The new Round Lake Beach Hardee’s will have their Grand Opening on Tuesday, June 3rd, at 7:00 AM. Local residents have watched as the building transformed from a vacant Long John Silver – A&W Root Beer site into a sparkling new Hardee’s. I stopped by today and met the new general manager, Tricia Bonea, who is a local Round Lake Beach resident with many years experience in the food industry. She was not previously associated with the Hardee’s group and applied for the job like many others. Congratulations, Tricia!
I also met the Regional Vice President of the franchise. Rami Madanat who told me they also own the new one in Waukegan on Lewis where the new employees hired for the RLB location spent time training. Today, Training Manager Paula Miller was having the employees go through typical ordering and serving routines. This consisted of placing orders, preparing the order, and either bringing it to the tables or to the drive-thru window.
General Manager Tricia told me that the current number of employees hired for the location, which will be open 24 hours per day, is 50 and that most of them live in the Round Lake Area. The seating capacity of the new Hardee’s is 80 which will accommodate a busy lunch and dinner crowd. During the busiest hours (generally lunch and dinner) wait staff will bring your food to your table.
During my visit, Paula offered me lunch which I gladly accepted (eat your hearts out, everyone). I selected the BIG Chicken Fillet Combo and when it was ready Danielle, another Round Lake Beach resident, brought it to my table, along with a big smile and with offers to get me things like ketchup, etc. I must say that it was the juiciest chicken sandwich that I have ever eaten with a light breading similar to what you would find on a fish fillet, instead of the heavy breaded coating that their competitors tend to use. The fries were also tasty and cooked just right.
For those of you who may be wondering if they are going to be giving away free meals for a year to the first 500 visitors, the answer is “No”. This is due to the delayed opening (reported on HERE) which resulted in added, unexpected, expenses that normally would have been used for the Grand Opening promotion. That is also why they are opening at 7:00 AM instead of 5:00 AM. Now everyone will get a good nights sleep without wrapping up in a blanket on a folding chair waiting to be one of the first in line. I’ll be there when they open on Tuesday to record the Grand Opening and hope to see you there as well.
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