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Inside McDonald’s Fancy New Chicago Flagship, Serving Customers Global Tastes

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Feast those eyes on the McSpicy Chicken from Hong Kong

McDonald’s as touch screen ordering kiosks and leather seating.
Barry Brecheisen
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The “McDonald’s Experience of the Future” has been a popular phrase in the fast-food chain’s recent media materials, but there hasn’t been much explanation to what that meant. The answers, it appears, are inside McDonald’s new 6,000-square-foot restaurant on the ground floor of its new Chicago corporate headquarters in the West Loop. While the chain has slowly rolled out touch screen ordering kiosks, UberEats delivery, and mobile ordering, it hasn’t effectively combined all its modernization efforts under one roof — until now. The new restaurant opened on Wednesday morning at 110 N. Carpenter Street while the company will open the rest of its new nine-story headquarters in a few weeks.

Yes, this McDonald’s has a one-of-a-kind menu with a selection of items previously only offered at its international locations. There’s a spicy chicken sandwich from Hong Kong and a soft-serve ice cream treat from Brazil with strawberry sauce and chocolate-covered coconut candies. These items will rotate every few months. Maybe eventually Chicago will get a taste of the Lamb McSpicy from England or bulgogi burger from South Korea. There are also baristas and a full espresso bar.

The space is, well, modern. Touch phone chargers are built into tables. The menus are video screens. There’s a clean design that feels like customers could be wearing turtlenecks and waiting for pour over coffees.

While there’s no parking, there are two spaces reserved for customers who ordered using the mobile app and another two spaces for UberEats. Owner-operator Nick Karavites said if mobile customers pick up their order and want to eat in their parked car, that’s cool. A sidewalk cafe is planned to debut early this summer. McDonald’s officials said they don’t intend to apply for a liquor license.

McDonald’s hopes to modernize all of its restaurants by 2020, according to a spokesperson. Not every location will have the features showcased at this new restaurant. The franchisee will decide if a restaurant will have amenities like cordless chargers; it’s an option that’s part of the chain’s modernization package.

Stroll though McDonald’s swanky new Randolph Street restaurant below. It also serves the restaurant’s regular menu.

McDonald’s, 110 N. Carpenter Street, open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

Bye, Oprah — hello Mickey D’s.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
“Welcome to McDonald’s.”
The menus are digital screens.
McDonald’s serves espresso drinks and will have full-time baristas.
Fresh pastries and other baked goods
Add-ons for drinks and desserts.
Early this summer, McDonald’s will open a patio off Randolph Street.
This room is to the right of the main entrance.
The menus are divided by groups including sandwiches, drinks, and international delights.
The touchscreens also take Apple Pay.
Customers will type in a number on the screen and then take one of these placards to their table so servers can bring out their food.
These seats are comfy.
Leather seating is the color of Mayor McCheese’s face.
These tables feature conductive chargers while traditional power outlets are built in underneath the tables.
Here’s a close-up of the cordless chargers that customers will find on 16 tables.
It feels like a coffeeshop, blending in with the rest of Chicago’s Randolph Restaurant Row.
The restaurant is sleek and modern.
McDonald’s famous training facility is located next to the restaurant.
The Mighty Angus Burger from Canada
Barry Brecheisen
McSpicy Chicken Sandwich from Hong Kong
Barry Brecheisen
Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries from Australia
The Mozza Salad from France with fried chicken
Barry Brecheisen
McFlurry Prestigio from Brazil

McDonald's West Loop

110 N. Carpenter Street, Chicago, IL Visit Website