There a few words that spring to mind when you think of McDonald’s. “Big Mac”, “nuggets” and “sinister clown mascot” are all pretty near the top of the list. One word that might not immediately jump out, however, is luxury. The brand has built an empire of cheap, cheerful food that doesn’t bother with the clutter of a normal restaurant. Up until now, it’s worked like a dream.
But, apparently unsatisfied with their status as fast food kings, the Golden Arches have decided that it’s high time to branch out into alternative styles of food. In 2016, we saw the introduction of revolutionary new “table service” - flipping the fast food rule book on its head and treating customers to a sit down meal. Now, there are signs that the powers that be intend to take things further still.
News coming out of England this week has got Maccies fans the world over excited, as the business prepare to launch their first ever luxury restaurant in Kensington, South London. The concept, which is designed to coincide with the launch of their latest “Signature” range of burgers, marks the first time that a fast food franchise has attempted to get their greasy fingers around the idea of fine dining.
The new restaurant is full of flourishes guaranteed to make an evening memorable. For starters, it is reservation only - a rapid departure from the traditional McDonald’s strategy of luring late night revellers straight off the street by wafting fries and burger sauce at them. Guests will be welcomed to the restaurant by a string quartet, before being ushered to their seats by besuited serving staff.
It only gets more Michelin and less Maccies from here. The new burgers, including either a classic, BBQ or spicy signature burger, will be presented to diners under a silver cloche as classical music swirls around the dining room. The restaurant itself will feature “diamond-encrusted” cutlery and will be bedecked in velvet curtains for a final touch of class. Clearly, this is not the type of place to drunkenly devour a 20-McNugget share box on your own.
Of course, all of this is extremely exciting for fast food fans, many of whom will doubtless be desperate to try out the latest member of the McDonald’s family. They will have to be quick. The new restaurant is only planned to be a pop-up, open for a limited time only in one location. Anyone unlucky enough to miss out on a booking may never get a chance like this again.
Despite the panic over who will and won’t get a table, there has been some good news from Maccies HQ. Apparently, should the Kensington event prove to be a success, there is a chance that the fine dining concept will be rolled out in branches across the world, giving everyone an opportunity to discover what a world where McDonald’s rule every type of restaurant might be like. Until then, however, you’ll just have to join the queue for Kensington like the rest of us. We’ll see you there.