An Australian McCafe outlet which underwent a drastic makeover that left it unrecognisable as a McDonald’s restaurant has been confirmed as a “learning lab” where the company is trying a new menu and service style.
“The Corner” is in Sydney’s inner west, in an area called Camperdown just a few kilometres from the centre of the city. It’s right opposite one of the city’s biggest hospitals, the Royal Prince Alfred – a sensible location for trying healthy alternatives.
McDonald’s spokesperson Skye Oxenham told Business Insider that “The Corner” had been opened as “a Learning Lab where we are testing completely new and different food and beverages never before seen in our restaurants.”
The menu includes “salads featuring Moroccan roast chicken breast, chipotle pulled pork, brown rice, pumpkin, lentil and eggplant salads, sandwiches and barista made quality coffee.” The restaurant was “yet another example” of how McDonald’s was “committed to serving up real noticeable change”.
McDonald’s image problems are well-known – it been fighting for more than a decade to show it’s interested in nutrition and providing healthy options as well as its high-calorie, high-sugar staples. Globally, sales have been falling year on year, and the company is hiring help to figure out how to engage with young people.
“The Corner” would be a big change in direction for McDonald’s, if the concept was to spread to more of its outlets. The company wouldn’t say what the next steps would be from the project. But here’s what I found when I dropped by this morning.