By TRACEY ROXBURGH
McDonald’s is forging ahead with a $4 million-plus redevelopment of a Queenstown CBD building, to deliver salivation.
The restaurant chain’s taken over the lease on the former Salvation Army premises, on Camp Street, right beside KFC, opposite its former home of almost 30 years.
Local franchisees Mark Julian and Sarah Lucas had to shut down the O’Connells Shopping Centre site in February, where they had a McCafe and separate McDonald’s, when building owner Skyline Enterprises started its massive $26m redevelopment.
They applied for City Hall consent before the lockdown – since approved – to change the exterior of the former Salvation Army store.
Along with a new colour, crosses on the top of the verandah will be replaced by the golden arches.
They’re waiting on building consent to ensure it’s fit-for-purpose, so they can open a 24-hour restaurant and McCafe.
Despite the turmoil caused by the Covid-19 crisis, the pair have decided to continue with their plans and “remain relatively positive” for an opening before the end of this year.
Subject to consent, the redeveloped two-storey building will have a “state-of-the-art” fit-out, with 47 seats and several self-ordering kiosks.
It’ll also boast New Zealand’s ‘first food transporter’, which will deliver meals from the first-floor kitchen to the lower-level customer service zone.
Recruitment for up to 40 staff needed at the CBD restaurant will start in the next few months.
Julian: “Some staff will, however, be transferred from the McDonald’s in Frankton, where we have been able to keep all staff employed who remained with us when O’Connells closed, and all staff from both stores have been retained during the lockdown period.”