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Franchise owner discusses major rebuild project

The rebuilt southside McDonald’s will be twice the size of the former restaurant, says owner Nic Snowberger. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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When the south side McDonald’s restaurant reopens in about four months, it will not feature a UFO design as the north side location does, but it will be much larger and a “test” of the corporate brand’s new design and technology, says the owner.

Construction started this month on the fast-food restaurant in the 1800 block of South Main Street, one of three now owned in Roswell by Nic Snowberger and his company, Snowberger Enterprises.

Construction is being headed by CKP Construction, based in Amarillo, Texas, a contractor approved by the McDonald’s corporation.

The global franchiser also has authority over restaurant designs, which is why the rebuild will not be another UFO-shaped structure, which required special permission to construct.

While Snowberger chose not to disclose project costs, he indicated that the restaurant reconstruction is a major project for the company.

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“I can tell you that we are sparing no expense,” he said. “It is the largest restaurant that they offer, and we are going all out in building it with every amenity that is possible.”

He explained that the restaurant will include an indoor playland, as well as state-of-the-art technology and equipment, a new “futuristic” design concept, a computer-controlled energy-saving system and energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling, and windows.

He said it also will be more than twice the size of the previous restaurant.

He explained that the former site, which he bought in June 2011, was about 2,900 square feet, while the new site will be 6,100 square feet.

“When they built it the early ‘90s, they did not project that it was going to do the amount of business that we do there now,” he said.

The restaurant had been remodeled once before.

“They actually wanted us to remodel again, and I am the one who pushed for a complete rebuild,” he said, “really for the employees and the customers to have the type of restaurant they deserve on that side of town and the employees’ having the type of facility they need.”

He said that he would like to see more employees as well once the new restaurant opens. It had a staff of about 70 people, he said, and he would like to see the number grow to 100.

The existing south location employees, he said, were able to retain their jobs during the construction by working at the UFO location in the 700 block of North Main Street or the north location in the 4100 block of North Main Street. Some also joined the Artesia location. Snowberger Enterprises’ other restaurants are in Santa Rosa and Edgewood.

A location inside of Walmart in Roswell has closed permanently, Snowberger explained. Walmart has decided on a national level to discontinue in-store McDonald’s sites, and Snowberger said that Walmart’s increased focus on home delivery, online sales and curbside delivery had resulted in lower foot traffic during the past five years.

While the coronavirus pandemic has been difficult in many ways for businesses, Snowberger said his local restaurants added 20 to 30 employees to keep up with demand.

He called the more than 200 McDonald’s employees in Roswell “heroes” for their willingness to provide an essential service during the past year.

“Even though there was a pandemic,” he said, “they chose to come to work every day, put on a mask and gloves, work in an altered environment and help deliver an experience that the people of Roswell were still looking for.”

The McDonald’s Corp. reported on April 29 that its first-quarter 2021 revenues on a global basis increased by 9% to $5.1 billion, compared to first-quarter 2020 revenues of $4.7 billion. Net income was up by about $431 million, totaling $1.54 billion. The largest growth in global sales occurred in the United States, according to the corporation’s financial report. About 93% of the corporation’s 39,000 locations worldwide are owned and operated independently.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.