Trading Ketchup for Relish: McDonald's in Germany Ditches Red for Green
Many in Germany associate McDonald's with obesity and litter. But the company is now trying to change its image -- by changing its colors. The burger joint has swapped out red for green in an effort to demonstrate its commitment to the environment.
An undated file-photo gives McDonald's fans a glimpse of the restaurants of the future in Germany.
No matter what you think of McDonald's, the company's shrill colors are certainly not easily forgotten. A bright, mustard-colored M on a ketchup-hued background, the signs are almost blinding in their gaudiness.
"Simplicity and a focus on the essentials is the new design philosophy," Holger Beeck, deputy head of McDonald's in Germany, said in a Monday statement. All 40 new restaurants set to open in 2010 will adhere to the new design sensibilities. In addition, the façade of the new restaurants will include natural stone and wood. By the end of the year, more than 100 McDonald's restaurants will be outfitted with the new design style. "With the new appearance, we want to clarify our responsibility and relationship with natural resources," Beeck said.
While trying to project its new, greener image, McDonald's still faces criticism from environmental groups due to their marketing mainly meat products and the massive amounts of packaging that comes with them. In 2008, McDonald's had to redesign the lids of its popular McFlurry treat after hedgehogs were found dead in the containers. As many as 100 of the creatures were found to have starved to death after getting their heads stuck in the lid openings. It took two years before the lids were redesigned.
The German-subsidiary of the US giant is already known for pioneering products in design. Though the first McCafe opened in Australia, the concept originated in Germany. Today, there are 612 McCafes in Germany's 1,350 restaurants. A new pilot project will soon see the first McCafe's opened without being attached to its burger-and-fries-serving counterpart.
More than 2.58 million people eat at McDonald's daily in Germany, while the company employs 58,000 people.
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