Previously known as the starting point of the Pony Express and the place where Jesse James died and Eminem was born, St. Joseph, Missouri now has a new claim to fame, as the home the future of fast food. It’s a future that apparently includes lots of touchscreens and, for a limited time, unlimited fries.
The self-stylized “McDonald’s of the Future” joins a recently opened New York City franchise as a sign of the direction the world’s largest restaurant chain looks to head in, moving forward. The key of both are self-serve kiosks, a vaguely futuristic crash course at Hamburger University.
Using touchscreens (or “grease depositories” as they’re known in the industry), customers can make their own customized burgers and sandwiches, featuring such non-standard McDonald’s menu items as maple bacon and guacamole. For the first few months, at least, those orders will come with bottomless fries – a fact that no doubt contributed to the newly opened location being a mad house today.
There’s also a big interactive play area featuring projections and interactive games. The move marks McDonald’s push to upgrade itself as a member of the “fast-casual” set, a group of somewhat higher end chain restaurants that includes the likes of Chipotle and Panera.
The move seems to be working – one customer told the Kansas City Star that the new Mickey D’s is, “the nicest looking restaurant in St. Joseph.”