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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FoodBeast/Next Shark/RocketNews 24 (by Riley Schatzle):
A Taiwanese fast food restaurant employee dubbed the “McDonald’s goddess” has drawn the attention of web users around the world.
The doll-like Wei Han Xu, also known as Weiwei, has been employed part-time at McDonald’s for five years. A blogger by the name of RainDog recently uploaded pictures of the attractive McDonald’s employee wearing a pink uniform, a handkerchief and high heels, calling her the “cutest McDonald’s goddess in Taiwanese history.”
While Wei still enjoys her job taking orders and calling out numbers, she also likes being in front of the camera, as she consistently keeps her Facebook page and Instagram up to date with selfies.
nanoblock, the micro-sized building block, has just launched a new range of promotional toys at McDonald’s all across Hong Kong which sold out in hours. The line includes a micro-version of a McDonald’s restaurant, Big Mac, fries, apple pie, McFlurry, milkshake and were all sold for $2.50 USD with any meal. Additional units have been confirmed as the promotion is set to run until June 24.
The entire set can be purchased for $25 USD however the complete kits are popping up on eBay for upward of $70 USD and may increase as the promotion ends.
Every now and then, we revisit a part of history that some companies would rather be kept swept under the rug. This story comes from the Japanese entrepreneur and self-made billionaire that brought the first McDonald’s to Japan, Den Fujita.
Fujita fell in love with McDonald’s the first time he ate it in 1967 — he was amazed by how popular and efficient the burger chain was. When he saw the opportunity to bring the franchise to Japan, he opened the first Japanese McDonald’s in a Mitsukoshi department store in the Ginza district of Tokyo in 1971. It was an instant success, particularly because of their Japanese-styled Teriyaki McBurger and Chicken Tatsuta.
But perhaps Fujita’s love for the American burger chain extended beyond just the burgers. On his strategy for selling McDonald’s to Japanese people, Fujita is credited as saying:
“The reason Japanese people are so short and have yellow skins is because they have eaten nothing but fish and rice for two thousand years … If we eat McDonald’s hamburgers and potatoes for a thousand years we will become taller, our skin become white, and our hair blonde.”
Does McDonald’s food secretly hold the key to creating a master race? I guess we won’t find out until the year 2971.
It was Fujita’s dream to see 10,000 McDonald’s in Japan by 2010 — as of 2013, there were only 3,164 McDonald’s in Japan, the second most popular country for the fast-food chain after the U.S.
Den Fujita retired in 2003 and died of heart failure in April of 2004 at the age of 78, two days after McDonald’s then-CEO Jim Cantalupo died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 60. It is unknown whether McDonald’s food played a contributing factor in their deaths.
McDonald’s Singapore has released a fish-inspired variation of their Chicken McWrap. You guessed it, the Fish McWrap.
Made with slice of tomatoes, single leaf lettuce and a fried fish patty. The McWrap is served in a flour tortilla with a spicy chili sauce. Essentially, it sounds like a Chicken McWrap with the protein swapped out of a Filet-O-Fish.
While US McDonald’s are cutting all kinds of wraps from their menus, it looks like the Singapore locations will feature them for at least a limited time.
The wrap itself will set you back $5.40. A little on the pricier side, but most seafood items are.
We first explored KFC menu items that can only be found in Asia, but what about the rest of the well-known American fast-food chains? There are so many yummy menu items only found in Asia that you’ll have to explore (and get hungry) for yourself, but below are some of the more interesting ones we found:
Nacho Fries– Wendy’s, Japan
This is definitely not a classic Wendy’s menu item, but who doesn’t love nachos? Wendy’s Japan created the Nacho Fries which consists of classic fries, guacamole, chili, cheese and– for a kick– jalapeños
McRice Burger — McDonald’s, Philippines
In the U.S., we rave over the ramen burger. In the Philippines, they sandwich a chicken or beef patty between two crispy rice patties! Could this inspire us to create the next burger trend in the U.S.?
Dry Pork and Seaweed Donut — Dunkin Donuts, China
If you thought adding bacon to a maple donut was a bit odd, then you might be hesitant to try this sugar glazed donut topped with dry pork and crunchy seaweed. It sounds like it would be too much of a salty overload rather than a sweet treat.
Ebi Shrimp Filet-O — McDonald’s, Japan
If you love shrimp, this is all you. It’s a simple fried shrimp patty paired with thousand island dressing and lettuce between their signature sesame seed bun.
Veg Sammi — Subway, India
If you’re vegetarian and think American fast food doesn’t have enough veggie items, you’re probably right. Subways in India carry a wide array of meat-less options and include ingredients you won’t find in American Subways. For instance, this Veg Sammi consists of a vegetarian kabob made of lentils, garlic and onions.
Green Tea Blizzard — Dairy Queen, Thailand