Micky D’s Get’s a Makeover, the New (and Improved?) McDonald’s

22 Nov

McDonald's everywhere are getting a makeover in the hopes that you will sit and stay a while.

Since Starbucks declared unofficial warfare on “Laptop Hobos”(people who order one drink and then monopolize the seating area and free wi-fi all day), the timing couldn’t be better for  McDonald’s to position itself to potentially pick up some of that loiterer traffic and entice diners to actually “dine-in” rather than “drive-thru.” The fast food giant spent approximately $400 million for restorations to U.S. locations. The new restaurants are more modern looking with wooden tables, more comfortable padded seats, and of course free wi-fi. . . and now they are upping the ante, introducing McTV!

McTV coming to a McDonald's near you in 2012!

McTV is an in-store TV channel featuring local news, sports and entertainment stories. The idea is to make McDonald’s a more attractive place for diners to stay and dine and potentially order more food, coffee, or desserts.  Mark Burnett, the producer of ‘Survivor’ and ‘The Apprentice’ is providing the programming along with BBC America and KABC-TV. So far 800 McTVs have been installed in 800 McDonald’s locations in California. Programs will be on a one-hour cycle and eight minutes of the hour will be for advertisements – of that, 90 seconds will be used by McDonald’s ads. Audio will be broadcast from the screen or ceiling speakers – but ‘quiet zones’ are available for customers who don’t want to hear the TV.

It seems as if the company’s new business objective is to make McDonald’s a higher end sort of fast food establishment than the one that we have come to know (could this mean the end of the Dollar Menu?!) This shift in branding has been happening gradually over the past few years now. We see it in the wider range of healthier items (the exception being the newly returned McRib) and the addition of specialty coffees to the McDonald’s menu. McDonald’s is trying to revamp itself into a place that is more comfortable to sit and stay, meet the demands of a more health conscious marketplace, and inadvertently become a place where the displaced Starbucks-goers might feel right at home. But is this new and improved McDonald’s working for you? Tell us what you think.

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