There’s nothing new about the McCafé.
But a McDonald’s hipster café serving quinoa, single origin coffee and serving it on chopping boards? That’s pretty ground breaking for this fast food giant.
It’s no secret that the traditional McDonald’s format has been losing fans over the years. No matter how many salads and yoghurt cups they introduce, it’s hard to see beyond two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
They had to do something drastic. And it seems that move was to turn a former McCafé in Sydney’s inner city suburb of Camperdown into a ‘learning lab’ – a testing ground for new dishes and service styles.
I’m not a Macca’s customer (unless it’s 3am, I’m hungry and it’s the only viable option) but this concept instantly piqued my interest. Plus I love the fact they chose Sydney to trial it, no doubt because we punch well above our weight in the hipster stakes.
A Sunday night recce was the perfect opportunity to scope it out; just me, my trusty friend Marty and a handful of harried nurses from the adjacent RPA Hospital.
The McDonald’s branding is so slight that if you blink, you’ll miss it. There’s just a small McCafé logo under the main entry sign and a few references in the menus. Although I think most people would recognise the distinctive light brown tiles in the kitchen (didn’t everyone take a tour of the kitchen during a McDonald’s children’s birthday party at some stage?).
At first glance all the hipster café signs are there; doggy parking, an outdoor herb garden and plenty of ‘super foods’ like quinoa and kale. Read More