Does design translate into improved sales and profitability? Next time you venture into one of its fast-food eateries, be prepared for a very different McDonald’s—a redesign that may just inspire you to rethink your order and your own approach to business.
According to USA Today, an ambitious $1 billion redesign is occurring under the Golden Arches. Gone are the garish red roofs, primary colors, plastic benches and tables, and the “get-in/get-out” feel of the country’s biggest fast-food franchise. In their place are wooden tables and chairs, comfortable faux-leather seating a la a certain coffee-shop chain with an outlet on every corner, and a color palette with much subtler hues. Outside, the makeover features an exterior heavy on earth tones and glass. Even the famed arches take on a more subtle shape.
The overall effect is a more modern look that the company hopes will appeal to more than just the moms and kids who currently fill most outlets.
Why invest in the environment? The redesigned test stores in Tampa recorded a double-digit sales increase. Moreover, the product mix ordered by customers changed as well, as they were more likely to try new menu items in the new venue.
Newer players in the fast-food business means McDonald’s must compete for discretionary dollars with more than just Burger King or Wendy’s. Outlets such as Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill target the same clientele while offering dining environments strikingly different from the old Micky D’s.
What type of environment influences who buys your products? When was the last time you walked the places that show and sell your wares? In today’s competitive marketplace, paying attention to “place” can do a lot to change what is sold. It also is time to rethink “place.” For McDonald’s, place is bricks and mortar buildings, but today the place where buyers view your product is just as likely to be a web site or a Facebook page. Wherever that intersection is for your product and your potential customer, it’s time to pay attention to that place.
Heather McCune was long-time editorial director and editor-in-chief of Professional Builder, Professional Remodeler, Custom Builder, Housing Giants, and HousingZone.com, and previously served as editor of Supply House Times and Plumbing & Mechanical.