By Naeisha Rose
State Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens) was at a meet-and-greet Monday with Paul Hendel, a Rosedale McDonald’s owner and operator who also serves as the president of the New York Tri-State McDonald’s Owner/Operators Association.
While Hyndman was learning to make a Filet-o-Fish sandwich at the fast-food joint located at 244-10 Merrick Blvd., Hendel pointed out that all of the McDonald’s restaurants in the city were owned and operated by independent franchisees and that the hundreds of eateries across the city have many changes underway.
The fast food restaurant giant will be transforming 14,000 of its restaurants around the United States, with the most upgrades taking place in New York City, according to spokeswoman Amanda Pisano.
Pisano said that within the five boroughs there are 209 McDonald’s, 52 of which are in Queens.
The enhancements are meant to increase service and convenience and will include self-order kiosks, as well as table service and mobile ordering.
Of the more than 200 restaurants in New York City, 75 have already have been augmented, including 20 in Queens.
Dozens of McDonald’s are slated for improvements later this year and throughout New York City and all of the 14,000 restaurants within the United States will have updates by 2020.
From January through March 2018 the company made several other bold announcements.
The company intends to serve all of its goods in renewable, recyclable or fiber-based packaging from certified sources where no deforestation occurs by 2025. Within that time frame, the fast-food chain plans to finish enhancing all of its menu offerings at all of its restaurants.
In 2022 all Happy Meals at McDonald’s 120 markets with have healthier options with a calorie intake equal to or less than 600.
This will also include making kid-sized fries which have a lower sodium count than the small fries, less sugar in chocolate milk, and more bottled water will be offered.
The company also wants to cut its use of greenhouse gases by 150 million metric tons by 2030.
It plans to do so by responsibly sourcing food, promoting renewable energy and recycling.
This year it will also cut its time frame for awarding tuition assistance its Archways to Opportunity program for staff and managers attending college and increase its scholarship offerings.
Instead of receiving tuition assistance in nine months, employees can receive it in 90 days of working at McDonald’s. Eligible staff will get $2,500 annually instead of $700 and eligible managers have access to $3,000 annually instead of $1,050.
Since 2015, 60 Rosedale employees of Hendel have received $67,000 in tuition assistance.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose