McDonalds Makeover

There was a great article in Fast Company a while back talking about McDonald’s Makeover

Basically, the giant clowns and fiberglass booths are being replaced with things that are modern and relevant over at McDonald’s. They’ve decided to allocate at least $2.4-Billion dollars to make over 1,600 restaurants and build another 1,000 more modern restaurants.  That’s a lot of remodeling and construction work! Weather you love McDonald’s or hate it, there is no denying that it’s a money making machine.  The executives over at McDonald’s know a good thing when they S$$ it. Here’s what happened, over in Europe franchise owners were integrating modern design into their restaurants. These more modern stores were experiencing 6-7% higher sales compared to other traditional stores. One example was the McDonald’s built in Paris next to the Louvre. As you would expect not all of the french were pleased with the Louvre’s new neighbor, especially the art historian (read about it here). Regardless, this store was making money.

When building this McDonald’s the franchise owner focused on two important things, #1 Provide a better food selection and #2 Building a modern looking Restaurant. Even though there was a lot of protest against this store, it’s been experiencing better sales than other traditional stores. It also helps that France is McDonald’s biggest market outside of the states, but don’t tell that to the Louvre’s Art Historian. They secretly love their “Royale with Cheese”.

With these more modern restaurants making more money than traditional stores McDonald’s decided to do a little testing in LA and New York and found out that Americans also like eating in nice restaurants and spend more money per transaction in stores that have good food and a modern look. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise but it was probably a good idea to do a little testing before dropping $2.4Billion on renovations across the world.  McDonald’s experience with Chipotle also helped provided some assurance that modern looking fast food restaurants can be profitable.

It’s good to see large companies other than the federal government investing in infrastructure. It’s probably been 10 years since I stepped foot into a McDonald’s. After reading Fast Company’s article I noticed that the McDonald’s up the street had just undergone its make over. I thought I’d try it out and I must say that the 1/4 pounder with cheese did seem to taste better in the modern looking restaurant.

On a business note, if you pick up one of these renovation projects or new stores and want to share some progress updates using let us know and we’ll get you set up with one of our Free Subscription packages. Happy Meals Trails.