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It may be fast food, but McDonald’s appears to be interested in having more of a global focus.
Kevin Coupe here, and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy, coming to you this week from one of the most unique McDonald’s in the country, if not the world - it is located in McDonald’s new headquarters building in Chicago’s trendy West Loop neighborhood. This McDonald’s doesn’t just sell the burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries and drinks that most of us associate - for better or worse - with the company. No, it also sells items from McDonald’s all over the world.
There’s a Chicken McMuffin with Egg from Asia … a Mighty Angus Burger from Canada … a Manhattan Salad from France (though I’m not sure why it isn’t called a Paris salad, though maybe that’s what they would call it in New York) … Bacon and Cheesy Deluxe Potatoes from Spain … a Baci McFlurry from Italy … and other items.
I think this is a smart thing for McDonald’s to do. We all know that McDonald’s is a global presence; New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman decades ago advanced what he called the “Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention,” suggesting no two countries that both have McDonald’s will ever go to war, because they have a kind of economic self-interest rooted in globalism that actually can make the world a safer place. (This rule doesn’t really hold anymore, probably because McDonald’s is in more places and people are less enlightened and more willing to engage in stupid wars. But that’s another column…)
But beyond McDonald’s global presence, this unique restaurant actually establishes McDonald’s universality, which is something very different.
When I was in the global McDonald’s, just a few weeks ago when I recorded this FaceTime video, I suggested that it might benefit the fast food company to extend the concept throughout the chain, especially in the US … perhaps once a month feature a new global specialty, and rotate them constantly. It would do a lot for the menu - even I would go to McDonald’s for the opportunity to try the Chicken McMuffin with Egg, just out of curiosity. I also think it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Americans to try foods from other places, even if they’ve been McDonalds-ized … it would get us outside our sometimes narrow lanes of thinking.
But then, go figure, Food & Wine reported that this is exactly what McDonald’s is planning to do, starting next month with items that will include “Spain’s Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger, Canada’s tomato-mozzarella chicken sandwich, Australia’s cheesy bacon fries, and the Netherlands’ Stroopwafel McFlurry.”
Smart stuff. I’d try that Stroopwafel McFlurry.
It always is good for businesses to think outside their lanes, to go beyond traditional boundaries and challenge themselves and their customers to think differently about the world, about consumption, about connections. McDonald’s is such a global presence that it actually has an advantage in this that a lot of companies don’t have.
That’s what is on my mind this morning, and, as always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: