McDonald's Plan for Success: Become Starbucks

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Starbucks recently moved up the mega-restaurant rankings as the third-largest restaurant chain in the world, behind Subway at #2 and McDonald's at #1. This perhaps is making the head clowns at Mickey D's nervous, because from the look of their new marketing and renovation push, the burger joint is doing everything it can to be exactly like Starbucks.

As USA Today reports this morning, McDonald's is launching the largest and most expensive store makeover in the company's history.

Spending more than $1 billion, the restaurant chain is essentially taking the faux-classy, use-our-WiFi-sit-on-our-sofas approach of Starbucks and duplicating it with the option of pairing lattes with triple cheeseburgers and french fries.

USA Today:

Goodbye, fiberglass tables and industrial steel chairs. Adios, neon-yellow, bright-red interiors. Hello, wooden tables, comfortable faux leather chairs, and interiors newly painted in muted oranges, yellows, and even subtle greens.

The redesign, while clearly taking pages from Starbucks' playbook, is apparently being done more as a way to compete with other fast-food chains like Wendy's and Burger King. McDonald's has the cash on hand to accomplish a sweeping store-by-store makeover, while the other chains don't.

Making it seem "classy" to go hang out at McDonald's appears to be the end goal. Company executives are quoted comparing the feel they are going for to be similar to being inside an Apple Store.

Whatever the feel that the restaurant is going for, the fact remains that a double cheeseburger still only costs $.99. And if getting 490 empty calories for under a buck isn't "classy," then what is?

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