Guess where I am: Here’s a hint. It’s a restaurant you have probably visited at least once in your life. Walk in to the sound of water running down glass panels. There is a sculpture of a crane on one side – a koi fish on the other. The room is light and airy with colors in earth tones and accents of red. Bamboo plants grace the scene. The textured walls are patterned to resemble the ocean and the asymmetrical tiling is warm and artistic. The seating is leather and lounge like. The whole place is comfortable and very Zen.
If you guessed Chinese or Japanese restaurant – sorry! Thank you for playing.
Nope, believe it or not, I’m in McDonald’s in Hacienda Heights, California; just one of several restaurants in the chain who are rethinking brick and mortar experience and putting the Chinese art of Feng Shui in practice. You can read about this here.
I understand they’ve even adjusted door placement to block out evil spirits! I wonder what magic they can do to block the artery clogging fat and cholesterol found in their food? Sadly, until that happens, even comfy leather seating, outlets and wireless cannot draw me in.
Nevertheless, this is interesting reinvention. In the day of third-place behavior, it will be interesting to see how approaches like this drive customer affinity (and revenue) in the future.
What do you think about the idea? If you could re-architect your local Micky D’s – what would you do, and why?
I think my version would be “Whole Donald’s” – a Whole Foods version of McDonald’s, complete with healthy food served in green packaging, recycled bamboo flooring, leather seating, natural light, sounds of nature and light acoustic music…maybe some real plants and trees. Top it off with cubby like seating areas (womb rooms) for working and free wireless and I’M LOVIN’ IT!