McDonald’s has opened its reimagined flagship restaurant at Clark and Ontario streets in Chicago, showcasing a 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 steel and wood timber constructed restaurant was inspired by McDonald’s commitment to sustainability and has abundant green spaces and energy saving features.
The building, which a number of publication compare with Apple stores, was designed by Chicago-based firm Ross Barney Architects while Sydney-based Landini Associates designed the interior, including furniture, graphics, and layout.
The dining room features a garden planted with ferns and white birch trees floating above a digital ordering street. From this vantage point guests can experience the landscape beyond and above. Over shared tables with wireless charging and outlets, tapestries of living plants improve indoor air quality and provide a backdrop of green gradients. What might surprise many can be found on the adjacent kitchen roof: a row of harvestable apple trees can be seen through a clerestory window, telling a story about the future of urban farming and the utilization of often underused space.
McDonald’s corporate commitment to make sustainability the new normal is at the core of the new restaurant design. The structural system, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), is the first commercial use in Chicago and has a lighter environmental footprint than concrete and steel. The solar pergola will capture the sun’s energy, supplying part of the buildings consumption needs. Throughout the site, permeable paving is used to reduce storm water runoff and the heat island effect. The restaurant is applying to become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.
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.