Fast food giant McDonald’s is testing out an upscale, healthier version of its McCafe concept in Australia, replacing burgers and fries with tofu, Lebanese lentils, and chipotle pulled pork.
The only relic of The Corner’s true lineage is a small McCafé logo underneath the sign.
Otherwise, the white-washed cafeteria-style restaurant which opened with little fanfare last week, could be mistaken for a riff off of Starbucks, with ham and colby paninis, tofu and vegetables boxes, and chicken caesar wraps lining the shelves, reported Business Insider Australia.
Then there’s the salad bar, where customers can choose between Lebanese lentils, Israeli couscous, eggplant salad, Moroccan roast chicken, brown rice and pumpkin.
In short, there are no Big Macs, fries, or nuggets in sight.
Instead of visors, staff at The Corner wear smart denim button downs and khaki aprons, while lattes or flat whites come with heart-shaped foam from trained baristas.
Officials describe the concept as a “learning lab” and testing ground for trialing gourmet, premium offerings never before seen at a McDonald's restaurant.
It’s one of several different strategies being employed by the burger giant to try and boost flagging sales around the world in the face of stiff competitors like Chipotle, Starbucks and Panera Bread -- chains that offer healthier, more premium fast food options.
Recently, the company announced plans to eliminate eight of its less popular product offerings and roll out tablet-enabled kiosks across the US that would customers to build their burgers from bun and meat to toppings.
In its latest November financial statement, the company posted a 2.2 percent drop in global sales compared to the same period last year, with the steepest decline recorded in the US, where sales fell nearly 5 percent.