Tuesday, November 24, 2009

McDonald's update

Right before I left McDonald's new European-styled prototype (see below), I had a chance to see how closely the higher-ups are monitoring what amounts to a test of the new design. A manager came over with a corporate type (dressed in a suit, with a little stylized "M" pins on his lapel a la the ID for a Secret Service agent) to show him that the booth where I was sitting had a rip in the upholstery already. Sure enough, something had snagged the squared edge of what looked like Naugahyde.

Meanwhile, heading downstairs to look around the main floor some more, I managed to sneak a closer look at the computer terminal that's situated just beyond where the ordering lines form. I could now see that it's a terminal where job aspirants can apply. And as I noted in my earlier post, it was never unoccupied during my visit.

I did overhear some comments about the decor from customers. One didn't like the stick-figure-like drawings that designate which restroom is for males, which for females. The same sort of signage also indicates where to discard your trash. He thought it was too retro for such an upscale interior design.

Interestingly, the twentysomething man and the similarly aged woman accompanying him were very gently asked to leave when it became apparent they were doing nothing but using the bathroom and sitting on some stools, planning the rest of their day.

I was able to get closer to the flat screen TVs on the wall and confirmed that you can only see them, not hear them. So what's the point of offering broadcasts of shows? They'd be better off airing short pieces with purely visual appeal.

One of the other attractions of the restaurant was its free WiFi service. You're connected to a McDonald's-branded network that features links to the chain's corporate social responsibility report, among other pieces of information.

No comments: