Sweden is so innovative, even its fast food is progressive.
Beginning this Friday, September 25, 31 McDonald’s restaurants in Sweden will become the first locations to take reservations in addition to their normal fast food service.
In a country where US chain Burger King and the Swedish competitor chain Max dominate over McDonald’s, the added service is meant to lure diners away from their preferred burger joints and toward the Golden Arches.
While the menu options will remain the same, diners will need to order at least two menu options for one to four people in order to make an online reservation, the AFP reports.
According to Nicolas Nouchi, analyst at CHD Expert, the move harkens back to a simpler time.
“It’s innovative but at the same time it’s going backwards in the world of the restaurant industry,” Nouchi told the AFP.
The people that spent 15 cents on their meal weren’t eating it at the stoplight on their way to work. They were taking things slow, savouring the hamburger with a loved one.
While adding reservations to a dining experience has been found to signal a desperation to secure patrons, the practice also makes the wait staff more efficient, which makes customers happier.
In that way, the ethos of today’s fast food experience is becoming clear: Fast food doesn’t have to check its conscience at the door.
With fast-casual chains like Chipotle boasting its commitment to serving “food with integrity” and Subway encouraging people to “Eat fresh,” it isn’t unreasonable to think the Swedish experiment could someday cross the American border.
Despite its reputation for unhealthy food and unseemly business practices, McDonald’s has typically remained pretty public-facing in how it feeds the world.
It learned, for instance, that maybe people don’t need a 42-ounce “Supersized” soda. And maybe there are people out there who actually preferred grilled chicken to its deep-fried brethren.
While the Swedes determine whether reservations will be the next step forward or just another failed McLobster, the rest of the world will be taking note, enjoying the latest innovation: all-day McDonald’s breakfast.
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