Forget all thoughts of Big Macs and Double Cheeseburgers - McDonald's has opened a rebranded McCafe in Sydney, called The Corner.
But you could be forgiven for mistaking it for an independent coffee shop, as the cafe is styled like an East London 'hipster' cafe, complete with tiled walls, wooden serving boards and a healthy menu.
It is described as a customer service "lab" by the fast-food company, an experiment into a different type of food service - one almost opposite to its current offering.
The cafe opened in November in the Camperdown suburb of Sydney, an area that previously had a McDonald's close down in 1998 due to lack of interest in its wares. Residents leant more towards organic food, and the fast-food burger chain quickly lost business.
But now The Corner offers a daily changing menu of healthy dishes based around salads and brown rice, which are served with ingredients from Moroccan chicken breast, pulled pork, lentils and even quinoa. Quality of coffee is a large part of the offering too, with an advert for staff asking for "exceptional" making skills. A range of cakes, pastries and "craft smoothies" are on offer too.
However, 'traditional' McDonald's menu items are still available, with their breakfast menu including bacon and egg rolls - albeit served with avocado on a brioche bun.
Despite subtle branding - a small McCafe logo as part of The Corner's main logo, customers still seem able to recognise McDonald's in what they are eating.
Nick Evershed said "It’s much fancier than what you’d normally get at Maccas. Chutney instead of sauce. Brioche instead of the normal white roll. Some baby spinach wedged in as a token nod to health. But it can’t shake its intrinsic McDonald’s-ness."
Nancy Groves, another customer, said "Give me their basic, tastier and cheaper cheeseburger any day. Macca’s classic fare already does just fine catering for the munchies, midnight snacks and hangovers in hipster neighbourhoods. It doesn't need to wear the clothes too."
But on the whole, The Corner seemed to be an improvement on McDonalds, and the food tasty, too. Michael Safi commented that, "perhaps the most pleasant surprise was that the roll felt composed of actual, real-life food. That dirty feeling you get after scoffing a McDonald’s burger? Non-existent."
The Corner is part of a rebranding of McDonald's in Australia, so it may be a while until we see one in the UK, but it will be an interesting change if it does make the trip.
Words: Victoria Gray, Images: Facebook/Instagram