The iconic Golden Arches of McDonald’s have stood at the corner of Independence Avenue and Hardesty since its opening in 1971, serving up the American fast food that made Ray A. Kroc a household name throughout the last millennia. Following a complete store re-model and upgrade in 2015, the Northeast McDonald’s is once again breaking new ground with the installation of the new kiosk ordering system that will be rolled out with a free coffee promotion on the morning of June 14th, in partnership with the Northeast Chamber of Commerce. Franchise owner Debbie Essig stresses, however, that the new kiosk ordering system won’t be eliminating jobs.

“We’re actually adding positions to give customers a higher level of personal service,” Essig said, noting that customers will still be able to order at the counter with a live person.

Two key staffers at the location have been with the restaurant for over 30 years. Denise Collins has been at this location for 32 years, and her sister Debbie Troemel has 39 years at this location.

“We provide over eighty jobs for the Northeast community,” said Collins, the store’s manager. “We keep Northeast going!”

Troemel, an area supervisor for Essig Management, notes the ongoing success of the restaurant is based on the mutual respect customers have for the staff.

“A majority of our staff has been here for 12 to 14 years so they know the customers and the customers, they kinda watch out for us here,” Troemel said. “We’re all like family.”

McDonald’s is not just about burgers and fries, however. The company’s Archways to Opportunities program offers employees with at least 90 days of employment the chance to qualify for tuition reimbursement of up to $2500. Management employees may qualify to receive up to $3500 in tuition reimbursement for education expenses, including expenses related to gaining a high school diploma.

“We recognize education is one of the keys to our employee’s growth,” said Essig.

Those with the entrepreneurial spirit may take advantage of the McDonald’s Hamburger University program, a pioneer program in the fast food industry that trains restaurant employees in fast food management, and ultimately, restaurant ownership.

“We have great relationships with our employees and our customers and we love partnering with the community,” said Essig.

Essig Management purchased the store in 2012 with the goal of rebuilding those relationships in the community as well as updating the aging facade to the new, cleaner look being sported by McDonald’s nationwide. Part of that updating included purchasing the old Pizza Hut property next door for additional parking and possible future expansion.

Essig Management owns and operates 15 McDonald’s restaurants, mainly along the I-35 corridor from South Kansas City to the Iowa state line. Next Thursday’s Coffee and Kiosks event, held in conjunction with the Northeast Chamber of Commerce, runs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and offers customers a free coffee while they complete their first kiosk order. Additionally, during the first 30 days of the new kiosk ordering system, the restaurant will donate 50 cents of every transaction to the Police Athletic League at 15th and White.

“It’s all about community partnerships,” said Troemel.


McDonald’s District Site Manager Debbie Troemel, Store Manager Denise Williams and crew members Jerell Williams and Margaritta Rodriguez pose in front of one of the new ordering kiosks at the Avenue McDonald’s. The new kiosks will be previewed next week, June 14th between 10-11am in conjunction with the Northeast Chamber of Commerce. Restaurant patrons will receive a complimentary coffee with their first kiosk order.