BY ISAIAH JOHN AGUON
JCA Guam LLC, which does business as McDonald’s of Guam, will reopen its doors at the Hagatna location the week of Feb. 27, after undergoing renovations for the last six months. No exact date has been set as one permit is pending, according to Divina Evaristo, the marketing coordinator for McDonald’s of Guam & Saipan. She said renovations “have been going great,” despite experiencing a few hold ups. “The weather has delayed us reopening by a few days,” Evaristo said.
Renovations at the Hagatna fast food restaurant started in August 2022. McDonald’s initial plan was to begin renovations at the end of 2021, according to Journal files. “We are always looking for opportunities to grow and expand,” Joe E. Ayuyu Jr., vice president of McDonald’s Guam and Saipan, said in an interview with the Journal in 2021. “We invested in the Guam restaurants particularly for that reason. We see growth in the future.”
Renovations were pushed back due to COVID-19. Evaristo said, “COVID came into the picture, the global pandemic just caused some delays on materials getting here in time and then of course, the labor, and the contractors.”
The dollar region was “six figures” for the renovations of the second oldest restaurant in the McDonald’s franchise on the island, she told the Journal. Nakoa Guam Inc. was awarded the contract for the renovation.
The Hagatna restaurant has the same features as the Yigo location, which was built in 2018. The newly renovated restaurant located in the island’s capital now has indoor self-service kiosks, digital menu boards, and outdoor digital menu boards for drive-thrus.
The touch up also included adding another lane to its drive-thru. “They worked on the drive thru so they do have the digital menu boards for two lanes,” Evaristo said. “Now the two lanes extend all the way to the street. Before we had the one lane and then they would split to the two different order takers in two different menu boards, but now with two lanes it should be much quicker and more convenient for customers.”
Meanwhile, McDonald’s in Harmon recently closed for renovations as well.
“After about three weeks of closing the drive thru, the kitchen was being remodeled at that time,” Evaristo said. “So, whenever you do major things to the kitchen, you have to close everything, but the drive through.” New digital menu boards were installed in the drive thru.
The Harmon location will reopen in March, after renovations are completed in the interior of the restaurant. “In a couple more weeks we can anticipate everything opening,” she said.
The restaurant will now have a children’s section upstairs on the second floor – a first of its kind.
“Children are so advanced nowadays in playing video games and, of course, hand eye coordination is also a skill. McDonald’s is leaning towards that type of activity of the physical magnets and stuff,” Evaristo said.
The program will be piloted in the Harmon location because it is geared towards local residents.
Moreover, the Journal has learned that McDonald’s will be opening a new location in Mangilao, near the Mobil gas station. Nakoa Guam was awarded a $4 million contract to construct the restaurant in the village.
“Mangilao Village on Guam is experiencing significant growth due to its proximity to educational facilities – Guam Community College and University of Guam. This new restaurant will be surrounded by a future strip mall with new potential eateries and a new housing development behind that could potentially be used for student housing. Nakoa Guam is excited and honored to be a part of the McDonald’s expansion program on Guam and Mangilao Village,” the construction company said on its website.
This will be added to the five locations McDonald’s currently operates, which are Hagatna, Mongmong-Toto-Maite, Tamuning, Harmon, and Yigo. mbj