MONROE, CT — McDonald’s may shutdown its restaurant at 390 Monroe Turnpike as early as next week to begin work on a multimillion dollar project to convert the drive-thru to two lanes and modernize the building’s facade.
Maria Carlos, human resources and marketing manager for the franchisee of Trefz Corporation, said the project should take six-to-eight weeks to complete. She said the hope is that the restaurant will reopen by mid-October.
“To our valued customers, we thank you for your patience during this process and we can’t wait to serve you in our newly remodeled state-of-the-art McDonald’s,” Carlos said Tuesday. “In the meantime, please visit our other locations at Hawley Lane, the Trumbull Mall and on upper Main Street in Bridgeport.”
Carlos said the goal of the project is to meet the needs of McDonald’s growing customer base, while providing its employees with better functioning kitchens and equipment.
“It makes it more convenient for our customers to get in and out faster,” she said of the double drive-thru. “It’s all about ease of use. We want our customers to be served well and fast.”
During construction, Carlos said all of the employees of the Monroe restaurant will work at other McDonald’s locations until it reopens. She said the speed of the project will depend on the permit process and availability of materials for the job.
Paul Lopezzo, president of Treco Construction, an affiliate of Trefz Corporation/McDonald’s, is the general contractor for the project. Lopezzo, who has been with the company for 45 years, grew up in Monroe.
Paul Trefz is the owner of the restaurant.
A growing drive-thru business
Christopher Russo, the attorney for McDonald’s Real Estate Company, presented the application for the project to the Monroe Planning and Zoning Commission during a hearing in the spring, before the application was approved.
Over the years, he said 75 percent of customers used the drive-thru, climbing to 100 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has since leveled off at 80 to 85 percent drive-thru, according to Russo.
“It is definitely a drive-thru business now,” he told the commission during the first part of the hearing in March.
Russo said McDonald’s has been doing these renovations throughout Connecticut to better address its drive-thru customers, while modernizing building facades.
In addition to Monroe, Russo has presented applications for McDonald’s locations in Greenwich, Westport, Fairfield, Simsbury and Newington.
The footprint of the Monroe building and areas of activity on the site will not change.
The drive-thru will be split into two lanes, each with a small pre-browse menu and a digital main menu. Once orders are taken, the two lanes will merge into one, where drivers will get their food from the pickup window and pay.