Australia is also a great place to quietly test a new concept, well away from the rest of the world.
McDonald’s has always tried to innovate by adapting to the local market – with Lobster Rolls in Canada, Hummus in Morocco and Banana Pies in Brazil. But now it has a new strategy: be less like McDonald’s.
The fast food chain has re-named a McCafe in Sydney as The Corner, with branding limited to tiny logos on staff badges, bags and elsewhere. The Corner is the first of four ‘Customer Learning Labs’ opening this year with another 10 planned for later in 2015. The fast food restaurant serves nothing from the traditional McDonalds menu – new dishes will include Muesli pots, gingerbread men, build-your-own burgers and a salad and soup station. Also interesting new lines in chipotle pulled pork, lentil and aubergine (eggplant) salads and Moroccan roast chicken.
‘We are committed to serving up real noticeable change at Macca’s’ says McDonald’s spokesperson Becca Hary. ‘The Corner at McCafé is yet another example of this’.
The test will be exclusive to Australia.
The Corner isn’t McDonald’s only exploration into higher quality food. The chain debuted “Create Your Taste” platform in Australia as well as a very small test market in California, and will roll out the customized burger and chicken sandwich platform to 2,000 locations next year.