Hong Kong’s ‘McDonald’s Next’  concept elevates ‘Create Your Taste’ dining

McDonald's Hong Kong Create Your Taste burger menu

Brand Channel: (by Abe Sauer)

Dubbed ‘McDonald’s Next,’ the fast food titan reveals a striking new restaurant concept with the launch of its latest Hong Kong location.

McDonald’s first opened its doors in Hong Kong in 1975. Fast-forward 40 years and McDonald’s is pioneering a new dining concept it’s calling McDonald’s Next in the bustling city on the South China Sea.

Billed as a “food bar,” the open-concept eatery is located in the city’s Admiralty area, a major shopping hub (and hang-out for youths) near the main Central district on Hong Kong Island.

McDonald's Next Hong Kong digital create your taste ordering kiosk touchscreen

While a handful of McDonald’s in Hong Kong already offer Create Your Taste digital ordering, the McDonald’s Next location in Admiralty (taglines include: “What’s Next is Now” and “Your creation. Made by us. Worth the wait”) is offering a whole new level of personalization and customer experience for the brand.

McDonald's Next Hong Kong Create Your Taste theater kitchen

mcdonald's next

In addition to being open until 1:00 a.m. and offering free mobile device charging and table service after 6:00 pm, what makes the Admiralty location unique is the personalization, interactive design and social nature of the dining experience.

McDonald's Next personalized Hong Kong table service Create Your Taste

Almost like a sushi bar in appearance, customers sidle up to the counter (which McDonald’s calls a theater kitchen) to design and order on touchscreens their customized salads and burgers from the DIY “Create Your Taste” menu that launched in Hong Kong in 2014.

McDonald's Hong Kong Next Create Your Taste #createyourtastehk

McDonald's Next Hong Kong customer #createyourtastehk #cyt

As in other CYT locations, the food is served on a wooden plank with a toothpick flag impaling the burger bun and the fries in mesh wire baskets.

The integrated McCafe menu also includes gourmet coffee in smartly designed packaging, such as premium Ethiopian Sidamo coffee beans bagged in a style that would make third wave coffee snobs swoon.

On the tables, customers will find various makes of charging cords for mobile devices to rejuice their ever-present smartphones.

next coffee

Coffee beverages served with latte foam art depicting characters in a marketing tie-in with the new Peanuts movie and a gingerbread man design, part of the local “Hug the Moment” holiday campaign.

McDonald's Next Hong Kong DIY salad Snoopy foam latte

Filmmaker Christopher Doyle looks to Kickstarter to help fund Hong Kong Trilogy on Occupy Central protests

Christopher Doyle says he doesn't want to make one film every five years; he wants to make five films a year. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

South China Morning Post:

Filmmaking can be democratic and not dictated by tycoons and auteurs, according to Christopher Doyle, who is calling for public support for his latest project, set against the backdrop of the Occupy protests.

The award-winning cinematographer and his team aim to raise US$100,000 on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to complete Hong Kong Trilogy, a three-part, 90-minute feature about the city, “told by three generations of Hongkongers amid a sociopolitical vibe reflected by the protests also known as the umbrella movement“.

Initially a 30-minute short named Hong Kong 2014: Education for All, the film, directed by Doyle and part of the short film series Beautiful 2014, premiered at the Hong Kong International Film Festival last year. The film was also available on Youku.com on the mainland and had 1.5 million hits.

Doyle later renamed it Preschooled. “So we move on to make a second and a third film,” Doyle said, in a video introducing his project.

Preoccupied will be about young people in their 20s and Preposterous is about those aged in their 50s or above.

Then Occupy Central came along and gave the whole project much more sociopolitical reference,” said the filmmaker, who is from Sydney.

Doyle was spotted filming among the tents erected in Harcourt Road, Admiralty, during the 79-day protests. But he did not respond to inquiries about what he was filming at the time.

On Kickstarter, the project is branded a “democratic approach to film” as funding is scarce for experimental projects, and public support will be key.

As of yesterday, 586 backers had pledged US$63,944 for the project on Kickstarter. There are 25 days to go before the fundraising period is over.

Doyle said he had not been working in Hong Kong for a while and the project brought him back to the place where he made his name as a filmmaker.

The moving images he crafted for Wong Kar-wai‘s many films, including Chungking Express and In The Mood For Love, earned him world recognition, putting him in the big league of global cinema.

But in recent years Doyle has moved from cinema to art galleries, with some of his shorts being featured at Art Basel in Hong Kong last year – and in a recent interview with the Post he said he had turned down offers to film the third, fourth and fifth Harry Potter films.

I don’t want to make one film every five years like Wong Kar-wai. I want to make five films a year,” he said.

He collaborated with young director Jenny Suen on short film Allergic To Art in “response” to the craze for art, inspired by Art Basel.

You have to question the stuff you care about,” Doyle said. “I want to tell the kids, don’t wait for the money, wait for the ideas. Take the ideas and go somewhere with them.”

 

Hong Kong protest 2014: Umbrella Revolution timeline

On September 22, the Hong Kong Federation of Students mobilized up to 10,000 students to boycott class with hundreds of teachers voluntarily joining the strike and lecturing at the rally.

The protesters voiced strong discontent with Beijing’s late August decree that all future candidates for position of chief executive be screened and approved by a pro-Beijing nominating committee.

On September 26, the 5th day of the strike, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive CY Leung remained firm in refusing to negotiate with the students. Four thousand students and citizens then surrounded the Government House.

At midnight, led by 17-year-old student leader Joshua Wong, the protesters charged the government headquarters. The clash ended with 61 protesters arrested by police, who fended off the crowds with pepper spray.

By September 27, the crowd had swelled to 50,000 people who remained outside government headquarters, demanding that arrested students be released.

On September 28, 60,000 protesters took to the streets. The government quickly condemned the movement as illegal and 7000 riot police were dispatched to attempt and disperse the protests, firing 78 tear gas canisters into the unarmed crowds.

In the early morning hours of September 29, the “Occupy Central” movement had extended its operations into Admiralty, Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Mongkok, as 100,000 citizens came out to condemn the violent police response to peaceful protesters.

After umbrellas were used to fend off tear gas from riot police the foreign media officially dubbed the uprising, the ‘Umbrella Revolution.’

On the night of September 30 heavy downpours put the umbrellas to good use as the number of protesters rose to more than 100,000, forming what they named a “Democracy Plaza” in the districts of Admiralty, Mongkok and Causeway Bay.

Despite the swelling crowds, Chief Executive CY Leung made it clear he had no intention of heeding the people’s call for him to resign.

On October 2, the Hong Kong Federation of Students called on citizens to occupy government buildings, only then did the authorities finally agree to talks about policy reform.

On October 3, triad gangsters attacked pro-democracy protesters in Mongkok, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. The Federation of Students denounced the government for standing by idly while thugs beat peaceful protesters and called on its members fight to the end.