The Corner by McCafe is a “future Lab” for McDonalds, a place to test, experiment and meet their public face to face as they evolve in the new millennium. The brief was to be part of a program to challenge McDonalds.
This is a Future Forward project whose purpose is to stretch the brand beyond its comfort zone, to reach new customers and position the brand in the ‘fresh & fast food market’. McCafé wanted to evolve whilst remaining legitimate and true to its core values of simple good food, great prices, convenience and accessibility.
The Camperdown site will be a one-off project, a hothouse, a living lab used to experiment with this new brand experience and ever evolving offer. Potentially, some of the more successful elements may be integrated into other McCafé stores, enriching and up-scaling the existing food and beverage offer.
Our approach was to design a great local café, not an evolution of McCafe.
Working with such a global brand thus required a determinedly blinkered approach, one that looked to the local neighborhood and not the past.
A core principle of our design practice is to create interiors that last. We seek the “classic” over the fashionable, the quiet over the loud. This is our approach to sustainability and many of our project’s life expectancy is twenty years plus, exceeding the norm by a multiple of three.
Delivering this for a brand that is known for being the opposite to this - fast, loud and ever changing -was a challenge, but one the client embraced. The project is more transparent than its predecessor’s with open kitchens and serveries allowing the food to be cooked and served in full view. Honest real materials provide a simple backdrop to the incredible new food and the success has been immediate, with new and existing customers, young and old, enjoying both great value and a peacful environment.
The most innovative aspect to this project is the food. McDonalds have used their experience and inventiveness to bring world-class café style food to the table for incredible prices. Our job was to support this with an environment that made the food the hero and to help challenge the publics and staff’s perception of this brand by creating a local and unexpected solution.
Our brief extended to the naming, graphics, packaging, uniforms and interiors. This innovation was an immediate success, loved equally by the staff and customers.