The “New Coke”?

It sure is sounding like it.

A comfortable armchair. Cool hanging lights. Funky graphics and photos on the walls. Wi-Fi access. Premium coffee. Isn’t Starbucks great? Except…this is McDonald’s. McDonald’s (MCD)? That’s right. After 30 years without a major design overhaul, the 51-year-old fast-food giant is adopting a hip new look. The world’s largest hamburger chain is redesigning its 30,000 eateries around the globe in a 21st century makeover of unprecedented scale.
…What will the new McDonald’s look like? “Think iPod: clean lines, simplicity,” says Miologos. The signature mansard roof? History. “The big red roof looks too dated today,” says John Bricker, creative director at design firm Gensler’s brand-strategy arm, Studio 585. It’s being replaced by a flat roof topped by a newly designed, contemporary, golden sloping curve. Ronald McDonald appears safe: The mascot was given a leaner, sportier look just last year. And the iconic twin golden arches will still play a big role in the branding.
… The traditional McDonald’s yellow and red colors will remain, but the red will be muted to terra cotta and olive and sage green will be added to the mix. To warm up their look, the restaurants will have less plastic and more brick and wood, with modern hanging lights to produce a softer glow. Contemporary art or framed photographs will hang on the walls. Bob Dixon, a private school fund-raiser in Chicago, says of an Oak Brook [Ill.] restaurant that sports the new design: “It’s bright, it’s lively, it’s clean. It stunned me how beautiful it was.”

You can put poop in a gift box, but it’s still poop. They lost me when two visits to separate MickeyD’s produced two completely whacked out Big Macs. As in all the patties piled on one side and all the bread, condiments and cheese piled on the other. If you can’t make your simple, signature sandwich correctly (especially for those of us who consider it a once a year treat), you are losers.

8 Responses to “The “New Coke”?”

  1. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Copying Starbucks, eh? Such originality.

  2. John says:

    This is what happens when the marketing weenies start to come from Wharton, rather than working their way up the food chain – they have no idea who the customer is. When I used to eat there in Russia, I could say that I’d been in a McDs in almost every part of the world and it tasted the same – not great, but a helluva lot better than Soviet restaurant lunchtime fare if you didn’t have Party connections. I’d also eaten in ones in Serbia, Poland, the Czech republic, etc.
    After moving back from Japan at the turn of the millenium, I noticed a marked change – quality varied greatly from restaurant to restaurant, which as my big beef with Burger King (and why I think BK remains #2). McDs forgot their core business.
    What customers want is reliable food (pretty much crap, but you know exactly what to expect, and it doesn’t degenerate from crap to sewage) and clean bathrooms for the kiddies. Putting in wireless is fine for a NYC McDs, but for a PA turnpike one? A waste. Like I said, McD’s management has surrendered to the MBA weenies. And I say this as a holder of an MBA. The decline and fall is not far behind – the barbarians are now in the gates.

  3. I could say that I’d been in a McDs in almost every part of the world
    Me too, to a lesser extent. (I always loved how you got plain hot cocoa and had to ADD sugar/ 1/2&1/2 at the MD’s in Guatemala City.) But gimme them American cheeseburgers any day. Fast. And put together correctly. That’s all I want out of MickeyD’s. If I want a meaningful bonding experience, I’ll be somewhere ELSE.

  4. Dave J says:

    I don’t have a problem with fast food in general; it really is McDonald’s specifically that I find absolutely disgusting.
    Best fast food ever, OTOH? Popeye’s, ideally in its hometown of New Orleans.

  5. John says:

    KFC is another one that tried this re-brandiing crap and forgot to police the quality of the franchisees. I won’t eat at US KFCs any more – the last 3 I’ve been to (in 3 different states) have been disgusting.
    The wife and I used to get a box of their chicken strips in the one in our local train station and go watch the Hanabi Taikai all over Tokyo. It was a nice compliment to the Japanese junk food (squid-on-a-stick, anyone?) at the festivals.

  6. They built some kinda Mac-Cafe thing here, by all the rich bastards in Los ALtos, it looks like a damn Starbucks inside. They’re not competing for the regular customer – the rich yuppies who live there and their spawn need Happy Meals, but away from the greasy hoi-polloi – it’s not a Micky-D’s anymore.
    A similar treatment to a Taco Bell also occurred down the street a, “Border Bell” – since it’s on El Camino there’s been little sales lost despite the pastel hues. Maybe it’s all just gay-Mexicans working there – I can’t tell.
    I live in a test-environment where idiot marketing weenies from Wharton have settled – I wish they would go home and leave California, they’re screwing everything up more than the Illegals…

  7. Dave J says:

    “I won’t eat at US KFCs any more…”
    Any more? How about ever? KFC is the only fast food that’s ever made me physically sick (as in to the point of actually vomiting). If I knew then what I know now, I have no doubt I would’ve sued.

  8. Ya know Dave, it does that to Ebola, too!

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