McDonald's Australia reveals how the US is doing it wrong

McDonald's AustraliaMcDonald’s AustraliaMcDonald’s is thriving in Australia.

McDonald’s is failing in the US, but in Australia, the brand is thriving.

The fast-food chain has reported three straight quarters of same-store sales growth in Australia, where the burger company is fondly known as “Macca’s”. Domestically, McDonald’s is struggling to recover from its sixth straight quarter of same-store sales declines.

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 totally unrecognizable from 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 customers 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:

Here’s a list of some of the types of toppings customers can add to their burgers. 

When a customer’s order is ready, it’s delivered to their table by a server.

And dessert includes customisable Belgian waffles.

The digital kiosks, table service and special burgers are part of a program called “Create Your Taste,” which is being rolled out nationally in Australia. McDonald’s just launched tests of the program in the US.

McDonald’s is also testing a new concept called The Corner in Australia. 

It’s an upscale restaurant where 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. 

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook has identified Australia as an international lead market.

“Australia is in the early stages of turning around its business through a multifaceted approach to enhance brand appeal for consumers,” Easterbrook said during a recent call with analysts.

“This includes meaningful enhancements to our menu, including both core and new menu items across several categories, value platforms and better restaurant operations.”

He said the company was working to implement some of those enhancements in US restaurants, as well.

It remains to be seen whether the strategy will work with Americans.

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