Vast Vienna McDonald’s Flagship “Breaks The QSR Cliche” With LED Video Walls, Hotel Lobby Feel

October 12, 2022 by Dave Haynes

This McDonald’s in Vienna, Austria would have to qualify as one of the nicest ones out there – looking more like a lux hotel in the reception area than a fast food spot.

Our German language content partners at Munich-based Invidis have an interesting post up today about a flagship store in downtown Vienna that most definitely breaks the QSR cliche. The biggest differentiator is a very large fine pitch LED video wall at a reception counter, which in itself is more than a little different from any Mickey D’s I’ve wandered into.

The post notes the store at Mariahilfer Strasse 85, which opened earlier this year, has a spacious foyer, suspended ceiling lights, a receptionist, a counter with daily newspapers and a bouquet of flowers. It has 500 seats, making it the largest in Austria.

The full post has a pile of photos, but here’s a summary of this very ambitious store …

The spacious area in the middle of the central Mariahilf district in Vienna has little in common with an ordinary McDonald’s franchise in the city center. Instead of low ceilings, tightly packed tables and shrill colors, everything here seems more elegant and spacious. A central design element are the hanging ceiling lights. They change their colors continuously, oscillating between warm orange and red tones. The program on the screen is varied and gives a foretaste of the interior: Sometimes McDonald’s employees wave the guests into the restaurant, sometimes the screen gives a tour through the restaurant, sometimes burgers are stacked.

Past the order terminals in the entrance area, steps lead up to the actual restaurant area. A little more classic McDonald’s feeling is also popular here: guests sit on benches covered with black imitation leather. The tables are lined up in American diner style. With wooden benches and indirect lighting, however, the furnishings appear more elegant and of higher quality than in the standard fast food branch. The colors are also more muted, and the store appears less flashy. This keeps the atmosphere welcoming, with some guests getting to work on their laptops rather than grabbing a quick bite and then leaving. Other order terminals are spread across the area – there are 26 in total – and there is a lot of customer traffic everywhere.

The traditional order and pick-up area is located at the very back of the long restaurant. Digital menu boards hang above the order counter. In addition, the pick-up numbers can be seen on extra screens. There is an oval seating area for those waiting, from which guests can view their pick-up number on the screens as well as a digital screen consisting of nine 16:9 LCD elements. In addition to images of burgers and fries, McDonald’s also plays high-resolution video content. Impressions of nature and motor sport recordings entertain the guests while they wait. A digital menu board is also located behind the counter in the McCafé area. Here the employees serve coffee in porcelain from the porta-filter machine instead of in to-go cups from the fully automatic machine

There is even a hint of green in the McDonald’s flagship: a wall element planted with grass hangs in a corner. It’s almost a little lost in the huge area, but it’s a nice unexpected detail between all the screens. Nor would one have expected a bouquet of flowers in the pick-up area of ​​a fast-food restaurant or nature shots on the digital signage screens. The Mariahilfer McDonald’s plays with elements that are otherwise known from high-end department stores, but delivers the usual products with short waiting times. The concept works: customers get what they expect – and more.

The flagship branch also uses digital signage for the employees in the burger kitchen. A video tour shows:

I’d love to understand the thinking behind all this tech. It’s great to see, but does more ambience and tech equate to higher sales and loyalty?

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