The world’s biggest burger-and-fries chain just opened a new location in France, and it serves neither of those things. Paris’s newest McCafe instead serves club sandwiches, salads, soup, and other typical cafe fare, reports Le Figaro, with nary a McNugget in sight.
Open all day from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., it serves coffee with beans that are freshly ground to order, and aside from the McCafe moniker, Le Figaro says there’s nothing else to indicate that the restaurant is part of the ubiquitous fast-food chain.
But why? McDonald’s is already massively successful in France: It has more than 1,300 franchised stores across the country, and the baguette-loving nation is actually its second most profitable market behind only the U.S. Further, the hamburger has thoroughly infiltrated France in recent years: Burgers are now now sold in 75 percent of the nation’s restaurants, and it’s the top-selling dish in 80 percent of those restaurants, according to a recent study.
So why deviate from its globally recognized brand identity? As the world’s second-largest fast food chain, McDonald’s is constantly throwing new concepts at the wall to see if they stick — all-day breakfast! Preservative-free nuggets! Fresh beef! — in pursuit of capturing new customers. Perhaps this shiny new Parisian store’s fancy macarons and sandwiches can lure in even those who would normally turn their noses up at McDonald’s.
Of course, it’s not the first time the company has toyed with a seemingly very off-brand menu: In 2014, McDonald’s opened a super-healthy prototype restaurant in Australia; called The Corner, it serves rice bowls, wraps, and paninis alongside a fancy salad bar and latte art.