First Look: McDonald’s breaks new ground with Chicago flagship
McDonald’s revamped Chicago flagship is like no other in the company’s portfolio.
Located at Clark and Ontario streets, the 19,000-sq.-ft. location boasts a modern, environmentally-friendly design and enhanced customer experience with self-order kiosks, table service, mobile order and payment, and delivery. It is open seven days a week and 24 hours a day, serving drive-thru and dine-in customers.
Designed by Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects, the restaurant has a modern interior, with furniture, graphics and layout designed by Sydney-based Landini Associates, which has collaborated on other McDonald’s projects.
The steel-and-wood-timber constructed restaurant highlights McDonald’s commitment to sustainability and has abundant green spaces and an array energy-saving features. The location is applying to become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. The site’s eco-friendly highlights include:
• On-site solar panel array for renewable energy collection to offset part of the restaurant’s non-renewable energy consumption;
• Interior and exterior LED lighting;
• Energy-efficient kitchen and HVAC equipment, including energy-saving freezer/coolers, low-oil fryers, energy-efficient fans and more;
• More than 70 trees are at the ground level, a vegetated roof space and a floating glass garden of ferns and white birch trees; and
• Native and drought resilient plants used throughout the landscape along with permeable pavers for the parking lot surface to minimize irrigation and reduce storm water runoff.
The Chicago flagship is part of McDonald’s “Experience of the Future” initiative, which is designed to 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 in a more modern 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.
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McDonald’s to undertake nearly $3 billion store remodeling initiative
McDonald’s Corp. is embarking on an ambitious — and costly — store remodeling program to transform the customer experience inside and outside its restaurants across the country.
The fast-food giant on Tuesday released a series a press releases detailing remodels of its restaurants throughout 2018 and 2019. All told, the program represents an investment of nearly $3 billion by McDonald’s and its franchisees, according to Marketwatch.
The remodeled locations will offer new technology and a more fun, modern experience. The remodeled locations will feature:
• Modernized dining rooms with globally and locally inspired décor, new furniture and refreshed exterior designs;
• Enhanced customer experience with digital self-order kiosks that allow customers to browse the menu, find options and tailor their meal the way they want;
• Remodeled counters that allow for table service;
• Bright and easy to read digital menu boards inside and at the drive-through;
• New designated parking spots for curbside pick-up through mobile order and pay; and
• Expanded McCafé counters and larger display cases.
The locations to be remodeled include some 840 restaurants in Texas, 550 in California, 410 restaurants, and 360 restaurants in New York.
First Look: Sleep Number goes high-tech in New York
It’s not just online upstarts disrupting the mattress category — Sleep Number is also doing its part.
The mattress retailer’s new location, in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, is designed to take shopping for a mattress — and sleeping — to a new, “smart” level. It offers an inviting, experiential environment, with interactive technologies and digital experiences woven into a modern, loft-inspired setting.
The new store brings to life the company’s line of 360 smart beds. The high-tech mattress, which integrates hardware and software, is powered by Sleep Number’s proprietary biometric sleep tracking system. The bed automatically adjusts comfort to keep users sleeping soundly all night, adjusting itself as sleep positions change. It intuitively responds to each person’s bedtime routine, and also has an accompanying app with a number of customization options, including setting a smart alarm that awakes a sleeper at the optimal moment.
“Most people don’t realize what a difference their bed makes to their sleep, which is one of the most important aspects of their health and wellness,” said Shelly Ibach, president and CEO of Sleep Number, which operates more than 560 stores nationwide. “Our new Sleep Number store in the Flatiron District demonstrates the transformative impact of our smart bed on individual comfort, restfulness and well-being.”
The store experience begins just inside the entry, which boasts a large digital map illuminating the sleep patterns (including the average wake-up and to-bed times) of different neighborhoods across Manhattan. (The map is made possible via Sleep Number’s sleep tracking and biometric technology.)
The interior is divided into several rooms, which makes the space feel intimate. Customers are invited to try out the smart beds on display, and can participate in an individualized experience using 3D imaging to identify their pressure points and better understand how the 360 smart bed will alleviate them. There is also a three-minute, immersive “ride” where the consumer learns about the technology built in to the bed
A mix-and-match display of pillows, comforters, etc., features a large-scale digital display that allows customers to customize their ultimate bedroom retreat.
Sleep Number’s tech enhancements are complemented by the store’s associates, or “sleep experts,” who are dedicated to the company’s mission.
“The Sleep Number store experience combines the latest in technology with the expertise of our sleep professionals, to deliver a value-added experience for our customers,” said Andy Carlin, chief sales and services officer. “For us, it’s all about helping people find solutions for their best possible sleep.”
Sleep Number is well positioned in one of the Flatiron District’s few standalone retail spaces. Located at 136 Fifth Avenue, it occupies 3,650 sq.ft. on the ground floor and 3,650 sq.ft. in the lower level. RKF vice chairman Ariel Schuster and senior director Ike Bibi helped arranged the lease.
“The Flatiron District is the go-to destination for innovative retail concepts wishing to attract younger, engaged and wellness-focused consumers, making this the perfect location for Sleep Number to plant its flag in New York City,” said Bibi.