Ownership changes over next Monday

Published 7:19 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
The golden arches in Atmore have seen brighter days.
Numerous e-mails have flooded local forums expressing concerns for the Atmore McDonald's ranging from quality of food, timely service, health issues and conditions of the aging building.
Well don't count out Big Macs and Happy Meals too soon. Monday, Hafez Corp. owner Ebraham Maghsoud announced he would take over the fast food establishment effective Monday, Dec. 19.
"We're going to do some little improvements at first," Maghsoud said. "We're going to try our best to improve it and we have the resources to do that. In the long run I don't want to spend a lot of money on that old building."
Not only is Maghsoud taking over ownership of the Atmore McDonald's, he also plans to tear it down and rebuild within the next year.
"I want to change the image completely," he said. "That's why I want to tear it down. The plumbing is old and the electrical is old."
Maghsoud isn't able to pinpoint a date to when demolition will begin, but he did say that McDonald's Corporation out of New Orleans, La. has construction slated in Atmore for 2006.
"That building will be torn down and replaced completely," Maghsoud said.
When construction of the new McDonald's begins, Maghsoud said it usually takes 90 days to complete, weather permitting.
"The new facility will be real nice," Maghsoud said. "It will be comparable or better than Bay Minette."
Maghsoud said additions to the new location would include flat-screen televisions in the dining area, console video games, up-scale bathrooms and upscale d/cor.
Customers shouldn't expect an overnight miracle once Hafez Corp., which is based out of Spanish Fort, takes over, but Maghsoud does have plans for some immediate renovations. Depending on how long construction takes to begin, Maghsoud said he will continually make improvements to the existing facility in order to keep customers pleased.
"We're going to try our best to make immediate improvements," Maghsoud said. "We'll make some improvements to the equipment and d/cor, things that we can move when we tear down the building. We'll paint the outside. We'll do things to make improvements, but we won't do too many major things to where we're throwing our money away."
Maghsoud did state that there will be some improvements the first week Hafez Corp. takes over.
"I'm going to have a supervisor in there and a new manager," Maghsoud said. "I'm hoping customers will see immediate improvements. It's going to be gradual. One of the things you will definitely see is we're going to be taking credit cards and gifts cards; that will happen within the first two weeks. And the building will be painted within the first couple of weeks."
Maghsoud has been successful with McDonald's Corporation over the past 24 years and has compiled a stellar resume. He is owner of the Bay Minette, Loxley and Fairhope McDonald's, as well as two McDonald's restaurants in Mobile.
"It's a good investment, but mostly I care about the brand McDonald's," Maghsoud said of his interest in Atmore's location. "I didn't want to see the brand hurting."

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