PHILIPSBURG– McDonald’s locations on the island are still waiting for vital equipment to arrive from the company’s headquarters and will re-model all stores to suit the climate conditions.
Management conducted an extensive evaluation and did not want to just re-open and be at 50-60 per cent with a limited menu, but would rather make sure everything is in place before fully re-opening all four stores.
Management said this past weekend that the Simpson Bay location will open in March or early April, followed by Marigot. Belvedere will open a month after that, while Philipsburg will be last to be worked on.
After receiving numerous requests for information about the re-opening, management decided to inform customers that the stores suffered major infrastructure damage during Hurricane Irma on September 6 last year.
“We apologise to all our customers and appreciate the kind words we have been receiving on social media. We are doing everything we can to open as soon as possible. It is taking longer than expected,” said St. Maarten McDonald’s franchise owner Michel Lapine on Sunday. The water and wind of the monster hurricane damaged most of the restaurants’ cooking equipment and machinery, according to Lapine.
“Cash registers, deep fryers and much more equipment were damaged, thanks to water from Irma. We have to order these machines that are made with specific McDonald’s corporation standards. That takes longer than expected, but we plan to also re-model all locations and that is why we are starting with Simpson Bay and will get to the others after. Property in Simpson Bay is to open in March or at least the first week of April,” he said.
The company employs 120 workers and continues to pay workers for a minimum work day.
Two of the restaurants were victims of looting, which set back the re-opening.
Lapine said, “One of my managers came to check on the Belvedere location and told me that everything was fine. Just a back door was damaged, but everything was fine inside and the location did not get badly damaged. A few hours later, she told me that looters broke into the business and trashed the offices and took a number of computers and cash. The same for our Marigot location.
“I would like to tell our customers that we will be back in business sooner than you think, just be patient. We want to make sure that we continue to provide you with the same high-quality service we have provided over the years.”