We all know the one and only iconic Tualatin McDonald’s—no, not the inferior one by Nyberg Woods; rather, the one on our very own Boones Ferry Road, which features the gleaming salmon fountains, glistening for all of Tualatin to see.
Now, when it comes to McDonald’s locations, this one was pretty updated, so many were understandably shocked when a rickety chain link fence shackled our beloved Golden Arches. “Drive Thru Only”? While convenient, the drive thru does not compare to walking inside and being surrounded by the aroma of frying oils and the melody of mysterious beeping noises coming from the kitchen. Heartbroken, all of Tualatin had to endure several painstakingly torturous weeks without these familiar comforts. Fast forward until about a month ago, and behold: heaven’s gates are unlocked once again, this time with a new, remodeled look—and we hate it.
Granted, the updated interior does have a “cleaner” vibe with new flooring and an array of new, modern light fixtures. Another pro is that there is a duo of two “boujee” spinny chairs that are met with a sleek coffee table in between them. The legendary salmon fountain is also now more visible from the inside, due to the blinds being removed from the west wall of the restaurant. Although these add to the overall modern appearance of the McDonald’s, some may argue that the lack of dinginess and dirty feeling takes away from the hominess our community has come to adore. The familiar round table that so many high schoolers have gathered at has been eradicated, replaced by stiff leather benches and tottery wooden chairs. And on the south side, the once plush benches and tables have been exchanged for cold, sterile seating. The lack of overall coziness in the building leaves customers restless and uneasy.
But we’ve saved the worst for last. A daunting row of four looming, blinding screens that McDonald’s has dubbed “kiosks” have replaced what customers crave most—human interaction. When one goes to McDonald’s in the midst of a mental breakdown at 11p.m. to buy five McChicken sandwiches, they expect to stare another human being in the eyes, fully aware that they are being judged for their actions. The kiosks offer no such comfort. These kiosks offer options to “customize,” but only to a certain extent. For example, one can order a grilled chicken snack wrap, but the simple request to substitute ranch for Big Mac sauce on it is apparently too complex for a mere robot to comprehend. Similarly, when the limited edition, minty Shamrock Shake returns each March, only true McDonald’s fanatics know how to do it right: to prevent it from tasting like toothpaste, one must order a milkshake that is half chocolate and half Shamrock. Tragically, this customization is also beyond the kiosks’ minimal abilities. Instead, one must request to pay at the counter, and ask an employee then, hoping they haven’t already made the order. And with the time it takes to search through the multitude of selections on the kiosk screen, it would be exponentially faster to say to a familiar face, “Hi, may I get a milkshake that is half chocolate, half Shamrock please?”
Although we are grateful for Ronald’s efforts to conform to society’s increasingly more modern standards, we feel he has reached an extreme that he cannot come back from. The 4 for 4 at Wendy’s isn’t sounding so bad right now.