McDonald's Extreme McMakeover stupidity

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Tom Keating
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McDonald's Extreme McMakeover stupidity

McDonald's has decided that a redesign of their fast-food franchise restaurants was needed for the 21st century because the existing McDonalds look is "too dated". Dated? Try an American Icon! Don't mess with an American icon. According to Business Week, the world's largest hamburger chain is redesigning its 30,000 eateries around the globe for the first time in 30 years.

McDonalds Redesign

Look at the picture above of the redesign. No more double-slanted roof? No more cheesy plastic booths that while uncomfortable are are part of my childhood memories.



The nostalgia will be forever lost with this redesign. They're adding more wood instead of plastic to "warm" it up.  The "linger" zone will offer comfortable armchairs, sofas, and Wi-Fi connections which they hope will keep teenagers "lingering" around. Funny, growing up, every McDonalds I ever visited had teenagers hanging out inside or in the parking lot on weekends, so I'm not sure how they will increase the "lingering" effect.

In all of this redesign, kids seems to be excluded. From what I gather the playground or indoor playyard will be eliminated. Young kids will no doubt see McDonald's as "boring". McDonald's is alienating a demographic that made it what is today. Every parent takes their kids to McDonald's because their kids want to go there. The fun is gone...

Additionally, many franchisees up in arms over the high costs of a makeover which will cost them $300,000 - $400,000 to renovate an existing restaurant, which is the average yearly profit for a McDonalds franchise. To tear down and start from scratch would cost $1 million. According to BW, "the franchisees will have to pay for the renovations themselves, which has some of them seething."  About 160 franchisees from North Carolina wrote Mcdonalds headquarters and explained why they oppose the new plan. According to BW: They say the roof change erases 40 years of brand building and that "there has been no business case presented which justifies the change." Says Frederick Huebner, who owns 11 McDonald's in North Carolina: "We don't want to lose the iconic look of what we've got." If franchisees balk, McDonald's can refuse to renew their contract.

McDonald's needs to realize what and who they are. They are a fast-food chain with good food that is bad for your health. They're not Starbucks, they're not Mortons or Ruth Chris Steakhouse, so why mess with a good formula?


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