WHEN OLD MCDONALD'S TRADES UP TO THE NEW LUXURY
An unusual topic for me but one that had some ironic cultural resonance.
On the outskirts of wealthy St. Charles, Illinois a new McDonald's has opened. So what ?
This McDonald's looks more like a retro-high-tech cafe in Manhattan or a Caribou coffee designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Employees are dressed in sleek black with gold ties and bring you your order to your table along with latte's served in designer ceramic cups. Your waiter hands you a dessert menu as you tap away on your laptop using the free wi-fi service. A 6'x 6' flat screen, suspended, semi- transparent, TV has the latest game on as the sound system softly pipes in clubbing music to the art deco interior the has comfortable chairs. Even the cooks are dressed like chefs. Everyone spoke English and engaged in a friendly, pro-active, manner with the customers ( at this point I began to believe that I had accidentally driven through a mysterious time-dilation portal into a bizarro-world, alternate, universe).
The location is the brainchild of Chicago entrepreneur David Bear,
who has embraced the marketing strategy of " New Luxury"
in order to compete with service and quality offered at places like Panera and Asiago favored by upper-middle-class suburban professionals.
Business, I noted, was extremely brisk. Instead of looking and sounding like a zoo or bus station, like most McDonald's, the atmosphere was very pleasant and the children present, and there were many, were all well behaved and quiet.
Ray Kroc's dream has come full circle.