Making Over McDonald’s

No amount of lipstick smearing on the pig that is McDonald’s will be able to hide the atrocious nature of their food.  Instead of spending $2.4billion on making their franchises more visually appealing (which they should do because their design aesthetic is also tragic), the company should be spending that much to bring freshly cooked hamburgers (not unlike, say, Five Guys) to their restaurants.

Next year, McDonald’s will launch its first total makeover campaign since the Carter administration, allocating $2.4 billion to redo at least 400 domestic outposts, refurbish 1,600 restaurants abroad, and build another 1,000. The company’s European and Asia-Pacific regions have already seen success with the new styles: Second-quarter sales in Europe, for example, were up 5.2% year over year, an uptick the company credits in large part to revamped stores. Over the past two years, Weil has tested modern renovations throughout the United States, in such varied locales as Manhattan, Los Angeles, and Kearney, Missouri. In July, the company reported a 6% to 7% sales jump at U.S. stores that had been redesigned. Weil adds that when McDonald’s puts enough refurbished stores in a market, customers alter their perception of the brand: The new look even makes them more likely to try new menu items.

It’s a fascinating look into the synergy between design, eating, technology and sheer business profits through the lens of McDonald’s VP of concept and design, Denis Weil.

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