Homepage

News > Fortune 500
    SAVE   |   EMAIL   |   PRINT   |   RSS  
Big Mac, fries and an MP3?
Report: McDonald's hoping music downloads, Internet will help attract hipper, tech-savvy crowd.
May 25, 2005: 8:41 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - 'Would you like a ring tone with that?'

This may become the new customer service catchphrase as McDonald's hopes to reel in the young and tech-savvy with Blaze Net, which allows customers to buy music mobile-phone ring tones, print digital photographs and surf the Internet, according to a report published Wednesday.

The fast-food chain began pilot testing the new ATM-style device May 16 at its new flagship restaurant near the Oakbrook Center shopping mall in Oak Brook, Ill., the Chicago Tribune said. But a spokesman wouldn't say how many restaurants will add Blaze Net.

"It is clearly unique and not a traditional restaurant," Bill Whitman, a McDonald's spokesman, told the newspaper. "But it is a peek at the future of McDonald's through the use of technology, innovative design and contemporary space."

The test is expected to be expanded once the initial 60-to-90-day trial period is completed, the report said.

The new Oak Brook flagship restaurant promises to test out new menu items as well as new technology, including a honey-wheat chicken sandwich and a host of cafe items not typically found at a McDonald's, said the Tribune.

According to the report, the restaurant, with Wi-Fi Internet access, multiple flat-screen TVs and video monitors upstairs and down, is dedicated to Charlie Bell, the former McDonald's chief executive who died of cancer in January.

The move to go high-tech and the McCafe coffee drinking and lounging concept were both pioneered by Bell in 1993, when he was head of McDonald's Australian arm, the Tribune said.

The Oak Park restaurant also draws heavily on the type of young, hip look and feel that Bell pushed the chain to adopt to target a younger audience, the report said.

Paris Hilton is putting another burger chain in the spotlight. Click here.  Top of page

graphic


YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
McDonald's Corporation
Manage alerts | What is this?