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McDonald's To Look Like Starbucks


First Posted: 05/09/11 12:36 PM ET Updated: 07/09/11 06:12 AM ET

McDonald's is taking a cue from Starbucks and upgrading the look and feel of its stores, reports USA Today. The fast food giant has invested over $1 billion in remodeling its 14,000 U.S. franchises and hopes to have most of the facelifts complete by 2015.

Jim Carras, senior vice president of domestic restaurant development for McDonald's explains that it is important to change with the times and to do so faster than ever. Not only is the chain hoping to edge out rivals like Burger King and Wendy's but McDonald's also hopes to give Panera and Chipotle a run for their money as well.

Simply put, "nicer-looking stores attract more business," as is proven by McDonald's newly redesigned Tampa branch, which has seen a double-digit sales boost in the past year. McDonald's sought inspiration from its outposts in France and Australia, which already have a sleeker, more modern feel. Additional inspiration has also come from the uber-sleek Apple stores.

The "McRemodel" laundry list of changes includes:

  • nixing the red roofs

  • a focus on earth tones rather than red and yellow

  • no more fiberglass, no more steel chairs

  • more drive-through windows

  • getting rid of fluorescent lights

  • adding flat-screen TVs

This isn't McDonald's first redesign effort, (see here and here) but the Tampa model is serving as a standard for what 800 other franchises will look like by the end of the year.

With free Wi-Fi and increasingly popular coffee at McDonald's, Starbucks might be the one playing catch up before you know it. Which makes us hope, maybe a menu makeover could come next?

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McDonald's also posted April sales on Monday, exceeding Wall Street's expectations with a six per cent rise in revenue at stores open at least 13 months.

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Filed by Carey Polis  |  Report Corrections