By Rich Place
After a busy month of construction, the McDonald’s restaurant on South Cascade Drive has officially reopened with a new look and new methods of service for its hungry customers.
Although the drive-thru remained open during the 31-day construction phase, the restaurant was reconstructed both inside and outside and celebrated its new chapter with a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Tuesday.
“To be able to do what they did — a total new exterior and total new interior — in about 30 days is remarkable,” said Harry Schatmeyer, owner of the restaurant.
“I would like to thank Harry for reinvesting in Springville,” said Springville Mayor Bill Krebs. “It’s so very important that our business community is thriving and continues their growth of our small, rural village. And it’s people like Harry to invest and reinvest in a thriving business that makes our village really a good wonderful place to live.”
The remodeled restaurant now features a more contemporary design, both to commuters along South Cascade Drive looking for a place to eat as well as the customers inside the restaurant. But the remodeling goes beyond aesthetics.
Among the features are the much discussed self-service kiosks, which give customers the opportunity to order from touch-screens instead of going to the counter.
“The way we serve customers is going to be totally different now,” Schatmeyer told the Springville Times following the ribbon cutting. He noted customers can still order at the counter if preferred, but the kiosks’ goal is to eliminate lines and speed up the ordering process.
A significant change for customers — regardless of whether they order food at the counter, via the kiosk or through the mobile app even before they enter the building — will be table service, Schatmeyer said.
“They are going to sit down and we are going to do table service,” he said. “We are actually going to be bringing the food to them, which is a big change.”
The mobile app will allow a family to place an order and pay for it ahead of time, then come sit down at the restaurant and have the food brought to them, he said.
“They’ll never have to come up to the counter or wait in line ever again,” he added. “The idea is to eliminate the lines and not even have lines for order. It makes it more convenient.”
Schatmeyer stressed with pride that the majority of those who worked on the construction — most notably Mulvey Construction of Lockport — were locally based, including some right from Springville.
Schatmeyer, who lives in Amherst, said he owns 14 McDonald’s locations throughout Western New York and was excited to come to the Springville community. During the ribbon cutting ceremony, he expressed gratitude to supervisor Don Hayden and manager Amy Copeland for their cooperation especially during construction.
“(Amy’s) had to put up with a lot of construction and is now going to make everyone proud with a really great running restaurant,” Schatmeyer said.
Schatmeyer took ownership of the Springville McDonald’s location on June 1 from longtime owners Mike and Diane Beatty. In a short speech at the ribbon cutting, he thanked the family and called the Beatty family “an icon” for this area.
Following the ribbon cutting, Schatmeyer noted the importance and significance of family when it comes to owning and operating a McDonald’s restaurant. He called himself — along with the Beatty family — second generation owners as both Schatmeyer and Mike Beatty had their fathers also own restaurants.
“Mike’s father was one of the original owner/operators in Buffalo,” he said. “He owned the original store on Niagara Falls Boulevard, which I own now. And those icons of the past, like Mike’s father, they taught you everything.
“We call ourselves second generation. We kind of grew up watching our mothers and fathers run the business. What I learned from the Beatty organization is that McDonald’s has been and will probably always be a family-run organization.”
Also during the ceremony on Tuesday, Schatmeyer presented a $500 check to The Club of Springville, and president Bill Gugino accepted it with gratitude and offered comments.