McDonald’s serves up revamped look

McDonald’s will unveil three contemporary interiors concepts in its British restaurants this summer, Design Week can exclusively reveal, intended to revive the fast food chain’s flagging appeal with a broad cross-section of consumers.

McDonald’s is redirecting money from a slowed-down expansion programme to fund the designs, bearing out analysts who believe the brand has saturated its core market.

Seven design groups are working on the refurbishment programme, which is expected to take in 20-30 outlets this year. Adcock Clayton, Glasgow-based Cobban Lironi Weddell Thompson and freelance designers Lucy Power and Sheffield-based Steve Gibson all have long-standing relationships with the brand.

Softmoss, SSH and Tadcaster-based Lydiatt Plumtree were brought in by McDonald’s last December.

Work will be unveiled in July and August under the categories of family stores, flagships and drive-thrus, says McDonald’s UK design manager Nicola Amery.

Among the innovations planned are plasma screens showing Sky TV, two-tier ‘family tables’, ‘comfortable coffee areas’, softer lighting and ‘artwork and banners’ featuring ‘local scenes’.

The new approach is about designing ‘different environments for different [types of] consumers’, says Amery. The plasma screens, for instance, will show Sky News during breakfast hours and cartoons at times when children are the centre of attention.

The work comes on the back of the company’s worst results in over 30 years. In January, McDonald’s recorded its first quarterly loss since 1965 and, globally, the company is closing around 700 under-performing restaurants.

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