The McDonald’s at 7808 N. Navarro St. is planned to open Thursday, but customers are already lovin’ it.

“I’ve got a lot of customers who stop by and ask, ‘How much longer, Maria?’ I’ve got people who come by here every single day,” said Maria Alarcon, general manager.

After the store’s soft opening Thursday, there will be a grand opening celebration June 15 featuring giveaways, prizes and discounts.

The previous McDonald’s at the location closed Jan. 29 and was torn down. The new building’s features include mobile ordering, digital ordering kiosks, delivery and an additional drive-thru lane.

“Everything’s digital now; it’s really nice,” said Robert Wezeman, who owns Victoria’s four McDonald’s locations.

The new digital interfaces will make the ordering process easier for both employees and customers, Wezeman said.

Alarcon said 15 employees were sent to training to learn how to use the new equipment and are currently working to train the rest of the location’s approximately 40 employees. Wezeman said he is still looking to hire an additional 10 to 15 employees.

“The new store will make it easier to work there, more comfortable,” Wezeman said. “And, for the guests, they’ll have a fresh new look there.”

Missing from the new restaurant is the playscape that was once there. Wezeman said there wasn’t room for it between the new additions.

“A lot of my mothers are going to miss it,” Alarcon said, “but we do have things to entertain (children).”

Although the playscape is gone, a play area at the new location features three screen-based games.

For people who still want a playscape for their children, there is one at the McDonald’s at 3112 N. Navarro St. Wezeman said during the first quarter of next year, that location will also undergo renovations, which Alarcon said include plans for an upgraded playscape.

Morgan is the business reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at (361) 580-6328, or @mcohanlon.

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Morgan covers business for the Victoria Advocate. She was born and raised in Austin, Texas and received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

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