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McDonald’s Makeovers Net a Nod in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards

September 10, 2018

Newly Remodeled McDonald's Restaurant - Alphabet Design

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Anyone who’s been to a McDonald’s can guess what they’ll find at each restaurant. But around the world, McDonald’s is giving thousands of its locations a surprising new look, with innovation and technology at the center. These changes are part of a company-wide initiative to create an elevated customer experience. Through new features like Mobile Order and Pay via the McDonald’s app, McDelivery in partnership with Uber Eats, and increased customer care with table service and digital kiosks, customers are central to the transformation.

And it’s moving fast. In the U.S. alone, McDonald’s and franchisees plans to invest about $6 billion to modernize more than 14,000 restaurants by 2020. The remodeled restaurants emphasize convenience and personalized experiences while boosting the fun-to-eat factor that the Golden Arches represent. Whether customers submit a request from a kiosk and dine in, or place an order to go through the McDonald’s app, the changes show what’s possible at the intersection of service and tech.

Newly Remodeled McDonald's Restaurant - Ray Design

To ensure remodeled restaurants are both adaptable and consistent, McDonald’s assembled a global team of designers to create a global design portfolio for each restaurant owner-operator to browse. The owner-operator can select a new interior design from the global portfolio that resonates with their core customers, ensuring a familiar McDonald’s experience anywhere in the world — from Shanghai to Chicago.

From the moment customers step inside these new restaurants, they’ll notice a different McDonald’s look and feel. But the team didn’t focus just on materials for the furniture or whether to use high-tops instead of communal tables. They also consulted research on wait times and walk patterns to take designs a step further. By combining this in-restaurant research with each location’s demographics and unique setting, designers ensured restaurants would feel welcoming, convenient and custom.

Newly Remodeled McDonald's Restaurant - Wood & Stone Design

McDonald’s is leaning on modernized designs to create feel-good experiences for customers everywhere. This momentous transformation — and its emphasis on intertwining customer care with technology — helps the company stand out in their industry and beyond.

For six years, Fast Company — among the world’s leading progressive business media brands, with a focus on innovation in technology, leadership and design — has celebrated the best design ideas in business with its annual Innovation by Design Awards. This year, McDonald’s has been officially recognized as a finalist in the Retail Environments category and is honored to be up for this award, which had more than 2,800 submissions. The nomination demonstrates the future-thinking approach behind McDonald’s plans to transform the global customer experience.

Check out the photo gallery to see modernized McDonald’s locations all over the world or visit your local restaurant to experience it first-hand.