Friday, March 14, 2008

Would you like feng shui with that?

I can't remember where I heard the story, but I then found this news article. The McDonald's mentioned in the story isn't too far away from where I live, so I could go and visit it. But then I think - why? Ummm, OK, it might be comfy and nice and all, but it's still a McDonald's. I visit McDonald's on occasion, but almost all of the time, it's via the drive thru, and most of the time that I even go inside, it's because the drive thru is too long, so I go inside to get food to go. I rarely ever actually eat inside a McDonald's, and even if I did, I'm not sure I'd be that interested in lounging around in one. I'm trying to figure out the business value in that. Do they figure that the longer people stay there, the more money they'll spend? Well, if they've purchased coffee or a soda, they're going to get free refills, so that's not more money spent. As for food, there's really only so much food you can eat. At least with Starbucks or something like that, you don't get free refills, so if you're there taking advantage of their free internet and you want something else to drink, you're going to have to spend more money. Maybe they think that when word gets out, people will choose to go to McDonald's and specifically that one just because of the decor? I mean, I'm ok with McDonald's food, but I don't really see their comfy couches as being a reason for me to go there.

And nice relaxing color palettes and soothing water is fine, but McDonald's is also generally a family place. How relaxing is all that going to be with young children running around and screaming and smearing ketchup on their nice soft furniture and splashing water from their tranquil fountain? That location even has a PlayPlace so they obviously are inviting families with children there. Maybe the flatscreen TVs are to keep the parents occupied when their kids are in the PlayPlace, and they hope that the tranquil environment might subdue noisy younglings. Or the parents can immerse themselves in calm and tranquility while ignoring their children who are screaming their guts out in the PlayPlace. I hope there's thick glass between the PlayPlace and the restaurant proper.

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