Dick Bold, the long-term regional entrepreneur, found another home for a McDonald’s and this time at Love’s Travel Center near Interstate-55 in Hamel.
Bold already owns four other McDonald’s restaurants; two are in Alton on Broadway and Homer Adams Parkway, one in Godfrey of Godfrey Road; and the first was at Plaza Drive in Bethalto.
Opening day on Thursday and last weekend at the new Hamel McDonald’s was extremely busy, Bold said.
“We have had a great response from the people of Hamel and neighboring communities,” he added. “The people at Love’s couldn’t be better. They are a great host and it is a great partnership. I felt it is a perfect fit. We are going to get involved in the community like we did in Alton, Bethalto and Godfrey. We are tied in a lot with the schools, after-school programs, sporting events, advertising with a lot of local groups.”
Dick and his wife, Susan, have been owners of a McDonald’s restaurant since they started 22 years ago in Bethalto.
The McDonald’s owner is most proud of how he has so many long-term employees and how they have grown with the company over the years.
“It does my heart good when we put 85 new employees in a restaurant,” he said. “It is exciting that we brought jobs to the community and the community has responded well to us. Our employees mean so much to us.”
The location of the new Hamel McDonald’s should be a draw for people, located at exit 30 on Interstate-55.
Bold and company place customer service as a trademark at each restaurant.
“Our internal philosophy is the better we take care of our people internally, the better they take care of our external customers,” he said. “With the opening of the Hamel McDonald’s, we are up to almost 50 managers now. We have somewhere around 380 employees with our company.”
Hamel village president Larry Bloemker said he and the people of Hamel are excited to have the new McDonald’s in the community.
“Hamel people have waited for this for a long time,” he said.
Shirley Ashauer agreed with the mayor and said this is something she thought was needed for some time and she too is looking forward to visiting the restaurant on a frequent basis.
Vera Eckhardt is a resident of nearby Worden, but she said she will come often to the new McDonald’s.
Hamel Police Chief William Weber said he believed the McDonald’s will be great for the community.
“I think it will definitely be beneficial,” he said of the new restaurant.
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