I feel like this is the fast-food version of those reductive teen movies, in which a shy, intelligent girl whips off her glasses and suddenly every cool jock in school recognizes her for what she truly is -- hot -- and they ride off into the football field (er… sunset), vowing never to do stupid things like read or learn ever again.
Let me explain.
McDonald’s is having an identity crisis. It just opened up a new location in Paris, France, and all of the core elements that make the chain what it is -- its signature burgers (like the McDouble or the Quarter Pounder, for instance), its french fries (those golden arches aren’t just a conceptual design!), and its McNuggets -- are nowhere to be seen.
Grub Street reports that inside the new location, which is called Le Figaro, “nothing indicates that this restaurant belongs to the American chain.”
So what is the point? It’s not as though McDonald’s is struggling in France. According to Eater, the chain has more than 1,300 franchised stores across the country, rendering it the company’s second most profitable market (America is the first).
If you’re looking for conclusive answers, the truth is that nobody really knows why, exactly, the Parisian branch is so thoroughly overhauling a concept it already knows works. Perhaps the chain is hoping to draw in some new clientele; perhaps this is a glimpse into what the future of all McDonald’s locations hold. Only time will tell.
For now, if you’re in Paris and are interested in checking the new location out, the McDonald’s in question will be open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and serving up coffee with freshly ground beans, teas, soups, macarons, and sandwiches.