Wednesday, February 25, 2009

McCafe: Tap Into The Coffee House Trend?

It seems, to The McChronicles, that coffee houses, with their third-placers, laptoppers, and modern-day beatniks and troubadors, are all the rage - at least in North America. We are constantly seeing, hearing about, and experiencing, acoustic performers, laptop users, spoken word artists, latte sippers, and the like in these unique and very interesting shops.

To us it is not a stretch to see the McDonald's McCafe concept tap into this vibe. Here is our suggestion:

  • Create a temporary "stage" or performing area in an appropriate corner of a McDonald's reataurant.

  • Declare some night to be "McCafe Thursday Night" (whatever night works best locally) and promote it as such.

  • Feature a local acoustic artist to perform appropriate material for a one-, two-, or three-hour period (whatever suits the local flavor)

In The McChronicles' "home McDonald's", this would require either living with the permanent tables that are at one end of the dining room, or replacing them with moveable tables and chairs. It would only affect two small tables and the corner is perfect as it:

  • has power (for a small PA system)
  • is "secure", no one can get behind the performer
  • is near the rest rooms
  • is away from the order counter and front door - it will not interfere with people coming in or going out, order taking, etc.
To The McChronicles this seems like a low-risk, fun, low-cost way to:
  • feature the McCafe program and get more people to experience it
  • attract customers that wouldn't otherwise be there
  • appeal to a unique demographic
  • become a stronger part of the community

This isn't some revolutionary idea, mind you. In a previous McChronicles post, we shared the story of the band that, "... has been packing the house each week for nearly two years. The music starts at 7, but people start claiming their seats around 5. Anyone arriving after 6:30 will probably have to stand." Yes, it happens in a McDonald's.

There is NO WAY that we're suggesting that McDonald's is the brand to compete with local coffee houses. That's not the case, and that's not going to happen. The McChronicles is only saying that this concept IS appealing to a certain segment of people who ARE already McDonald's customers and who WILL go to McDonald's for something a little funky and offbeat.

Not a novel idea, but a cool idea for the times.

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.

Image: Dave Snediker performs at THE TRAMONTANE CAFE, Utica, NY.