McDonald’s Corp. announced plans to build the largest restaurant in its system as part of its role as official restaurant of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The 9,843-square-foot (3,000-square-meter), two-story unit will have a kitchen four times standard size to accommodate the crowds. The chain says it expects to serve 1.75 million meals during the games, which run from July 27 to August 12, 2012.
Architect Philippe Avanzi, who received acclaim in 2009 for his modernization of McDonald’s units in Manhattan, designed the super-sized restaurant. Jill McDonald, CEO of McDonald’s UK operations, said the interior would be a “reflection of street life” that will use graffiti, the “epitome of urban art,” as a central theme. The four Olympic restaurants (two in the Olympic Park, one in the athletes’ village and one at the press center) were designed to be disassembled after the games, their pieces (including furniture and kitchen equipment) recycled into other McDonald’s locations.
While not mentioned during the webcast, McDonald’s earlier announced that British “eco-designer” Wayne Hemingway, co-founder of the Red or Dead label, is creating 100% recycled uniforms for Olympic-venue staff to wear. After the games, the new look will be used throughout the UK.
Happy Meals will be available for the first time at an Olympic venue. Asked whether they will include toy premiums, a focus of criticism in some U.S. cities, Jill McDonald replied only that there will be Olympics-linked promotions. The Deli Wraps added to McDonald’s UK menu earlier this year will be served at the Olympics. Porridge will be there, too. EVP-Global Chief Brand Officer Kevin Newell stressed repeatedly that the kids meals will include milk, fruit and vegetables, in anticipation of the nutrition criticism McDonald’s food inevitably draws from some quarters.
McDonald’s Chef Dan Coudreaut promised the broadest menu ever offered by the chain at an Olympics. He provided no details other than to proactively assert that the McDonald’s menu-development process “takes into account the latest in nutrition science.”
httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyzkzKMkt2k A new program, McDonald’s Champions of Play, will be part of the Olympic sponsorship and will focus on promoting “balanced eating and fun play” for kids. The chain’s food-quality commitment was repeatedly stressed and endorsed by Terri Moreman, associate director of food and nutrition services for the U.S. Olympic Committee. Jill McDonald promoted the Open Farms program the chain has mounted in the UK to showcase local suppliers and food quality. The chain spotlights that local commitment in its recent “The A-Z of McDonald’s” television commercial (at left), created by Leo Burnett London.