Taste Test: What It's Like At 'The Corner', The Experimental Australian McDonald's Outlet

'The Corner' in the Sydney suburb of Camperdown.

An Australian McCafe outlet which underwent a drastic makeover that left it unrecognisable as a McDonald's restaurant has been confirmed as a "learning lab" where the company is trying a new menu and service style. It's called The Corner, and it makes for an interesting dining experience.

"The Corner" is in Sydney's inner west, in an area called Camperdown just a few kilometres from the centre of the city. It's right opposite one of the city's biggest hospitals, the Royal Prince Alfred - a sensible location for trying healthy alternatives.

Table service!

McDonald's spokesperson Skye Oxenham told our sister site, Business Insider, that The Corner had been opened as "a Learning Lab where we are testing completely new and different food and beverages never before seen in our restaurants."

The menu includes "salads featuring Moroccan roast chicken breast, chipotle pulled pork, brown rice, pumpkin, lentil and eggplant salads, sandwiches and barista made quality coffee." The restaurant was "yet another example" of how McDonald's was "committed to serving up real noticeable change".

McDonald's image problems are well-known: it's been fighting for more than a decade to show it's interested in nutrition and providing healthy options as well as its high-calorie, high-sugar staples. Globally, sales have been falling year on year, and the company is hiring help to figure out how to engage with young people.

"The Corner" would be a big change in direction for McDonald's, if the concept was to spread to more of its outlets. The company wouldn't say what the next steps would be from the project. But here's what I found when I dropped by.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider Australia


    I'm not sure I would call this a taste test...

    "McDonald’s image problems are well-known – it been fighting for more than a decade to"

    I think you left out the word has.

      "McDonald’s image problems are well-known – it been fighting for more than a decade to has" - fixed

    It LOOKS like a hipster cafe but with fancier Maccas food and terrible coffee...
    good luck wiht that

      I couldn't stop laughing once I scrolled down and saw the boring old mcdonalds burger on a 'fancy' breadboard.

    For a bit of background, this existed solely as a McCafe before - not quite McDonalds, just all the stuff you'd get from a McCafe

    First problem to solve with McDonalds, fix the food, not the wrapper.

    Has anybody ever said: "I don't like McDonalds, the food is great but I don't like it served wrapped in paper or cardboard boxes."?

    It's not the Image, which is a greedy corparation selling terrible food. It's not the tons of paper and cardboard that ultimately become landfill, it's the terrible food.

    When you need to launch campaigns to tell people your meat is real meat and your eggs are real eggs the problem is the food, not the Image or the Wrapper.

    Anyone had the misfortune of having a loved one in a hospital? That is the target audience for this project.
    If you are lucky, it's a birth. No so lucky: car accident, heart attack, cancer. You are drawn out, weary, but can't actually sleep so you go looking for a snack. Nothing too fancy, you'd feel massively guilty if something happened in the ten minutes you take getting a quick bite.

    Under those conditions, do you really care about the taste? Or just how long it takes to grab a bite?

    I love how they use ikea cutting boards as plates and baking tins as icecream bowls.. wtf!?

    Here's the deal, haters. It's a start, and at least SOMEONE is taking some initiative. Obesity kills more people per year than cigarettes used to, so ANY start is a great one. Why not channel your snarky finger-pointing into useful suggestions to McDonalds and quit being cynical zits?

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