This is the future, fast food fans.
Placing your order at a kiosk. Customizable burgers, sandwiches and desserts. Table-side service. Armchairs and couches for hanging out.
And — hold on to your cholesterol pills — all-you-can-eat French fries.
It’s all coming to a new, 6,500-square-foot McDonald’s in St. Joseph this summer, the first McDonald’s of its kind in the country.
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“The future can seem bleak,” wrote Vanity Fair. “But there is one bright spot to look forward to, in the form of golden arches, with the promise of unlimited fried potatoes.”
The new restaurant will offer “hundreds of different choices to build the burger of your dreams,” owner Chris Habiger told the St. Joseph News-Press this week. “Once you’ve placed your order, you can find your seat because we’ll bring it out to you.”
Habiger and his wife, Karri, own seven McDonald’s in the St. Joseph area. The new one opening in July might be the biggest in the four-state area, Habiger told the newspaper. He said they plan to hire 85 new employees for the restaurant.
The new McDonald’s will look more like a casual dining restaurant than a typical McDonald’s.
“Today’s customers seek a comfortable and inviting atmosphere,” Habiger said. “So we’re committed to providing a modern look and feel to this restaurant.”
Local customers have been most interested in the new restaurant’s play area, which will have interactive light board tables and tabletop video games.
News of the futuristic McDonald’s has whetted media attention worldwide, mostly because of the specter of gluttonous piles of fries.
“If you’re like us and tend to spill half the fries onto the floor of your car before you even leave the parking lot, you’re going to want to take advantage of this perk,” gushed E! Online.
“Oh, you thought that was all? Get serious. Even the desserts will be customizable. Can we get a round of applause for these pioneers over in Missouri?”
Food bloggers at Delish are also giddy about all those fries.
“If we had to choose, the best thing about McDonald’s is its French fries,” noted Delish. “The crispy shoestrings are always perfectly salted and, sometimes, you can ask to doctor them up with toppings like guacamole, truffle oil, and even chocolate sauce depending on your location.”
If unlimited quantities fare well in St. Joseph, “we all might be able to make it rain fries,” Delish said. “And that, my friends, is what dreams are made of.”
Vanity Fair seemed skeptical about “just how modern bucketsful of fried food are, as more and more millennial customers veer away from the Big Mac in favor of big bowls of kale (or something equally as ‘clean’ and Instagram-able).”
But given that McDonald’s dumped its healthy wraps because millennials turned up their noses at them, “maybe going full-throttle with the unbridled unhealthiness in the St. Joseph store is just what McDonald’s needs,” the magazine suggested.
“No one is going to McDonald’s to diet. They’re going to stuff their face with seven days’ worth of calories, and that’s O.K.
“Maybe, in the future, the lesson will be that we all should drop the airs and accept who we are. Perhaps this really is the next next wave of fast food after all.”