LONDON, England ● Would you like to supersize that? In a case of taking fast food to the extreme McDonald’s has embraced the pop-up restaurant trend for the 2012 Olympics by building a fast food restaurant of world record breaking size in Stratford, east London, that will last for six weeks.
About 300m from the Olympic Stadium, it will displace Pushkin Square in Moscow as the world’s busiest and is expected to serve an estimated 50,000 Big Mac burgers and 180,000 portions of fries – feeding 1200 customers an hour at its busiest – from the beginning of the Olympics to the closing of the Paralympics.
Once the Games are concluded the two-storey chalet-style building in the Olympic Park will be dismantled and 75 per cent of it re-used or recycled.
From tables and highchairs through kitchen equipment and electric light bulbs, fittings and switches, to timber and air conditioning units, about 5500 components have been earmarked for reuse in 1200 existing and new McDonald’s restaurants in the UK. Other items, such as those made of plastics, will be recycled. The building went up in six weeks (although fitting out took longer) and will take four weeks to dismantle.
Jill McDonald, chief executive officer of McDonald’s UK, said the move was “a world first” for the chain in its drive to be sustainable, meeting targets specified by the London Organising Committee. During a tour of the restaurant yesterday, she said: “London 2012 is set to be the most sustainable Games ever hosted and this ambition inspired us to bind sustainability into the heart of our state-of-the-art Olympic Park restaurants.”
McDonald’s is a longstanding sponsor of the Olympics, with an exclusive deal ensuring it is the only branded restaurant on site. But its dominance has attracted protests from health experts who believe the Games should not be so closely associated with potentially unhealthy food brands. The company has defended its menu, claiming it offers healthy options including new iced fruit smoothies.