McDonald's is apparently testing a new prototype restaurant in Paris that lacks one very important element -- the chain's signature burgers [via ffog.net].
The McCafe concept, set to open in late October, will have a built-in salad bar at the counter that allows customers to see their order freshly prepared from 28 ingredients. Among those ingredients will be fruit, herbs and cheese, all of which can be combined in a salad that will average about $9.75.
The McCafe concept means something different here in the United States, where the burger chain opened its first freestanding coffee shop under that name in 2001. McDonald's has already demonstrated that it's willing to move away from its core products, but there's no indication that the salad-bar prototype is coming to America.
And if it did, it would fly in the face of 70 years of branding. McDonald's is about one thing: getting the same product no matter where you are in the United States. Forgetting about its failed salad ideas for a minute -- Salad Shakers, anyone? -- McDonald's isn't about customization. That's Burger King's bag. McDonald's is about rote eating.
I've certainly known people to order salads at McDonald's, but no one thinks of McDonald's as a first choice when it comes to putting together a salad. So who thinks McDonald's has a future as a Sizzler?
[Image via Flickr: VirtualErn]