A not-so (Mc)Happy pop up
Local residents were not pleased (and a bit suspicious) when McDonald’s announced a pop-up shop.
Residents in the Sydney suburb of Glebe were un-successful in their campaign to stop the (temporary) arrival of a McDonald’s store amongst their trendy cafés. Many were only altered when McDonald’s did a letterbox-drop to local homes a few days beforehand, announcing the imminent arrival of a fries-only pop up shop. Some of those locals were suspicious of McDonald’s motives (were they actually scouting for new restaurant locations ?) – and concerned that a fast-food outlet would threaten the café-culture of existing businesses on Glebe Point Road. But McDonald’s said they have no plans for a permanent outlet in the area – and there was good reason to keep details of the event secret from residents – “We wanted to keep it a secret for our customers, too, because that’s part of the surprising element of what we’re doing”*
The fries were given away free of charge, as part of a market research (and branding ?) campaign by McDonald’s. The store didn’t offer any standard menu items – not a single burger or shake in sight. There was, however, a choice of 7 sauces to go with the fries… gravy, cheeses, curry… Customers were encouraged to rate the flavours, fill in a questionnaire and upload comments to the #frieswiththat hashtag and Facebook page.
Protesting residents had gathered over 1000 signatures on a petition, but the store opened anyway last Friday. One customer (pro-fries, first in line when the doors opened at 11am…) told news.com.au that he was “pretty disgusted” (with the backlash from locals) and said it was “nuts… In Glebe there’s a Dominos, there’s a Subway. It’s a free world”.
According to McDonald’s Australia Director of Marketing, Jo Feeney, the decision to open in Glebe was “to celebrate our Loaded Fries… We were looking at different spots and Glebe was probably a bit unexpected for us – and we like to do things a little bit unexpected some times. Given it’s for three days, we thought it was a nice spot to come and celebrate fries”*
And after all that fuss, the store closed quietly on Sunday… Hopefully McDonald’s achieved the “sauces-on-fries” feedback they were after – and enjoyed some nice media coverage with their controversial pop up appearance… But they would’ve also learnt something about the fiesty residents of Glebe !
*source : DailyTelegraph.com.au
images : McDonald’s fries only pop up, Sydney May 2016 – Google Images (McDonald’s Australia)
featured image : smh.com.au
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