NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — The first McDonald’s in Connecticut will begin offering a new dining experience.
It’s not just new signature sandwiches at the McDonald’s restaurant on Town Street, there’s also kiosks where customers can place their order themselves. Usually when businesses go high tech, jobs are lost, but here more people have been hired.
And that hits a high note at the Norwich restaurant where the Norwich Free Academy band helped celebrate the grand re-opening. The band and the NFA culinary department each received a $500 donation from the restaurant owner Rachel Deane.
Matthew Rybca is one of her new hires.
“About three weeks ago I believe three or weeks ago,” said Rybka. “Yes. I was actually very happy because I’ve been looking for a job for a while so it’s actually a really good thing.”
Now he is a concierge at the renovated McDonald’s restaurant. It is the first in the state to allow customers to custom order their food on the touch screen kiosks.
“There’s no miscommunication between you and the cashier and the cook,” said customer Greg Dumas of Norwich. “So everything’s quicker. You don’t have to wait in line.”
It’s also the first to have table service. The change means the addition of three new positions – concierge, server, and assembler and the hiring of 34 new people.
“It made me happy to see more people get hired because there are so many people that are unemployed,” said Rybka.
According to the State Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in Norwich was 5.9 percent in March 2017. It usually tends to run close to or higher than the state rate which was 4.8 percent in March.
These changes, according to McDonald spokesmen, are reflective of a new restaurant model. One that’s already been rolled out in more than 2,600 international restaurants.
The high tech hospitality will someday be standard at all McDonald’s restaurants which may mean more jobs and more opportunities to earn college scholarships and help getting a high school diploma.