The Corner by McCafe, Sydney
8B Missenden Road, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia
Landini Associates, Sydney
McDonalds’ new Corner Cafe is clear proof that the global hipster street food revolution has now entered mainstream consciousness.
It also demonstrates that in this fast paced retail world, no brand, no matter how big, can sit still and refuse to move with the times.
The Corner McCafe is a charming and unique one-off test bed concept that has opened in Camperdown, Sydney. It’s an experimental space, that has deliberately freed itself from its corporate heritage.
The scheme is part of a much wider $1 billion remodelling of the mainline McDonalds brand, which is also developing new, more customer friendly ‘build your own gourmet burger’ ideas.
Designed by world class agency Landini Associates, who have given the concept a totally new, and very cool graphic identity and interiors, the idea behind the Corner was to build a great local cafe.
The location may not be an accident, as it’s set about half a mile from where a branch of McDonalds famously closed in 1998, following protests from locals wanting more organic and natural food.
The Corner by McCafe is a “future Lab” for McDonalds, a place to test, experiment and meet their public face to face as they evolve in the new millennium.
According to Mark Landini, the brief was to be part of a program to challenge McDonalds.
“This is a Future Forward project whose purpose is to stretch the brand beyond its comfort zone. McCafé wanted to evolve whilst remaining legitimate and true to its core values of simple good food, great prices, convenience and accessibility.” says Mark.
The design, with its subtle, almost invisible McCafe branding, is an important part of the concept. It uses natural materials in an unshowy, classic way.
However, it is the food that really marks the change. Barista coffee and smoothies, croissants and pastries are the staples, with healthy ‘hipster’ mains, such as brown rice and Quinoa, Moroccan chicken and chipotle pulled pork, served from open kitchens and serveries.
The reaction to the concept has been mixed, with some criticising McDonalds for corporate copying of independent ideas, whilst others have been genuinely impressed with the quality of the new food offer.
We at the Echochamber are firm believers that quality is quality, and if big brands have the passion to innovate and raise the standards for us all, then that is something we are happy to celebrate.