McDonald’s reopens with a bang (and free fries)
The grand re-opening of the Versailles McDonald’s last Thursday, Aug. 8, was the biggest scene of its kind since Kroger moved across the street a little more than four years ago. The restaurant on United Drive was closed for a month for a remodel that included the installation of twin drive-through lanes and the movement of Kentucky Utilities equipment. Just before the doors opened again a little before 11 a.m. Thursday, Jared Christian was near the back of a very long line outside the store with his twin brother, Jacob. “I’m here for the food,” Jared said. “I haven’t had McDonald’s in a very long time because I was out of the country, and so I wanted to come back and have McDonald’s, and then it was closed. I’ve been waiting for a few weeks to have McDonald’s at my home McDonald’s.” The Christian brothers were hoping to be among the first 100 customers who’d be rewarded for showing up early with free fries every week for a year. “And then they’ve got cheap versions of burgers and various items,” Jared said. “Thirty-cent cheeseburgers, 25-cent hamburgers” added Jacob. Jacob said aside from the fast food discounts, he’d come to see who else showed up. “I don’t have anything better to do right now,” Jacob said, laughing. “I’m not going to get anything to eat … and he wanted to come, so I thought I’d bring him.” “I like their breakfast …” said Jared. Inside, dozens of McDonald’s employees, managers and others posed for a ribbon-cutting photo, then customers began streaming in through one door. They were handed free fry coupons, after which they headed to the counter to order, or stopped by a wheel of fortune with McDonald’s prizes in every slot. “We have lots of different prizes, we have specials, we have promotions that we’re doing,” said April Black, director of marketing for McTribe, the company that owns the Versailles and Midway McDonald’s and 21 others, most of them in Central Kentucky. Black said with most McDonald’s major remodels, the drive-through remains open while the lobby’s shut and vice-versa. “This time, we decided to shut the whole store down for four weeks and get it done, so we can open back up,” Black said. During the closure, employees were given the opportunity to work at other McTribe McDonald’s. As customers streamed in, McTribe owner Gist Heinrich and three police officers posed with an oversized $1,000 check for the Versailles Police Department’s Shop With a Cop program. That afternoon, the Sun checked in with Jared Christian to see if he and his brother would be getting free fries for a year. Jared said they weren’t, but that didn’t spoil his appetite – he still liked their breakfast. “I love their bacon, egg and cheese biscuit meal with a large coke and an extra sandwich,” Jared said.