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McDonald's now open in Perham

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The golden arches have made their way into 119 countries around the world. Now, the internationally recognized symbol can be seen right here in Perham - as McDonald's opened its doors Thursday morning.

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At 5:30 a.m., McDonald's fired up its grill for the first time, offering customers everything one expects from the fast food chain restaurant, including burgers, french fries, and drinks from the McCafé menu.

By all accounts, the restaurant was busy for the opening, with people lined up at the drive-thru and crowds packing the inside.

Summer hours will be 5:30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m.

Starting Thursday, Aug. 23, and running through Saturday, Sept. 1, McDonald's will celebrate its grand opening by offering daily deals worth stopping in for. Entertainment for kids will be offered on Sunday, Aug. 26 from 2-4 p.m., with the Ronald McDonald Show.

During the grand opening, Perham McDonald's will donate a $1,000 scholarship to Perham High School to award to a student.

The last couple months have been a flurry of behind-the-scenes hiring and training at the restaurant. General Manager Cynthia Hoppe has been using the Crossings Inn and Suites as her temporary home base, hiring off site and training employees at the Detroit Lakes and Wadena locations, trying to get a crew together in time for the opening.

McDonald's has hired 50 to 60 full-time and part-time employees to operate the store, seven days a week. Some workers transferred to Perham from other area McDonald's restaurants.

Hoppe herself worked in the store in Detroit Lakes since 2001, working her way up to first assistant. Though she earned a commercial art degree and even worked as a graphic designer for five years, she headed back to McDonald's when she needed a more flexible schedule to spend time with her five children.

"With family life, McDonald's has been a great company to work for," she said, "with flexible scheduling and opportunities to grow."

Perham McDonald's has been on the horizon for almost a year as the Glen Cook family expanded their franchise. They operate 10 McDonald's restaurants from Detroit Lakes to Aitkin; Perham is their 11th store.

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