McDonald’s is thriving in Australia.
The fast-food chain just reported its fourth straight quarter of same-store sales growth in Australia, where McDonald’s is fondly known as “Macca’s.”
It also recently ranked first among Australian’s favourite restaurants, according to a survey by Wimdu, a site for apartment rentals.
Customers cited “good, tasty food,” “convenience,” and “low prices” as their top reasons for eating there.
McDonald’s executives tout Australia as one of their strongest markets, and said on a recent earnings call that they look to Australia for ways to improve its restaurants around the world.
So what’s so different about McDonald’s in Australia?
Basically everything — including the ingredients, the restaurant models, the service, the menu, and the public image.
In Australia, many of the restaurants are unrecognizable compared with those in the US. They have bars of fresh food where you can watch your order being prepared.
The menu includes two types of buns, four kinds of cheese, and 19 specialty toppings, such as grilled pineapple, guacamole, and beetroot.
This McDonald’s is serving samples of smashed avocado on sourdough for breakfast.
Customers order and pay for their food using a touch-screen kiosk that looks like this:
And the burgers, which are served on wooden pallets, look like this:
You can also get lettuce burgers and crinkle-cut fries.
When a customer’s order is ready, it is delivered to the customer’s table by a server.
And dessert includes customisable Belgian waffles.
There are also display cases full of muffins, macaroons and cupcakes.
Breakfast looks like this, with coffee made from real espresso machines:
The digital kiosks, table service, and special burgers are part of a program called “Create Your Taste,” which has been rolled out nationally in Australia. McDonald’s is in the early stages of rolling it out in the US.
The chain will be adding chicken and salads to the “Create Your Taste” menu later this month, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said last week on an earnings call.
So Australians will soon be able to order items like this grilled chicken sandwich with grilled pineapple, spinach, mozzerella and peso mayonnaise.
“While early, we are encouraged with the initial results and the positive buzz we have created in the market,” Easterbrook said of the “Create Your Taste” program.
McDonald’s is also testing a new concept called The Corner in Australia.
It’s an upscale restaurant in which you can order salad, soup, sandwiches, and rice bowls.
Here’s what it looks like on the outside:
It looks nothing like a McDonald’s restaurant on the inside.
Easterbrook last week attributed Australia’s successful turnaround to “a renewed focus on improving operations, the added convenience of offering barista crafted McCafé beverages through the drive-through, and the stronger value platform with the re-launch of the ‘loose change menu.'”
The “loose change menu” is a value menu that includes $US2 BLT McMuffins, $US2 ham and cheese pockets, and $US2 10-packs of chicken McBites.
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