″Had sure seen better days″ – this briefly puts it in a nutshell with regard to the charm the McDonald’s restaurant at the Alsfeld service area ″Pfefferhöhe″ had exuded up until now. What’s more, it was rather one of the smaller objects. In the very best location – right on the A5 in the direction of Kassel or respectively heading towards Frankfurt – precisely during vacation time, the fast food restaurant was often so overcrowded that the disappointed people preferred to eat their meals at the gas station located close by instead of waiting for Burger and Co.
Somehow, everything there all looked like it had been imported from the 1990s, including the plastic tables.
No wonder, because the McDonald’s in Alsfeld was opened in beautiful Vogelsberg just about 20 years ago. Since then, not much had been done there anymore at all.
This object now underwent a large-scale remodeling and was finalized shortly before Christmas. As the general contractor, we took over the whole management of the remodeling during day-to-day, ongoing operations and were therefore one of the main contact partners for the customer during the entire realization phase.
A SPECIAL PROJECT
We’ve already been working together with McDonald’s for many decades now. Last year, 2018, we celebrated 40 years of collaboration with McDonald’s. During this timeframe, we succeeded in implementing a wide array of exciting projects in a joint cooperation. However, remodeling of the McDonald’s in Alsfeld was a challenge, even for us. That’s because the small store was not only supposed to get a new shopfitting concept, but plans were also to enlarge the surface area. 85 seats therefore turned into 130. Our range of services alongside the interior fit out also included facades & roof work as well as the coordination and close consultation with, in part, up to twelve trades at the same time because several services simply had to run through trades in a comprehensive way.
Architectural planning of the project already started in 2017. First talks between McDonald’s and REINHOLD KELLER then took place in April. The building permit was granted in mid-2018 so that nothing else stood in the way of starting work in October.
REMODELING DURING DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS
Closing a McDonald’s restaurant for several weeks is only an option in a very few exceptional cases, especially at such a prominent location like the A5. So that is why we also turned this huge project completely ″inside out″ during ongoing operations. We made sure kitchen operations kept on running smoothly in the ″normal″ rooms for as long as possible. To this end, the drive-in lane, among other things, was shifted and safety measures were carried out on the roof and facade. For a while, we even moved the restaurant in a sales container and pavilions to the parking lot so that we could still keep daily business going. At that time, skeleton construction work was then namely started – facades & roof work on the existing building as well as the building extension.
Besides redesigning the outdoor area – shifting the McDrive lane, different arrangement of the parking spaces, etc. – a totally new ventilation system was delivered as well and installed on a steel construction intended for this purpose. In addition, the new facade does not only feature new sliding door or window elements, but various types of cladding were also inserted here like, for example:
- Cladding by using a curtain wall made out of Trespa in walnut optics
- Wall tiles in five highly varied formats
- Diverse plaster surfaces and a wooden tower
Since mid-December, the restaurant now shines in new splendor. In the interior fit out, one of the new concepts going by the name of ″Alphabet″ was implemented, which can currently only be found in around 20 branches in Germany. Ultramodern, bigger, bright and open – that is how you can now describe the new McDonald’s. It is especially eye-catching thanks to its filigree and sophisticated design. Wooden elements, transparent, glassy room dividers and ultramodern wall tiles paint an absolutely full and inviting picture here. Brightness, lightness and airiness especially transform the store into a hip burger restaurant, where you are then also happy to spend a little bit more time. Dessert and coffee specialties are now offered as well because the enlarged space made room for a McCafé here, too.
Of course, the restaurant’s new size also called for an expansion of the sanitary facilities. Obviously, we also brought a modern look & feel into this area, too, with new partition wall and privacy/urinal screen elements as well as washbasins.
RESTAURANT OF THE FUTURE
Not only did the interior fit out get a new coat of paint per se with ″Alphabet″, but the processes and customer experience were rethought in the so-called restaurant of the future, too. How could it be otherwise, total focus while doing so is on digitalization. You can place orders right from the table – via a tablet. The food and drink you want is passed on directly to the kitchen per Bluetooth. When the meal is prepared and ready, it is brought to the guests directly at their table. Starting with immediate effect, things are now only produced on call; each single burger is freshly prepared for the customers. In the future, the concept should even go so far that guests can individually put ″their″ burger together. Long waiting lines in front of the counters will no longer exist in this way anymore. And payment is already possible in some restaurants via terminals with credit card or mobile payment functions, too.
At some point, it should even be possible for guests to order their menu per App when they are on the go. When they then get to McDonald’s at the Pfefferhöhe, their meal is ready to go and already waiting for them
We, from the REINHOLD KELLER Group, are really happy that we were able to implement this fantastic project together with our longstanding partner McDonald’s as well as with the FN, Mr. Stark, even though the building posed everyone involved with diverse challenges. By the way, remodeling and expansion took place in record time. The restaurant in Alsfeld opened up its new doors – right on time for Christmas – on December 13, 2018, exactly as had been planned.
Due to prevailing weather conditions during the implementation timeframe (rain, cold, frost, snow) – not for nothing is the Vogelsberg called the Hessian Sibiria – in addition to some unpredictable things, work on the facade and roof could not be completed in entirety. This work will be finalized in the springtime.