Chicago’s flagship McDonald’s restaurant looks more like somewhere one would go to pick up the latest tablet or smartphone than to grab a Big Mac and fries. The steel and wood timber constructed restaurant is covered in windows and native plants to provide customers with a strong connection to nature and abundant natural light.
There are over 70 trees planted at ground level with an additional vegetated roof space and floating glass garden that consists of ferns and white birch trees. Additionally, living walls bring nature directly inside the restaurant. The landscape consists of native and drought resilient plants along with permeable pavers for the lot surface to minimize irrigation and reduce stormwater runoff. Other sustainable features include an on-site solar array, interior and exterior LED lighting, and energy efficient kitchen and HVAC equipment.
The 19,000-sf, Ross Barney Architects-designed restaurant is equipped with self-order kiosks, table service, mobile order and payment, and delivery in order to enhance the customer experience. The restaurant will be open 24/7 and serve both dine-in and drive-thru customers.
This flagship location is the most recent McDonald’s restaurant to undergo renovations as part of the company’s “Experience of the Future” campaign. McDonald’s EOTF restaurants leverage technology, such as kiosk ordering and mobile app integration, to create a new type of fast-food restaurant more in tune with modern customer expectations. McDonald’s estimates all of its freestanding locations will undergo renovations to become EOTF restaurants by 2020.