Fast-food chain McDonald’s has replaced its iconic restaurant in Chicago with a new one designed by Ross Barney Architects that is “unlike any in the company’s portfolio”.
The new venue opened on 9 August 2018 in the city’s River North district, on the site of the Rock N Roll McDonald’s that served as a flagship for the chain, showcasing a one-of-a-kind modern and environmentally-friendly design and enhanced customer experience with self-order kiosks, table service, mobile order and payment, and delivery.
The 19,000-square-foot (1,765-square-metre) steel and wood timber constructed restaurant was inspired by McDonald’s commitment to sustainability and has several energy-saving features, including a canopy of solar panels that spans far beyond the exterior glass walls to create sheltered outdoor spaces.
This array offsets part of the restaurant’s non-renewable energy consumption, and helps to power LED lighting fixtures, and efficient kitchen and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
Over 70 trees are planted at ground level across the plot, including native and drought-resilient species interspersed between permeable pavers, to minimize irrigation and reduce storm-water runoff. In the center of the building sits a raised garden of ferns and white birch trees, housed within a glazed volume. Greenery also covers portions of the roof, while green walls are suspended from the ceiling inside.
The modern interior including furniture, graphics and layout were designed by Sydney-based Landini Associates, a worldwide known design firm that has collaborated on other McDonald’s projects.
“This is one of the most amazing McDonald’s restaurants I’ve ever seen and a great fit for this iconic location,” said McDonald’s owner-operator Nick Karavites.
The Chicago flagship is one of the latest McDonald’s locations to undergo transformation into an “Experience of the Future” restaurant designed to dramatically enhance the customer experience with more convenience, personalization, and choice.
McDonald’s EOTF restaurants leverage the convenience and technology of kiosk ordering and table service, the increasing functionality of the mobile app and the hospitality of the McDonald’s crew members all in a more modern and exciting restaurant environment. McDonald’s has approximately 5,000 EOTF restaurants in the U.S. to date with plans to transform most all freestanding restaurants by 2020.