A fast food flurry of fixin’ things up
If you frequent the local fast food eating establishments located on the north end of Blue Earth on U.S. Highway 169, you have probably noticed some changes and updates which have been taking place during the recent months.
McDonalds received a complete makeover both inside and out.
“It was a $1 million investment to complete the project,” Rick Clerc, who owns the restaurant with his father Wes, comments. “The company kicked in half the funds and we were responsible for the other half.”
The Clercs also own McDonalds in Fairmont, Marshall, St. James and Windom and have previously updated their Fairmont and Marshall businesses.
Work on the facility began on Sept. 9 and the lobby reopened on Oct. 26 after being closed for a couple of weeks.
“There is a new skin on the outside of the building, a new roof and we totally gutted the lobby and ripped up and replaced the floors,” Rick Clerk explains. “There are all new wall coverings and the seating is new. We also installed a new walk-in freezer.”
Customers will also notice a self-ordering kiosk but those choosing to order the traditional way at the counter can do so.
“People can still order off of their phone and we will bring their food out to them,” Clerc says.
The Clercs are not finished with the changes in Blue Earth. Next spring a second drive-thru lane will be added.
“The changes we are making will allow us to focus more on our customers and increase our hospitality,” Clerc comments.
Clerc says they plan on hiring 5-10 more employees in the future, especially after completion of the additional drive-thru lane.
A grand opening is planned for early December.
“We are happy to be investing in the Blue Earth community” Clerc says. “The community has been very good to us.”
Further north sits the Pizza Hut. One of the first big changes this year occurred in May when the local Pizza Hut, which came to Blue Earth in the 1980s, was purchased by Comes Investments of Des Moines, Iowa. The new owners have been busy implementing several changes.
“We added delivery service this past June,” Darla Hanson, the manager at the Blue Earth Pizza Hut comments. “We are also going to bring back the pizza buffet over the noon hour, which is something we have not had for the last 20 years, and we still offer our salad bar.”
Those choosing to dine in will notice the seating has been rearranged and has more of an open feel to it.
“We have also added new lighting; we actually have gone back to a classic style,” Hanson says. “We have also added televisions so people can watch their favorite teams compete while enjoying their meal.”
The building also has some fresh paint on the exterior. In addition, the interior will be getting some new flooring.
Those wishing to order carry out can still call the Blue Earth Pizza Hut at 507-526-4646 or they can place their order online at pizzahut.com.
“We did more of a face lift at our Subway in Blue Earth,” Randy Wartren, the owner explains. “We put up new wallpaper, put in new flooring, new seating and redid the bathrooms. We also updated our signage and repainted the building.”
Not all of the changes were cosmetic however.
“We also added some new equipment in the form of a new sandwich unit,” Wartner says. “And that will allow us to provide faster service to our customers.”