Last year, we featured a blog post in our regular 'Franchising Abroad' series from Sweden. In the post, I mentioned my interest in the interior architecture of Swedish McDonald's, which borrow a lot from popular Swedish design fans from companies like Ikea. McDonald's is in the process of renovating up to 800 stores around America.
Nation's Restaurant News was recently given an exclusive tour behind the new McDonald's. I was interested to see that so many of them shared that similar Scandanavian aesthetic. You can view a slide show of the new McDonald's here. They also interview Bryan Consolo, a McDonald's franchisee who's remodelled all three of the McDonald's he owns in Northern Illinois. He's received “overwhelmingly positive" to the redesign and also cited a similar European vibe to the new McDonald's.
The new McDonald's are big on chrome, colored bar stools and hanging light fixtures. Other new features include a double drive-thru, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi areas, and according to Max Carmona of McDonald's, other "amenities in reimaged locations (that are) more relevant in consumers’ everyday lives."
But how will these new renovations go down in the heartland? Part of McDonald's eternal appeal seems to be their utilitarian layout. Will people in suburban areas really go to McDonald's because the stores have a fancier, more European design? Franchisees like Consolo seem happy and perhaps that is all the proof we need that this initiative will thrive.