HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — After a five-month project to rebuild the Mays Landing McDonald’s on Route 40 from the ground up, the restaurant reopened to the public Thursday, May 3.

On Saturday, May 12, the franchise representatives and township officials cut a ribbon to make the opening official before touring the facility and sharing a celebratory cake.

The local restaurant is one of six McDonald’s owned by Robert Traa and his daughter Karen. It has undergone numerous remodeling efforts since it first opened in 1978. However, this is the first one where the building was entirely demolished and rebuilt as a McDonald’s Restaurant of the Future.

The restaurant features the latest technological enhancements, from the kiosks where customers can place their customized orders to the robotic drink system that automatically dispenses drinks ordered by drive-thru customers. A third pick-up window was also added for drive-thru customers to park by rather than have employees leave the store to deliver the food to them in the parking area.

Customers can also place an order through an app to have their meal waiting for them when they arrive.

“Every McDonald’s in the country should look like this within two years,” Robert Traa said.

“Automation has changed the face of fast food,” Deputy Mayor Roger Silva said.

“It’s great to see a new face on this building,” Mayor Art Schenker said. “Hopefully it will attract new businesses to this area of the township.”

The restaurant currently employs sixty workers, but Karen Traa expects that number to soon grow to eighty.

It was a nostalgic day for her as the store is the one she first managed upon entering the business.

“I am so excited to be back here in Mays Landing to open a Restaurant of the Future,” she said. “There were lots of challenges, but it has been well worth it.”

She added that she expects the McDonald’s in the Festival Mall to also be upgraded with the new technology shortly. Due to recent renovations at that site she anticipates only a two-day closure to make the improvements.

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