McDonald’s Corp. accelerated its global remodeling plan by committing $1 billion to upgrading its 1,400 restaurants in Canada by the end of 2012. The program, similar to the one underway in the U.S. and nearly completed in Europe, involves more than exterior and interior designs.
A new front-counter service platform intended to increase crew coordination and increase service speed is part of the remodel, as are double-drive-thru lanes for many units. A revised kitchen layout accommodating new equipment will allow for future menu expansion, according to the company.
Watch the video at left to see mockups of the new exterior and interior designs.
Interiors will gain a more contemporary look that includes fireplaces, flat-screen televisions, stone and tile accents, wood tones and more colorful wall designs. In a release, the company said the plans call for dining areas “divided into separate eating areas for larger groups, on-the-go customers, families, or for individuals who want to stay, relax and enjoy new amenities such as free and unlimited Wi-Fi.”
“This is a pivotal time for McDonald’s and we’re placing unwavering focus on transforming the face of our brand,” said John Betts, president-CEO of McDonald’s Canada. “Strong and sustained business results have put us in a unique position to make this historic investment in improving restaurant ambiance, enhancing service and supporting our continued menu evolution.”
A new exterior design includes “a red ‘blade’, a central and attention-grabbing architectural element, which provides an eye-catching home for the corporate logo.” Flat roofs will replace the previous mansard-roof style. McDonald’s says it will have remodeled more than half its Canadian restaurants by year-end. A majority of the remaining restaurants will be redone by the end of next year.
“Reimaging will be a key differentiator for our existing restaurants in the years to come,” McDonald’s Corp. CFO Peter Bensen told analysts in April. “We see tremendous opportunity to update our asset base as only 20% of our exteriors and 45% of our interiors currently reflect a modern, contemporary look. This year, we plan to reimage another 7% of our restaurants or about 2,200 locations. We made good progress in the first quarter toward that goal. The U.S. completed almost 90 reimages and has over 60 sites under construction. We’re on track to completing 600 this year [in the U.S.] and are expecting to do more in 2012.
“Europe continues to lead our reimaging efforts, particularly its major markets,” Bensen said. “Over 70% of our interiors have been reimaged with the remainder to be reimaged by the end of 2012. About 40% of exteriors have been reimaged, so we’ll take another few years to complete those.”
Last year, McDonald’s said it would contribute up to $200,000 per store for remodeling, with operators contributing an additional $250,000 to $500,000 (with final cost depending on whether the reimaging included both the interior and exterior).