Express & Star

Panic in the drive-thru! Reaction to McDonald's closing Wolverhampton branch for several weeks

There’s panic in the drive-thru – one of the Black Country’s busiest McDonald’s is closing for several weeks for an overhaul.

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McDonald's in Lea Road, Wolverhampton, is due to close for refurbishment for a number of weeks

The Express & Star broke the news on Tuesday, and there has been a huge reaction from those who say they will struggle without their fast-food fix.

McDonald’s, in Lea Road, Penn Fields, Wolverhampton, was granted approval for the work in March last year. Under the plans, the restaurant will be extended by 23 sq metres, with parking for 56 vehicles. Currently there is room for 70 but bosses want to expands the space for drive-thru customers which will see capacity increased from 14 to 25.

It means the store will close this Sunday and won’t reopen again until late March – potentially closing for nine weeks.

A spokesman for McDonald’s said: “We aim to improve the experience of both customers and the restaurant team.This will include a complete transformation of the car park, a new restaurant layout and re-design of the crew room.”

Staff, who will be transferred to other branches while the work takes place, say customers are dismayed by the news. Many make a visit a daily routine, including one elderly couple who pick up a cup of tea each day. And many customers have become friends to staff who greet them each day.

There has also been a huge reaction on social media, with many E&S readers joking that it was the biggest news of the year so far.

Comedian Gary Powndland joked he was furious, adding: “It just one thing after another what a joke! Now doubt the looney lefters have got something to do with it?”

Lisa Jayne added: “This is one way of keeping the new year’s resolution going.”

Rob Farmer said he would be looking elsewhere, adding: “Iceland profits are about to go up with all the ‘throw it in the oven’ meals about to be purchased.”

Many people called for the Penn Road branch’s downstairs section to be reopened. It was sealed off following a refurbishment a few years ago.

Kate Darmanin said: “In the late 90s there was a downstairs to this place that was modelled like an American Diner – I wonder if anyone can remember? Surely it’s still there? Can’t they just dig back down underneath?”

And some said they would be transferring their custom to a KFC, which sits virtually opposite the McDonald’s.

Meanwhile, many people commented that the work should hopefully see an end to queues that stretch on to Lea Road and Penn Road during busy times on the drive thru.

McDonald’s revealed that a third of visits were now to the drive thru and a third by couriers delivering to homes. That leaves only between 20 to 30 per cent of customers actually visiting the inside of the restaurant to make an order.