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May 9, 2011 04:18 PM

McDonald's revamps stores to look more upscale, USA Today
Why? Why not embrace your arches?

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  1. It seems like a response to the cafe-as-lounge trend that they are now competing with. I was very surprised to walk into a local Dunkin Donuts recently and it was virtually indistinguishable from a Starbucks. Fireplace, leather chairs and all.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cachetes

      Interesting, I haven't seen a DnD revamped yet but I have seen fireplaces in grocery stores and more and more commerical brand coffee cafes inside food markets.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. It's probably changing demographics, because if you are over the age of 10 it is a lot more inviting than the playland motif, and if there are now more Baby Boomers than preteens it makes sense. Now if we could just get our In-N-Out burgers with that ambiance.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ChinoWayne

          I wonder if the Happy Meals are going to get a face lift? Free cell phone cards for the toddlers?

          1. re: HillJ

            Look for the McDonaldsland game on Facebook.

            1. re: HillJ

              They've already installed computer/video game stations next to the playground at some locations.

          2. They may be building a more comfy mouse trap, but they need better cheese in the trap. I had an angus burger w /swiss & mushrooms around 1:30 last Fri. that was so dry, tasteless, cold, rigid, ashen colored, almost pertified, that I will remember it for a LONG time. Vile. It looked like 3 day old road kill. One bite and I tossed it. Gross.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              Given the amount of fat in the beef and the extreme amount of pasty mayo that's put on top, I find the claims of it being dry and tasteless rather hard to believe.

              1. re: Veggo

                I suspect you're not their target audience, and they are well aware of it. But I'm sure they appreciated your 6 bucks.

              2. I've been living in La Antigua, Guatemala, for the past six weeks and the McDonald's here is one of the more beautiful restaurants in town. There's a large, handsomely landscaped garden with a fountain and meandering paths with wrought iron tables and chairs scattered about, all a good distance from each other and all with spectacular views of Agua volcano. There's a McCafe that sells specialty coffees and teas and has an impressive selection of pastries that I've been told are quite good. Because of the ambiance, this is one of the most popular places in town, for those with no office to go to, to have meetings. A friend of mine even had private language classes there every afternoon for two weeks.

                Don't know if it's true or not, but I was told just a couple of weeks ago that the success of this particular McDonald's and its cafe was a not insignificant impetus in the reconsidering of the design of other stores.

                Here's a link to a photo of the garden:


                2 Replies
                1. re: JoanN

                  What a beautiful photograph. Well, one could hardly argue with that location or view over a latte and pastry...but is that really what we think of when we visit a McD's? Any chain would be happy with a location like that!

                  1. re: HillJ

                    As the first link states, McDonald's has been going this way with McCafe. The first photo is the Guatemala City McCafe.

                    In the Antigua location, there is both a McDonald's and a McCafe. The second photo is the McDonald's side which is slightly better, but still pretty typical McDonald's. The McCafe has the couches, and muted tones. They both share the patio area.

                    If you order the McDonald's menu,they hand you the tray and the packaging is the same. At the McCafe you place your order at the counter and a server brings it to your table. Real plates, cups and dinnerware are used.

                    So ... is the drop dead gorgeous location enough to lure me in ... yes, the first time. I have directed more people to McDonald's in Antigua ... "you gotta see this" ... than the better restaurants in town.

                    However, the bottom line is ... the food ... no, seriously. I recently went because I really, really wanted the orange shake with chocolate shavings and the coconut pie. The latter was very good. The mango-passion fruit cheesecake sounded better than it looked, so I didn't bother with that.

                    Will the upscaling bring more business ... uh, maybe not. It is nice to have a more attractive joint, but in the long run, a cheesy McDonald's vs a classier one really doesn't matter. You are there for the burger and fries ... and fillet o fish ... and occasional McRib (US only).

                    More McDonald's Antigua photos