out as fast as possible, the new focus is to appear more like a regular restaurant and less like fast food. Like Starbucks, McDonald's wants to encourage people to spend more time and linger. To accomplish this, the new restaurant will feature a fireplace, recessed lightning, several large screen televisions and WiFi internet access.

McCafe Coffee Bar
Along with the changes, the Bedford McDonalds will also feature some new menu items. The biggest additions appear to be speciality coffee. While McDonalds has offered Paul Newman's organic coffees for several years now, the new restaurant will feature a "McCafe" Coffee Bar offering gourmet cappuccino, espresso, lattes, iced mochas and more. Designed to compete directly with Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks, you will be able to see your coffee being made and the prices are expected to be lower. The McCafe coffee bar will be one of the first in the area. Eventually, McDonald's plans to open coffee bars in most of it's 14,000 locations across the United States.

Grand Opening
The official grand opening (the restaurant will most likely open a few days earlier) is scheduled for the afternoon of March 4th and will feature a fund raiser where 25% of the sales during a specific period will be donated for the Bedford middle school. The grand opening celebration will continue for the first month with free WiFi and prize giveaways like a 42" inch television, Bruins Tickets, a bicycle and more. There will also be some daily food specials like 59 cent cheese burgers.

When the McDonald's closed in October I noticed a big increase in business for nearby restaurants like Bedford House of Beef and KnowFat (soon to be renamed Ugrill). It will be interesting how many of these customers McDonalds gets back.

I will have an update with pictures of the new interior and the double drive-thru sometime in the next two weeks.


Anonymous said...

Where's the roof?

Adam Schwartz said...

McDonald's introduced their Mansard Roof Design back in 1969. The Bedford McDonald's was built in 1971 when the Mansard Roof Design was standardized for most McDonald's. In 2004, McDonald's began looking at a new store design away from their iconic red Mansard Roofs (they though it looked too old). In 2006 McDonad's switched to a flat roof design for most of their new stores. The Bedford McDonald's will feature a flat roof.

Anonymous said...

i enjoy everything the the McDonald's McCafe coffees except the goofy name