By Dennis Seid
PONTOTOC – After 27 years and 10 million meals, the McDonald’s restaurant on Highway 15 in Pontotoc needed a little face-lift.
Franchise owner Rob Hudson decided to make it a total makeover.
“This is something the people of Pontotoc deserved, something that was needed,” said Demetris Patterson, the store’s general manager.
The restaurant officially reopened Wednesday after a 70-day project that demolished the old building and built a new one from the ground up.
The restaurant is owned by Hudson Management Corp. the Tupelo-based McDonald’s franchisee that also operates three restaurants in Tupelo and one each in New Albany and Saltillo.
HMC employs about 600 people company-wide.
“We started here in 1986 with 40 people, and today we have 85 and are adding more,” Hudson said.
“We have a great mix of employees who have been with us a long time, as well as some new ones.”
The employees and customers will find a restaurant with the contemporary design the company has gone to in recent years.
The new restaurant features modern interior, digital menu boards, seating for 75 and an expanded and efficient kitchen. Outside, dual drive-thru lanes will help move customers faster.
It is Hudson’s third new restaurant since 2008, when the Saltillo location was opened that year. In 2010, the company’s first Tupelo location, which opened in 1973 on South Gloster Street near Crosstown in Tupelo, was closed. A new 50s-style design opened at the intersection of President Avenue and South Gloster Street. In 2011, the old location on South Gloster in front of Kilgore’s was replaced by a new location on Eason Boulevard.
Hudson said the remaining three restaurants have all been renovated or refurbished in recant years to meet McDonald’s standards, but eventually, they’ll give way to total redesigns.